Legislation to lower the minimum age of big game hunters to 12 has passed the New York State Senate and is now before the Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee.
The conservative leaning New York State Conservation Council has been leading a push to lower the big game hunting age. The New York State Department of Conservation’s current five-year deer management plan recommends the minimum age for big game hunting with a firearm be lowered to 12. These hunters would be required to be accompanied by a parent or permitted adult. » Continue Reading.
Hunters have been more successful at killing deer around New York State, but less successful at hunting bear in the Northern Region through the first several weeks of big game seasons in 2017 than last year, according to Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
DEC says that early reports from New York hunters through Dec. 3, show approximately 18 percent more deer were killed in the Northern Zone and 14 percent more deer in the Southern Zone compared to the same period in 2016.
Many of us are familiar with the guilt of hitting an animal while driving. The way that its body weight seems to travel through the frame of the car is difficult to forget.
But the fact remains that we have places to be and even a few well-intentioned road signs cannot slow us down. In our ceaseless efforts to connect our world, we don’t always consider the ways that our road network has fragmented the animal habitats it paves over.
The unpleasant task of shoveling the battered carrion from our roadways falls to local highway departments. But what exactly happens to the bodies from there? I reached out to representatives from a few local county highway departments and it turns out their methods vary, but most are taken to landfills or compost bins. Scavengers remove many of these animals before road crews have a chance to clear the roads, a valuable but underappreciated ecosystem service provided by crows, ravens, foxes, and the like.
A study published in the New Zealand Journal of Zoology found that seasonal peaks in road kill for specific species was dependent upon breeding periods and dispersal. Deer and moose are particularly vulnerable to vehicle collisions during their fall mating seasons, according to a representative for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Disseminating information on these predictable changes in animal behavior provides some aid, but the number of incidents remains troubling. This suggests that accommodating for animal behavior could be more effective than attempting to educate human drivers. » Continue Reading.
The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that hunters in New York State killed an estimated 213,061 deer during the 2016-17 hunting seasons, an estimated five percent increase over 2015-16 levels.
The 2016 deer take included 106,055 antlerless deer and 107,006 antlered bucks. According to DEC, this represents a 7.5-percent increase in bucks killed from 2015 statewide, reflecting modest population growth following the losses experienced during the harsh winter of 2014-15. Antlerless harvest was similar to 2015 (a 2.6-percent increase), as managers sought increased antlerless harvests in certain parts of the state and reduced harvests in others. » Continue Reading.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has unveiled new regulations concerning deer and bear hunting.
These regulations increase opportunities for hunters 14 and 15 years old to kill black bears, reduce antler-less kills in the western Adirondacks, clarify when special season tags may be used by bow and muzzleloader hunters, and more.
The new bear hunting regulation now includes the taking of bears in the youth firearms hunt over Columbus Day weekend that was previously a deer-only event. » Continue Reading.
Just about everyone who saw the Walt Disney classic “Bambi” shed a tear, or at least stifled the urge to lacrimate (that’s cry in Scrabble-ese). Even if I had known of the devastating effects deer have on forest regeneration, not to mention crops, landscapes and gardens, it still would have been a trauma for my five-year old self when Bambi’s mother got killed. (Oops—spoiler alert there, sorry.) But how might the movie have ended if they had all lived happily ever after? » Continue Reading.
According to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation deer hunting summary report, hunters killed an estimated 202,973 whitetail deer during the 2015-16 hunting seasons, approximately 15% less than the prior year.
The 2015 deer take included an estimated 103,401 antlerless deer and 99,572 antlered bucks. Statewide, this represents a 20.5% decline in antlerless deer harvest and an 8.3% decline in buck harvest from 2014. Over half of the bucks killed in 2015 were aged 2.5 years and older, continuing a shift towards older bucks in the hunt. » Continue Reading.
Legislation is now pending in the New York State Legislature to lower the minimum age for big game hunting to 12. Assembly bill A8358 sponsored by Aileen Gunther (D,I,WF-Forestburgh) and companion Senate bill S5434 sponsored by Joseph Griffo (R-Rome) are currently pending in their respective houses’ Environmental Conservation Committees.
The New York State Conservation Council (NYSCC), a sportmans and gun rights advocacy group, has been advocating for the change. Currently, the “junior hunter mentoring program” allows youths ages 14 and 15 to hunt big game with a firearm while accompanied and supervised by an adult. » Continue Reading.
“Make me one with everything.” If you had to guess, you’d probably say that was a diner order, or a supplication to the Divine. This winter, I think someone whispered that line in Mother Nature’s ear, because even though it is not yet half over, she has already made us a winter with everything. It’s as if she glanced at her weather playlist and hit the buttons for unseasonable warmth, extreme cold, high winds, rain, sleet, ice, and snow, and then selected the “shuffle” function and walked away.
After each meteorological mood swing I have heard people comment how confused the weather makes them. You plant daffodil bulbs on Christmas, shovel heavy snow the next week, then need crampons a few days later because it rained and then suddenly froze. If you think it’s hard for us humans who can retreat into our posh shelters, imagine how the animals feel. » Continue Reading.
If you’re a hunter who’s ever ordered something from a sporting goods company, it’s probably safe to assume that you’ve been so inundated with catalogs over the past four months. God help you if you save your seed catalogs, too.
If you take a moment to flip through your now complete seasonal collection, you might find yourself wondering why during archery season in October the companies were trying to sell you the latest and greatest camo patterns that would make you invisible to deer, but then, during rifle season in November, the same companies tried to sell you glowing blaze orange suits – but don’t worry, deer can’t see those colors anyway. » Continue Reading.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) are urging motorists to be alert for moose, deer, and other wildlife on the roads.
Fall is the peak time for wildlife activity in northern New York. Additionally, two-thirds of all deer and vehicle collisions occur during October, November, and December, when deer breed and travel the most. » Continue Reading.
Last May, while out hiking, I came across a young fawn curled up in the ferns only three feet from the Appalachian Trail. My husband and our dog had already walked right by without noticing it. I quickly snapped a few photos as the creature lay motionless, its large eyes wide open, a picture of innocence. Then I alerted my husband, we put the dog on a leash, and hurried away. » Continue Reading.
About 238,670 whitetail deer were taken during the 2014-15 hunting seasons, slightly less than the statewide take the previous year, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
“Regulated deer reduces the negative impacts of deer on forests, communities and crop producers while also providing over 10 million pounds of high quality local protein annually,” DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens said in a statement to the press announcing the numbers. » Continue Reading.
The story was in the tracks. Thursday was cold, but sunny – I’d had a hunch that it might be a good day to get off the groomed trails and do some exploring. There were a couple of inches of fresh powder on top of a hard crust that covered probably two feet of snow, and skies as blue as they could be.
I drove up to Santa Clara and parked on route 458 by the gated road and the Pinnacle trail sign. It looked like two people had skied the old logging road the day before. Possibly earlier in the day, someone post-holing, walked in with a large dog. That person eventually put on snowshoes and continued to trudge in on top of the ski track. I just skied up onto the crust however, and glided along – probably the smoothest, easiest skiing I’d done all year. The person with the dog didn’t make it very far and turned around. Good – now I could start watching for wild animal tracks in the fresh snow. » Continue Reading.
Intense cold is hard on all forms of wildlife, however, some of nature’s creatures are better adapted to deal with this type of adversity than others. Those animals whose geographic range extends well northward into Canada and Alaska have evolved various strategies to cope with prolonged bouts of sub-arctic weather and are quite capable of surviving the unrelenting cold that the Adirondacks has experienced this winter.
Conversely, some components of the Park’s fauna are on the northern fringe of their range and are better suited for functioning in a temperate region, such as southern New York and the mid-Atlantic States. These creatures are probably not faring well this season. » Continue Reading.
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