January Thaw: It’s been quite a cold stretch throughout the Northeast, including the Adirondack region. It began right after Christmas and has continued into these early days of January, 2018. However, it looks to break, somewhat, in the very near future, which will be good news for the Adirondack deer herd. While the cold weather has been bad for the heat bill and the pipes, ice anglers and snowmobilers are enjoying it. Please be careful out there and enjoy some small game hunting if you can.
Sadly, 2017 ended on a somber note with news of the passing of Charlie Alsheimer. I don’t know anyone in the deer hunting community who didn’t know who Charlie was. As a New Yorker, much of his early research took place in the Southern Adirondacks and he even co-authored a book on the region in the 1980s. Of course, Charlie did many seminars over the years throughout the region, showcasing his knowledge of whitetails, his lunar theories, and his brilliant photography. Rest in Peace, Charles Alsheimer.
D&DH: Remembering Charlie Alsheimer
DEC’s Hunting Seasons Summary
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Read on for previous week’s hunting reports… Continue reading →
This winter, DEC wildlife biologists are seeking the public’s help to learn about new black bear dens throughout New York. As part of DEC’s ongoing black bear monitoring, wildlife biologists periodically check on black bears during the winter den season. The bears may be fitted with radio collars to help biologists track the bears’ activities throughout the year and to locate their dens in subsequent years for monitoring cub production, condition, and survival.
Bears may den in a rock crevice, tree cavity, or under heavy bush or fallen trees. Female bears generally give birth in January or early February, and if you are near a den you may hear the cubs’ high-pitched squeals. New York hikers and hunters cover countless miles of wooded terrain each year. DEC urges anyone who finds a bear den not to approach or disturb the den, but simply to note the location and move away from the den site.
DEC requests that anyone locating a bear den contact their local DEC wildlife office about the den location, including GPS coordinates if possible. More information about black bears in New York is available at DEC’s Black Bear web page.
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The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today encouraged anglers to put safety first when ice fishing. Four inches of solid ice is usually safe for anglers accessing ice on foot. However, ice thickness can vary on waterbodies and even within the same waterbody. Anglers should be particularly wary of areas of moving water and around boat docks and houses where bubblers may be installed to reduce ice buildup. The presence of snowmobile tracks or footprints on the ice should not be taken as evidence of safe ice conditions. Individuals are strongly encouraged to check ice conditions and avoid situations that appear to present even a remote risk. Testing the thickness of ice can easily be done with an auger or ice spud at various spots.
Ice fishing continues to increase in popularity in New York State. Unlike the open water season, when an angler usually needs a boat to access good fishing locations, no boat is required to access these locations once a water is covered with safe ice. It’s also a great sport for families, as they can mix in skating, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, or other activities during an ice fishing trip to keep everyone interested and happy.
The use of fish for bait is popular when ice fishing and bait fish may be used in most, but not all waters, open to ice fishing. Visit the DEC website for a list of special regulations by county to find out where bait fish can and cannot be used, and for other regulations that apply to baitfish on DEC’s website. Continue reading →
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced that anglers who purchased a freshwater fishing license between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2017, may be asked to participate in a survey designed to learn more about their angling behaviors, preferences, and opinions on fisheries management issues.
Last conducted in 2007, the statewide freshwater angler survey is designed to help DEC fisheries managers better understand where anglers are fishing, what they are fishing for, how many days they spend on the water, and what they spend their money on. It also provides managers with insight into anglers’ preferences, satisfaction, and opinions on management topics. Expenditure information provided by anglers will also help DEC better quantify the benefits of freshwater fisheries with respect to the New York State economy.
Unlike past surveys that have been conducted using a questionnaire delivered through the U.S. Postal Service, this survey will primarily utilize emails sent to a sample of license buyers, directing the recipients to an online survey questionnaire. Survey questionnaires will also be mailed to a smaller group of anglers to allow for comparison of the two survey methods.
Emails inviting anglers to participate and mailed survey questionnaires will be distributed during January 2018, and anglers are strongly encouraged to participate in the survey. Results of the survey will be provided in spring 2019.
For information on DEC’s 2007 angler survey, visit http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/56020.html.
Although the deer hunting season has ended in most areas of the state, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos wants hunters to be aware that opportunities still exist for hunting in central New York and on Long Island.
“Areas where we have extended seasons to address problems with deer overabundance provide a great opportunity for hunters to fill their freezers, donate venison to the less fortunate, and help bring ecosystems back into balance,” Commissioner Seggos said.
From Jan. 13 to Jan. 31, there will be an antlerless deer season open in the Deer Management Focus Area (DMFA) in Tompkins County. To participate, hunters must register with the DMFA program and download a permit, carcass tags, and a hunting activity log from the DMFA webpage. Registered hunters may take up to two antlerless deer per day using any hunting implement that is legal during any other deer season at the site where they are hunting.
The 60,000-acre DMFA was created in 2012 to help communities in the Ithaca area address problems caused by deer overabundance. The area allows harvest of up to two antlerless deer per day throughout all the general deer hunting seasons, in addition to the January DMFA season. Hunters must carry a DMFA permit and DMFA carcass tags while hunting during the January season. They must also record their DMFA deer hunting activity and harvests on their hunting activity log and submit it to DEC by Feb. 7.
Additional information, including DMFA boundary descriptions and a printable map, is available on the DMFA webpage.
Special Seasons in Suffolk County, Long Island
The regular bowhunting deer season in Suffolk County continues through Jan. 31. The 2018 firearms deer season in Suffolk County will begin Jan. 7, and run through Jan. 31, including weekends. Town permits are required in the towns of Southampton, Islip, and Smithtown. Continue reading →
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced the release of plans for the Frontier Town Campground, Equestrian, and Day Use Area, a new, accessible, public campground proposed at the site of the former Frontier Town theme park in the town of North Hudson, Essex County.
The plans for the campground are envisioned in the Upper Hudson Recreation Hub Master Plan to establish a “Gateway to the Adirondacks” that will link local and regional outdoor recreation experiences in the Adirondack Park, bolster tourism, and strengthen the North Country’s regional economy. Earlier this year, Empire State Development (ESD) issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to develop and operate a world-class tourism destination near the site, linking the concepts and principles proposed in the Master Plan and complementing DEC’s recreational facilities. Responses to the RFP are currently under review, and additional projects anticipated by the Master Plan are expected to be announced early next year.
The new DEC campground, designed by C.T. Male Associates through a contract with OGS, will include 91 campsites to accommodate a range of camping experiences:
- An equestrian camping area modeled after DEC’s Otter Creek facility will provide space for 33 equestrian camping sites, including Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant features.
- A recreational vehicle (RV) and trailer camping area with space for 13 RV and trailer camping sites. RV and trailer campsite pads will have electrical hookups and fireplaces, and water spigots will be conveniently located.
- A tent camping area will include a total of 45 tent camping sites, including three group camping sites, two shower buildings, a playground and two pavilions. A minimum of 30 feet of existing vegetation buffer will be maintained between tent sites and all tent sites will be set back at least 30 feet from the top of the bank along the Schroon River so that they are not visible to recreational users of the river.
- A parking area for all-season trail access will be located off Frontier Town Road near NYS Route 9, providing year round parking for 26 vehicles, including spots for 18 vehicles with snowmobile trailers, six for vehicles only, and two for accessible vehicles.
- A seasonal day use area will be located along the shoreline of the Schroon River with 34 parking space.
- The entrance ticket booth will utilize solar energy to support part of the ticketing operations, and amenities for staff will also be provided.
Continue reading →
Nominations are now being accepted for individuals to be considered for induction into the New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame in 2018. The deadline for submission is January 31, 2018.
To be considered for induction, the individual must have made significant contribution to conservation or preserving the heritage of outdoor sports. The person or group that feels this contribution is significant must complete the nomination form and submit it along with the supporting documentation of the contributions.
Being inducted into the York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame is one of the highest honors an individual can earn. It shows that an individual has given back more than they have taken and that they have made a significant difference to conservation or preserving the heritage of outdoor sports.
The nomination form can be found at the NYSOHOF website http://nysohof.org/nominate/ Continue reading →
The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) are holding a joint public comment period to solicit comments regarding proposed management guidance for the design and layout of primitive tent sites on State Lands in the Adirondack Park. The APA and DEC will accept comments until January 22, 2018.
The Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan defines a primitive tent site as “a designated tent site of an undeveloped character providing space for not more than three tents, which may have an associated pit privy and fire ring, designed to accommodate a maximum of eight people on a temporary or transient basis, and located so as to accommodate the need for shelter in a manner least intrusive on the surrounding environment.” Continue reading →
The Unit Management Plans (UMPs) for three New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Adirondack campgrounds – Caroga Lake, Piseco Lake, and Buck Pond – are final, DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today. The final UMPs identify facilities and infrastructure that will be upgraded or replaced during the next five years to improve recreational opportunities. Continue reading →