New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced 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.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that hunter education courses will be resuming their in-person format on April 1. The DEC will also continue to offer online hunter education courses.
In-person courses will be free and are taught by volunteer Hunter Education Program instructors. You may take a class in hunting, bowhunting, trapping, and waterfowl education. Registration is required for both online and in-person courses, and the in-person courses require mandatory homework which must be completed prior to the course.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced that applications for the DEC’s cooperative Day-Old Pheasant Chick Program are now available until March 25. This program, provided through the DEC’s partnership with hunters, 4-H youth, and interested landowners. enables people to raise and release pheasants in order to enhance the state’s fall hunting opportunities.
The program began in the early 1900’s, when the State Conservation Department, the precursor of the DEC, gave out pheasant eggs and pheasant chicks to farmers and the rural youth. This tradition extends into modern times, and day old chicks are available for free to applicants that can provide a brooding facility, a covered outdoor rearing pen, and an adequate release site. Approved applicants will receive the chicks in April, May, or June.
The NYS DEC is calling for hunters and trappers to submit photos and essays about what motivates them to trek out into the wilderness and practice what they love. Whether it be a family tradition, a connection to nature, or just to feed your family, the DEC is asking for the people of New York to share their stories so that they may encourage others to get outside and do the same. The winners of the contest will appear in the 2021-2022 New York Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide, which has over half a million readers.
Essays should be non-fiction, original material told from a first-person perspective, of 50 to 500 words in length. The contest has a limit of one entry per person with a maximum of two photos per entry. Photos must be taken in New York State.
The DEC encourages every hunter and outdoor recreationalist to wear blaze orange, or fluorescent pink. These vibrant colors are used to prevent another hunter mistaking you for wildlife and accidentally shooting at you.
Hunters who wear orange or pink are 7 times less likely to be shot. New York State law requires armed deer and bear hunters aged 14 and 15, along with their mentors, to wear a fluorescent hunter orange or pink. The vibrant colors must be visible from all directions. A shirt, jacket, or vest must have at least 250 square inches of solid or patterned fluorescence. You may instead opt to wear a hat with a least 50 percent orange or pink
The DEC reported record-breaking sales of hunting and trapping licenses for upcoming seasons, nearly tripling prior years’ sales on opening day for big game hunting and trapping licenses, as well as Deer Management Permits. More then double were sold on the second day, and close to double on the following first two weeks.
The DEC has reopened in-person Hunter Education Courses, including Bowhunter Education, and Trapper Education courses, granted they will be following strict social distancing guidelines along with other precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19. The DEC turned the Hunter Ed program into an online certification course once Covid-19 began, which resulted in a dramatic 105-percent increase in participants completing the course compared to their traditional in-person courses offered the previous year.
Small game hunting season starts Oct. 1 across New York State. Special youth hunts and new opportunities for active-duty military members and veterans are also available this hunting season.
There are several youth-only hunting seasons for pheasants and waterfowl prior to the start of the regular season. Dates, bag limits, and other regulations for small game can be viewed in the Hunting and Trapping Regulations guide, which can be obtained from a license-issuing agent or on the DEC’s website.
Hunting seasons for ducks, geese, and brant (waterfowl) begin early October in several parts of New York State, but young hunters can get the jump on the season opener with the following youth waterfowl days and locations:
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) are offering youth ages 12 through 15 an opportunity to hunt waterfowl with an ECO this fall, with events scheduled in Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties.
St. Lawrence County hunt
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) of St. Lawrence County are partnering with the Massena Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) and the DEC Wildlife staff at the Wilson Hill Wildlife Management Area to offer youth between the ages of 12 and 15 the opportunity to hunt waterfowl and pheasant this coming fall. This opportunity consists of a three-day event beginning with an in-class lesson at the Massena Rod and Gun Club on Thursday, Sept. 10, which will prepare the youth to spend the next two Saturdays hunting.
The DEC has announced that exams for those looking to become wildlife rehabilitators, practice falconry, or use leashed tracking dogs to locate wounded or injured big game animals will be held on Aug. 14 with a registration deadline of July 24.
In region 5, the exams will be held at DEC offices in Ray Brook and Warrensburg, with two exam times offered: 10 am – noon and 2-4 p.m.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced their new DEC Automated Licensing System (DECALS).
DECALS is an overwork of the previous licensing system designed to incorporate more user-friendly information to help users locate vendors, receive instant copies of a license, and enter and view harvest information and more.
As the system progresses and new features are added and updated, DECALS will include events calendars with upcoming season dates including youth hunts, clinics, and free fishing days. Full integration with the DEC’s Hunter Education Program which would make it easier to register for courses and automatically update certifications, and auto-renewal options for all annual licenses.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announces the start of spring turkey hunting season on May 1. This applies to all Upstate New York, north of the Bronx-Westchester county line.
Remember this season to follow the DEC’s safety tips in order to prevent injury and the spread of COVID – 19. The DEC’s annual youth turkey hunting weekend, for junior hunters aged 12 to 15, will take place as well this season on April 25-26.
During the 2019 spring season, Turkey hunters took around 17,000 birds. Spring harvest success is measured relative to two years prior, as hunters focus primarily on “gobblers” (2-year-old birds). The 2019 breeding season started off slow due to inclement weather, but conditions in summer of 2018, as well as good over winter survival due to abundant food in the fall has contributed to a population gain that may offset the slow start to 2019’s breeding season.
The Department of Environmental Conservation tested 2,658 harvested deer across New York State for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in the animals harvested by hunters in the 2019 season. No evidence of CWD was found. “Preventing the introduction of CWD into New York is a high priority for DEC to ensure the health of our deer herd and to protect the recreational and viewing opportunities deer provide,” State DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said in a press release.
New York hunters harvested an estimated 224,190 deer during the 2019-20 hunting season. That’s according to Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos , who stated in a press release that “regulated hunting benefits all New Yorkers by reducing the negative impacts of deer on forests, communities, and crop producers, while also providing more than 10 million pounds of high quality, local protein to families and food pantries around the state every year.”
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