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Latest News



NY DEC Adopts Bear Hunting Season Changes for F...

Jul 28 2014 11:29 AM | burmjohn in NY DEC News

Black bear hunting opportunities have expanded this year as a result of regulation changes adopted by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Commissioner Joe Martens announced today.

“Under Governor Cuomo’s NY Open for Fishing and Hunting initiative, New York is working to increase hunting opportunities for sportsmen and sportswomen,” Commissioner Martens said. “With these changes, DEC is implementing strategies of the recently adopted Black Bear Management Plan.”

More importantly, DEC deemed the changes necessary to limit population growth and range expansion by black bears in New York. Bears are a tremendous resource in New York, but they can have negative impacts too, through damage to camps, crops, homes and other property. In extreme cases they are a serious threat to public safety. DEC’s bear plan fosters a comprehensive approach to reduce negative black bear impacts by increasing public awareness of its role in preventing human-bear conflicts, addressing individual incidents of bear damage and reducing bear populations where necessary.
The adopted season changes are as follows:
  • establish bear hunting seasons in all of upstate New York (all counties north of New York City);
  • create a special early firearms season (Sept. 6 – Sept. 21) for bears in specific Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) in the Catskills and western Hudson Valley region; and
  • provide a uniform start date (Sept. 13) for bowhunting and early firearms bear season in the Northern Zone.
After careful consideration of public comments received on the draft bear plan last winter and on the proposed regulations this summer, DEC adopted the hunting season changes in accordance with the final Black Bear Management Plan. The purpose of the changes is to maintain bear population levels that are acceptable to the public while providing sustainable opportunity for New York’s big game hunters.

The NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative is an effort to improve recreational opportunities for sportsmen and women and to boost tourism activities throughout the state. This initiative includes streamlining fishing and hunting licenses, reducing license fees, improving access for fishing and increasing hunting opportunities in New York State.
In support of this initiative, this year’s budget includes $6 million in NY Works funding to support creating 50 new land and water access projects to connect hunters, anglers, bird watchers and others who enjoy the outdoors to more than 380,000 acres of existing state and easement lands that have not reached their full potential. These 50 new access projects include building new boat launches, installing new hunting blinds and building new trails and parking areas. In addition,...

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NY DEC Announces Proposed Rule Changes To Imple...

Jun 24 2014 12:37 PM | burmjohn in NY DEC News

With new state legislation authorizing the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to allow taking of big game (deer and bear) or small game by the use of a crossbow at certain times and places in New York, DEC is now accepting public comment on proposed regulation changes so crossbows may be a legal implement for the fall 2014 hunting seasons. DEC will accept written public comment on the proposed hunting rule changes through July 21, 2014.
“Crossbow hunting is growing across the country and Governor Cuomo’s commitment to increase hunting opportunities here in New York State is demonstrated by the signing of the new law to authorize the use of crossbows for hunting under certain circumstances,” said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens.
Specifically, the law changes authorize DEC to:
  • Allow the take of deer and bear by the use of a crossbow during a limited portion of the early bowhunting seasons (14 days at the end of the existing bowhunting season in the Southern Zone, and 10 days in the Northern Zone) and during any big game hunting season in which use of a firearm (shotgun, rifle or muzzleloader) is allowed, except for the Youth Deer Hunting weekend and the January firearms deer season on Long Island.
  • Allow the take of small game mammals, wild turkey and other upland game birds by the use of a crossbow during their respective hunting seasons.
DEC’s proposed rule changes also clarify the technical descriptions of a legal crossbow and the license privilege and training requirements for any person hunting with a crossbow, as specified in legislation. The new law prohibits all hunting with crossbows in Suffolk, Nassau and Westchester counties or in the archery-only portions of Albany and Monroe counties, and DEC’s proposed rule reflects these restrictions.

Details of the proposed rule can be viewed in the June 4, 2014 publication of the New York State Register and on DEC’s website at www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/34113.html#Part1Part2p. For a general summary of the law, see DEC’s information on crossbow hunting at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/68802.html. DEC’s position on crossbow use for deer hunting is provided in Appendix 5 of the NYS Deer Management Plan (www.dec.ny.gov/docs/wildlife_pdf/deerplan2012.pdf).

Governor Cuomo signed the changes to Environmental Conservation Law in April, 2014. DEC’s proposal maximizes the use of crossbows allowed under law’s provisions.

Citizens who wish...

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NY DEC: DEC Adopts Black Bear Management Plan

May 22 2014 10:34 AM | burmjohn in New York Hunting News

Under Governor Cuomo’s NY Open for Fishing and Hunting initiative, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) adopted a ten-year black bear management plan, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens announced today. The plan outlines the principles and methods used to monitor and manage black bear populations in New York and provides strategic guidance for the DEC’s activities. The plan includes several proposed hunting rule changes.
“After careful consideration of thousands of public comments, the strategies outlined in the Black Bear Management Plan seek to achieve and maintain bear population levels that are acceptable to the public while providing sustainable opportunity for New York’s big game hunters,” Commissioner Joe Martens said. “The plan also addresses public partnerships to reduce human-bear conflicts.”
The final Black Bear Management Plan for New York State, 2014-2024 is available at www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7215.html. Key elements of the final plan include the scientific monitoring of bear populations; continued use of stakeholders to assess bear impacts and identify population trend objectives; recommendations to expand areas open to bear hunting throughout upstate New York and to increase hunting opportunities in portions of southeastern New York. The plan emphasizes DEC’s integrated approach to reduce negative black bear impacts by increasing public awareness of its role in preventing human-bear conflicts, by addressing individual incidents of bear damage, and by reducing bear populations where necessary.
Public comments on the draft bear plan were carefully reviewed by DEC, and a summary and assessment of the public comment is also available at www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7215.html. Based on the input received, DEC made several revisions to the plan, including:
  • adding more detail about the extensive public interaction that was used to develop the plan and opportunities for future public input about bear impacts and objectives;
  • reiterating emphasis on public education and outreach as one part of an integrated approach to reduce human-bear conflicts;
  • describing DEC’s collaboration with professional bear managers and researchers from other jurisdictions; and
  • clarifying that DEC plans to assess the tradeoffs and implications of use of dogs, bait or live capture cable-restraints for taking bears, though none of these measures are currently being proposed for use in New York at this time.
To begin implementing the new bear plan, DEC proposed rule changes that would establish bear hunting seasons in all of upstat...

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NY DEC Announces First State Record Fish for 20...

May 20 2014 03:24 PM | burmjohn in NY DEC News

Wow, look at the size of this guy taken out of the Hudson River in Orange county.

View attachment: staterecordstriper.jpg

The record for catching the largest inland Striped Bass in New York state was recently broken, state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens announced today. Eric Lester of Campbell Hall caught a 60 pound female striped bass measuring 53.4 inches in length and 33 inches in girth from Hudson River in Newburgh, Orange County on May 14. The new record surpassed the former record of 55 pounds 6 ounces, set in 2007, by four pounds ten ounces.

“This is a remarkable new record catch,” said Commissioner Martens. “I congratulate Mr. Lester on his success and determination in catching the largest recorded inland Striped Bass in New York and encourage others to take advantage of the many outstanding fishing opportunities New York has to offer.”
Angler Eric Lester knew he had a big fish on when a comedy of errors ensued as he fished alone on Newburgh Bay on May 14, 2014. As the fish fought, the reel came off his rod; he managed a quick fix only to find the line tangled around his prop. Despite these difficulties, he was able to successfully land the fish. Mr. Lester, while astounded at the size of the fish, managed to get her on board. DEC biologists estimated the fish to be at least 20 years old.

Mr. Lester submitted details of his winning fish as part of DEC’s Angler Achievement Awards Program, which tracks state record fish. Through this program, anglers can enter freshwater fish that meet specific qualifying criteria and receive official recognition of their catch and a distinctive lapel pin commemorating their achievement. The three categories that make up the program are: Catch & Release, Annual Award and State Record.


Although this is a once in a lifetime achievement occurred on the Hudson River, New York, as a member of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, is participating in drafting a new coast –wide striped bass management plan addendum. The draft addendum, expected to be released later this summer, will propose regulatory changes to address increases in fishing mortality and decline in the female spawners in coastal populations of striped bass. New York strongly advocates managing our fisheries to result in sustainable harvests for future generations of anglers.

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NY DEC: New York State Fish & Wildlife Andr...

May 19 2014 12:48 PM | burmjohn in New York Hunting News

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the launch of a free mobile application that provides up-to-date information on fishing, hunting, wildlife watching and other outdoor adventure opportunities in New York State. The new app follows last week’s 2014 New York State Tourism Summit and the kick-off of the summer travel season and celebrating outdoor recreation opportunities throughout the state.

“New York State is home to a vast array of fishing, hunting and outdoor recreation locations, providing unmatched opportunities to enjoy the outdoors while supporting local economies statewide," Governor Cuomo said. "Tourism is a major industry in New York State, and drawing more visitors to our Upstate communities to enjoy the outdoors means new jobs and revenue for local communities. This user-friendly app will build on our efforts to help connect New Yorkers and visitors to opportunities to enjoy our world-class fishing, wildlife and outdoor recreation resources."

DEC Commissioner Martens said, “This app is just the latest development in Governor Cuomo’s continuing efforts to enhance tourism and promote New York state as a premier destination for fishing, hunting and outdoor recreation. These efforts draw more people to enjoy New York’s incredible outdoor assets and for residents to truly explore all regions of the state.”

The application is called the “New York Fish & Wildlife” app and is part of Governor Cuomo’s NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative. DEC developed the app in partnership with Parks By Nature Network® at no cost to the State. The New York Fish & Wildlife App is available for free download in the iTunes App Store and the Android Market for use on iPhone and Android devices.

ParksByNature Network, LLC (PBN) developed the technology Pocket Ranger®, a smartphone outdoor mobile guide application as a resource for state park systems and fish and wildlife agencies across the country. The app provides advanced GPS mapping features as well as many other features to maximize any outdoor adventure, including detailed species information, news, advisories and weather alerts, social networking and photo sharing, and cache-able map tiles for offline use.

Brett Melillo, Parks By Nature co-founder and program coordinator, said, “The Pocket Ranger Fish and Wildlife App will encourage a new generation of users to explore and discover all that New York has to offer for outdoor recreation. This public-private partnership has provided a robust mobile app that will enhance the outdoor experiences and raise awareness, interest and participation in New York’s outdoor resources.”

This app gives both novice and seasoned outdoorsmen and women essential information in the palm of their hand. Powered by Pocket Ranger® technology, using the app’s advanced GPS features, users will be a...

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