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  1. I have hunted private property for the most part for the last 35 years. Most of that land is bordered by large tracts of state forest. Last year I purchased a small wood lot that also borders state forests. Over the past several years I have noticed a decline of hunters utilizing these state lands. Where once you could count on "the state boys" to move the deer, now the hunting pressure is all but nil. This past opening day there was so little shooting from the state lands and surround hills, one would think the season was yet to open. The DEC decided many years ago to change the opener of deer to a Saturday from Monday. This was done, "they say" to involve the younger hunters. Back in the day, I was allowed to take Monday off from school due to buck fever. Most rural schools overlooked this and turned a blind eye. So...My question is, and only for Region 8 now.... What has happened over the past 10 or so years to reduce the amount of hunters using state lands? How many of you out there use state lands (and which ones) as their primary hunting grounds? Those of you that forgo hunting state lands and begging onto private lands, why? What is wrong with hunting state lands? (I know that is more than one question) I'm interested in this little survey to see if there is anything the state is or is not doing to promote a healthy herd and better experience for hunters. Have a safe and happy holiday season all, Tim