New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced that most small game hunting seasons open on Friday, Oct. 1, across New York State. Season dates, bag limits, and other hunting regulations for New York’s small game species are available in the Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide, which can be obtained from a license-issuing agent or on DEC’s website.
Waterfowl Hunting and Special Youth and Military Days
New York offers vast waterfowl hunting opportunities as hunters may harvest more than 30 species of waterfowl. New York has five waterfowl zones and nine Canada goose zones that help to maximize hunting opportunity across diverse habitats. Most waterfowl zones also have special hunting days for youth and members of the military (both active duty and veterans) that often begin prior to the regular hunting season, giving these hunters the opportunity to hunt with less competition and hunting pressure.
Youth Waterfowl Days:
Southeast and Lake Champlain zones: Sept. 25-26
Western Zone: Oct. 2-3
Long Island Zone: Nov. 6-7
Military and Veteran Hunting Days:
Northeast Zone: Sept. 18-19
Southeast Zone: Oct. 9-10
Western Zone: Nov. 11 (Veterans Day) and 13
Long Island Zone: Nov. 13-14
There are no special Military/Veteran days for the Lake Champlain Zone.
Opening dates for the Regular Duck Seasons:
Northeast Zone: Oct. 2
Lake Champlain Zone: Oct. 13
Western and Southeast zones: Oct. 16
Long Island Zone: Nov. 20
For more on waterfowl hunting season dates and bag limits, visit the Waterfowl Seasons page on DEC’s website.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Region 6 is releasing a total of 3,878 adult ring-necked pheasants at several locations in anticipation of this year’s hunting season. The pheasant hunting season dates are Oct. 1 through Feb. 28, with a daily bag limit of two cocks or hens. Youth pheasant hunting dates are Sept. 25 and 26, 2021.
The following DEC Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) are being stocked prior to the youth pheasant hunt weekend:
Perch River WMA – Jefferson County;
Upper & Lower Lakes WMA – St. Lawrence County; and
Oriskany Flats WMA – Oneida County.
The WMAs listed for the youth hunt, as well as the following areas, will be stocked with pheasants prior to the opening of hunting season on Oct. 1:
Nowadaga Creek (New York State Canal property and private) – Herkimer County;
Wilson Hill WMA – St. Lawrence County; and
French Creek WMA – St. Lawrence County.
Pheasants will not be stocked in Lewis County this fall. A private landowner in the town of Martinsburg, who generously opened his land to pheasant stocking and public hunting for many years, has retired from the program.
In-season supplemental stockings will be taking place throughout the hunting season at all locations. The ring-necked pheasants were raised on the DEC Reynolds Game Farm in Ithaca.
Lewis County landowners who may be interested in having their property stocked with pheasants for hunting season should call DEC wildlife at (315) 785-2282. A complete statewide list of pheasant release sites is available on DEC’s website.?
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and JT Granshue LLC announced the completion of a modification to the Long Pond conservation easement, which is located in the towns of Colton and Clare, St. Lawrence County. The modification allows for 15 hunting, fishing, and recreation camps originally slated for removal to remain on the property in perpetuity. A conservation easement is a voluntary, legal agreement that protects the natural resources of a parcel of land by permanently restricting future land use and/or development on the property.
In 1999, DEC purchased the conservation easement on 18,950 acres west of State Route 56. Under the 1999 Long Pond conservation easement, 37 of the 43 hunting, fishing, and recreation camps present at that time were to be removed on or before Feb. 16, 2015. Prior to the deadline to remove the camps, Danzer Forestland Inc., the successor landowner to Long Pond LLC and New River-Franklin, LTD, requested a modification of the conservation easement to allow a number camps beyond the six noted at the time to remain on the property in perpetuity.
DEC and the current owner JT Granshue LLC recently approved a modification to the conservation easement to allow for 15 camps to remain on the property in perpetuity. The other camps have been removed by the landowner.
Modifications to a conservation easement are required to result in a net conservation benefit to the people of the State of New York. To satisfy this requirement, an appraisal determined the full market value of the camps and corresponding one-acre camp envelopes to be $183,000. JT Granshue L.L.C. transferred these funds to the State, and DEC then used these funds toward the purchase of 947 acres nearby to add to the Forest Preserve as the net conservation benefit.
The new 947-acre Adirondack Forest Preserve parcel protects more than six miles of the scenic South Branch of the Grass River. The parcel provides public recreation opportunities and consolidates portions of the Grass River Wild Forest near the hamlet of Cranberry Lake. The parcel also has a direct connection to the Long Pond conservation easement tract via other protected conservation easement and Forest Preserve lands.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Adirondack Land Trust today announced the addition of 250 acres to the Forest Preserve on Moxham Mountain between Minerva, Essex County and North Creek, Warren County. The acquisition will increase public access to the south side of Moxham Mountain for hunting, hiking and rock climbing. The Adirondack Land Trust purchased much of the south face of Moxham Mountain in 2019 from the Brassel and Zack families and the Brassel estate for $160,000. On Aug. 6, the land was transferred to New York State for addition to the Forever Wild Forest Preserve, in accordance with the family’s wishes. DEC and the Student Conservation Association opened a northside trail to Moxham’s 2,418-foot summit in 2012, as part of the Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest. The current 2.7-mile trail climbs 1,152 feet and offers more solitude than some of the Adirondacks’ popular peaks.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced the temporary closure of a section of Gooley Club Road in Indian Lake to allow for the safe removal of the old Gooley Club House. The road is scheduled to reopen by the end of September.
The closure will begin after the rafting put-in, allowing whitewater rafting to continue on this popular stretch of the Indian River. Motorists traveling on the open section of road are advised to be prepared for possible encounters with large work vehicles. For more information, visit the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpage.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today that DEC has adopted new rules for deer and bear hunting in New York. Rule changes include extending hunting hours and dress code requirements when afield to improve hunter safety.
The adopted changes are
Restore antlerless harvest during the early muzzleloader season in Northern Zone WMUs 6A, 6F, and 6J. The management objective for these units is to maintain a stable population and the deer population in these units has grown aided by a series of mild winters and prior restrictions on antlerless harvest;
Extend the hunting hours for deer and bear to include the full period of ambient light from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. All other states allow deer hunting beginning one-half hour before sunrise or earlier, or specify daylight hours, and 46 of 50 states allow deer hunting until some period (mostly one-half hour) after sunset. This change conforms to the national standard for big game hunting;
Require anyone hunting big game with a firearm, or accompanying someone hunting big game with a firearm, to wear a solid or patterned fluorescent orange or fluorescent pink hat, vest, or jacket. Most two-party hunting-related shooting incidents in New York involve a hunter victim who was not wearing fluorescent orange or pink clothing. Similar fluorescent orange requirements exist in most states;
Simplify bear hunting season in the Adirondack region by extending regular season to cover the entire hunting period;
Establish a nine-day season for antlerless deer in mid-September (Sept. 11 – 19, 2021) using firearms in Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) 3M, 3R, 8A, 8F, 8G, 8J, 8N, 9A and 9F, and using bowhunting equipment in WMUs 1C, 3S, 4J, and 8C. Management objectives in these units are either to decrease the deer population or maintain a stable population, and increased antlerless harvest is needed to achieve these objectives. Objectives are based on public input and assessments of deer impacts to forests. Hunters may only use Deer Management Permits (DMPs) and Deer Management Assistance Permit (DMAP) tags in this season;
Remove outdated language related to deer tag use during the September portion of the early bowhunting season.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is advising waterfowl hunters that hours and sign-in procedures have been updated at two Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) in Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties. At Perch River and Wilson Hill, hunters are now required to sign-in via registration books and hunting is allowed from one half-hour before sunrise until noon. Additional procedures are described below.
Perch River WMA, Jefferson County:
Hunters must sign in at the check station each day of the hunt prior to entering the Wetlands Restricted Area; and
DEC staff will not be available at the check station this season.
Wilson Hill WMA, St. Lawrence County:
Hunters must register at the registration kiosk via the registration book prior to entering the Wetlands Restricted Area;
Hunters are required to sign out and report harvest prior to leaving;
On opening day of the Northeast Zone duck season, hunters may enter the area no earlier than one hour before legal shooting begins; and
After opening day of the Northeast Zone duck season, hunters may enter the area any time after midnight.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced the temporary closure of parts of the North Lake Conservation Easement will begin Sept. 7, to allow the property owners to conduct forest management activities. Owned by Heartwood Forestry Fund IV, the 11,490-acre North Lake Conservation Easement is located northwest of the village of Forestport in Herkimer County. The easement provides public use of the property for recreation while retaining the landowner’s authority to practice forest management, including closing portions of the property during sustainable timber harvesting operations. DEC will announce when the easement reopens fully to public access.
The temporary closure will begin Tuesday, Sept. 7, and continue until early winter. Affected areas begin at the Golden Stair Creek bridge and extend east, just south of Ice Cave Mountain. During this closure, the Loop Road and campsites along the Loop Road will remain open, but areas adjacent to the road and some campsites may be closed. Hunters and hikers will have access to the logging roads that lead off the Loop Road in order to recreate in areas not actively harvested. Users of the campsites and parking areas along the Loop Road should expect to encounter log trucks and other equipment and should exercise caution when driving or using the road. Contact DEC’s Herkimer office at 315-866-6330 with questions. Additional information is available on the DEC website.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently closed Moose Pond Club Road due to unstable bridge conditions over Vanderwhacker Brook. One of the bridge supports is significantly undermined and settling into the stream and one side of the bridge is subsiding, making it unsafe for motor vehicle traffic.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today released the hunting-related shooting incident (HRSI) and tree stand or other elevated incident reports for New York’s 2020 hunting seasons. The reports are consistent with the low incident rates observed in the state over the past two decades.More information, including the 2020 Hunting Safety Statistics and 2020 Tree Stand Safety Statistics, is available on DEC’s website.
DEC documented 22 hunting-related incidents in 2020, including three fatalities. While up slightly from the record-low 12 incidents documented in 2019, the number of incidents in the 2020 season continues the downward trend in HRSIs observed over the past 20 years. Nine of the 22 HRSIs that occurred last year were two-party firearm incidents, and 13 were self-inflicted. The three fatalities recorded in 2020 were self-inflicted and involved experienced hunters. All of these incidents could have been prevented if hunting safety rules had been followed.
Further examination of the nine, two-party firearm incidents in 2020 reveal that seven victims involved were not wearing hunter orange or pink when afield, which along with identifying the target and beyond, are two major principles of DEC’s hunter safety courses. For more information on hunter safety basics, visit DEC’s website.