Monday, September 16, 2019

Small Game Hunting Seasons Opening In The Adirondack Park

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that several small game hunting seasons will open on October 1st across New York State.

Several special youth-only hunting seasons for pheasants and waterfowl occur prior to the start of the regular season, and youth hunting programs are scheduled in DEC’s Region 6, which includes portions of the Adirondack Park.

Waterfowl Hunting and Youth Waterfowl Days

Hunting seasons for waterfowl (ducks, geese, and brant) begin in early October in many parts of the state. In addition, there are special opportunities for junior hunters (ages 12 to 15) prior to the regular season. Junior hunters must be accompanied by a licensed adult hunter, and both the junior hunter and adult must be registered with the Harvest Information Program (HIP). Adult hunters must also have a federal migratory bird stamp. This fall’s youth waterfowl days are Sept. 21 and 22 in the Northeast and Southeast zones; and Sept. 28 and 29 in the Lake Champlain Zone.

Ruffed Grouse Hunting

Ruffed grouse hunting season runs from Oct. 1 through the last day of February in most areas of the state. In northern New York, the season opens on Sept. 20, and runs through the last day of February.

Ruffed grouse hunters in the Northern Zone are reminded to positively identify quarry before shooting. The Northern Zone, specifically Wildlife Management Units 5C, 5F, 6F, and 6J, is also home to the spruce grouse, a state-endangered species that is not legal to hunt. Loss of a single spruce grouse, particularly a female spruce grouse, could be a significant setback for a small local population.

Spruce grouse exist in lowland conifer forests in the Adirondacks. Although ruffed grouse occur in upland hardwoods statewide, during the fall and winter, ruffed grouse may be found in spruce grouse habitat. Small game hunters in the Adirondack region must be able to distinguish between these species so that spruce grouse are not shot by mistake. For tips on how to discern the two species, view the Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide or the ruffed Grouse Hunting Information page on DEC’s website.

DEC encourages ruffed grouse hunters to submit feathers from harvested birds in order to assess recruitment (number of young produced per adult female grouse) for different parts of the state. Interested hunters should visit the DEC website.

Pheasant Hunting

Approximately 30,000 adult pheasants will be released on lands open to public hunting for the upcoming fall pheasant hunting season. The pheasant hunting season begins Oct. 1 in northern and eastern portions of New York.

Since 2007, DEC has offered a special youth-only season to provide junior hunters the opportunity to hunt pheasants during the weekend prior to the regular pheasant hunting season. In northern and eastern New York, the youth pheasant hunt weekend is Sept. 28 and 29. Both the junior hunter and their adult mentor must have a hunting license. Only the junior hunter is allowed to carry a firearm and kill birds on these dates.

All release sites for pheasants provided by state-funded programs are open to public hunting. Pheasants will be released on state-owned lands prior to and during the fall hunting season. Pheasant hunting opportunities are also augmented by private landowners who have opened their land to public hunting. A list of statewide pheasant release sites and sites receiving birds for the youth-only pheasant hunt weekends can be found on DEC’s website.

Squirrel, Rabbit, and Hare Hunting

Opportunities to hunt squirrels and rabbits can be found throughout the state, including on many public lands. Squirrel seasons started Sept. 1 in upstate New York. Rabbit hunting begins on Oct. 1 in upstate New York. Snowshoe hare (or varying hare) season starts Oct. 1 in the Northern Zone.

Wild Turkey Hunting

Several years ago, DEC updated the fall turkey hunting season structure in response to declines in turkey populations. The cold, wet spring weather New York experienced this year may have contributed to reduced recruitment of young birds. With that in mind, hunters are expected to see fewer birds this fall than in recent years and may have to work harder to locate a flock.Season dates for fall 2019 in the Northern Zone are Oct. 1 – 14.  The statewide, season bag limit is one bird of either sex. Hunting hours are sunrise to sunset.

Season dates, bag limits, and other hunting regulations for New York’s suite of small game species can be found in the Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide, which can be obtained from a license-issuing agent and on DEC’s website.  For more information and important hunting safety tips, visit DEC’s website and watch videos about hunter safety and tree stand safety.

Photo of small game hunter provided.

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15 Responses

  1. Sandor says:

    Like the rest of NYS there is no real small game hun ting season unless you live in a development/city limits or a park.Bird feeders provide more food than farms.Our current GOV. could care less.The last time ADKS had enough small game was when logging was respected. When was last time NYS put money into small game hunting??Any small game hunting is done on private property or posted farms.Dont expect to small game hunt anywhere in the ADKS and be successful.

    • Boreas says:

      Respected or not, most logging operations I have seen over my lifetime were posted. Wildlife Management Areas near me have been clearcutting plots to encourage browse, which is supposed to work. Have the ADKs ever been renowned for small game?

      When I was growing up in PA, part of my summer was spent ingratiating myself to nearby farmers and landowners in order to hunt there in the fall and winter. Nearby state and federal gamelands had game but were crowded. Becoming friends with landowners is very effective, and it enables young hunters to get an appreciation for private lands and their management. I doubt this is done much these days.

      • John Warren says:

        Sandor lets his politics get in the way of common sense. I was a small game hunter myself for many years. The Adirondacks has never been a small game haven. The reasons should be obvious to anyone who knows small game and they are entirely natural.

        It sounds like Sandor is one of our class of citizens who wants everything handed to them. Someday, I’m guessing in 20 or 30 years, the generation responsible for these nonsense claims about the need to clear the land to make their sports adventures easier will be gone. Until then, they should get off their duffs and hunt the old fashioned way – with hard work.

        • Balian the Cat says:

          I think it very possible that future demographers rename the Baby Boomers as Generation Entitlement.

        • Boreas says:

          I don’t know if it is generational or what – but I believe it does have a lot to do with how we were exposed to hunting when young. I started accompanying my father (who grew up on a small subsistence farm during the depression) on some small game hunts when I was around 6. It was mostly sitting around and talking and listening to the dogs. We hunted farm and forest lands of neighbors that we knew. Often, if dad got anything, we stopped and offered it to the landowner. In most cases, we were hunting animals that the farmers considered crop pests or damaged their fields. But what I learned in those early years was that in order to hunt, it required a positive relationship with private landowners, not the government.

          Today many productive private lands are posted, but that simply means no trespassing/hunting/fishing without permission. It means the landowners may not want anyone on their land, or it may mean they just want to know WHO is on their land and when. This is essentially permitting, which seems to be a dirty word these days. Yes, it can be a PITA to try to track down the landowner or caretaker and get permission, but if successful you will often be rewarded by being one of the few people who have access to those private lands. This isn’t the case with public land. You get what you get along with everyone else. Bottom line is if hunting is indeed becoming less popular over time, public lands will be managed less for hunting in the future. Same for fishing, hiking, or any activity that may lose popularity over time. Not much we can do about that.

          • Suzanne says:

            I, too, hunted as a kid with my Father, and as you say, we mostly sat on the old stone wall in our woods, talking or just breathing in the Autumn air and watching the birds. We hunted on our own property, and had it posted. Friends and neighbours were welcome to hunt there as long as they let us know when and where (so they wouldn’t shoot me or my horse and dogs), but trespassers without permission were booted out unceremoniously. Responsible hunters, and there are many, always ask permission.

    • joeadirondack says:

      Not true at all. Plenty of hare grouse and Woodcock all over the park. I hunt every year from October till March and I’m very successful. ( all on system land ).

  2. Sandor says:

    You are talkers..my left toe has covered more ground than all of you put together.Schroon,Raquette,Newcomb. Talking makes me thirsty and hungry..now I will take 2 chickens.

  3. Sandor says:

    Start logging…bring back native Elk and ban snowmobiles…ps …don’t ever mention adk SMALL game hunting in the adks ever again!

  4. Sandor says:

    Lol…love this forum…I like the tag team…😘

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