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Latest News

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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NY DEC: Hunting Or Trapping Of Wild Boars In Ne...

Apr 28 2014 11:13 AM | burmjohn in New York Hunting News

A new regulation that prohibits hunting or trapping of free-ranging Eurasian boars in New York State was formally adopted state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens announced today. The regulation is designed to ensure maximum effectiveness of DEC’s statewide eradication efforts.

“Enacting a statewide regulation was important to support DEC’s ongoing work to remove this invasive species from the state and to ensure that it does not become established in the wild anywhere in New York,” said Commissioner Martens. “Eurasian boars are a great threat to natural resources, agricultural interests, and private property and public safety wherever they occur and DEC will continue to work to protect these resources and remove wild boars from the state.”

Eurasian boars were brought to North America centuries ago and wild populations numbering in the millions are now present across much of the southern U.S. In recent years, wild boar populations have been appearing in more northern states too, often as a result of escapes from enclosed shooting facilities that offer “wild boar hunts.”

Governor Cuomo signed legislation on October 21, 2013, which immediately prohibited the importation, breeding or introduction to the wild of any Eurasian boars. Furthermore, the law prohibits possession, sale, transport or marketing of live Eurasian boars as of September 1, 2015. The new law was an essential step in the state’s efforts to prevent Eurasian boars from becoming established in the wild.

However, there are already small numbers of Eurasian boars on the landscape in New York. Since 2000, wild boars have been reported in many counties across the state, and breeding in the wild has been confirmed in at least six counties (Tioga, Cortland, Onondaga, Clinton, Sullivan and Delaware) in recent years. DEC is working closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services program to remove any Eurasian boars that are reported in New York. To date, more than 150 animals have been captured and destroyed. However, eradication is expensive, time consuming and requires a great deal of manpower.
“Hunters have offered to assist our efforts by hunting for boars wherever they occur, but experience has shown this to be counter-productive,” Martens said. “As long as swine may be pursued by hunters, there is a potential conflict with our eradication efforts. Eurasian boars often join together to form a ‘sounder,’ the name for a group of pigs that can number 20 or more individuals. Shooting individual boars as opportunities arise is ineffective as an eradication method often causes the remaining animals to disperse and be more difficult to remove.”

Hunters pursuing wild boars in locations where baited traps have been established by DEC or USDA can also undermine these c...

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