The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) adopted new regulations to address deer populations in portions of the state with too many or too few deer, DEC Acting Commissioner Marc Gerstman announced today. Additionally, DEC adopted several modifications to its Deer Management Assistance Program designed to ease the application process for landowners while providing greater flexibility for DEC to administer the program.
“Deer are a keystone game species in New York, and responsible management requires periodic adjustment of hunting rules to ensure that deer populations are compatible with local socio-economic interests as well as maintaining a balanced ecosystem,” Acting Commissioner Marc Gerstman said. “DEC considered all public input in developing these regulations, and took into consideration the numerous negative impacts associated with deer overpopulation, including impairments to forest habitat regeneration, increased deer-vehicle collisions and increased incidences of tick-borne diseases.”
To achieve the desired deer population levels, the allowable harvest of antlerless deer is being increased in Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) 1C, 3M, 3S, 4J, 8A, 8C, 8F, 8G, 8H, 8N, 9A, and 9F. These units include all or portions of Suffolk, Orange, Ulster, Sullivan, Westchester, Albany, Niagara, Erie, Wyoming, Orleans, Genesee, Monroe, Livingston, Steuben, Wayne, Ontario, Yates, Seneca and Cayuga counties. In these WMUs, overabundant deer populations are negatively impacting forest regeneration, creating excessive agricultural damage, causing increased deer-vehicle collisions, and increasing damage to landscape plantings. In several of these areas, tick-borne diseases are of greater concern and high deer populations have been linked to increases in ticks and associated tick-borne diseases. There is an urgent need to address over-population of deer in these areas.
Management objectives are not being met in these units despite having a surplus of antlerless deer tags available for hunters. In making the first 15 days of the early bow season and all of the late bow and muzzleloader seasons valid for antlerless deer only in these units, DEC is asking hunters for greater cooperation in meeting the management needs by focusing their hunting effort on antlerless deer during these periods.
Throughout most of New York State, deer population levels can be managed with hunters using deer management permits. However, in these 10 management areas, the effectiveness of the deer management program has been reduced because the number of permits available in these areas exceeds the hunter demand for these permits and management objectives are not being met.
In contrast, the harvest of antlerless deer is being curtailed in WMU 6A to achieve the desired deer population in that unit. WMU 6A includes portions of Jefferson, St. Lawrence, and Franklin counties. In this unit, DEC has not issued Deer Management Permits for antlerless deer since 2011, and the antlerless harvest has only occurred during the early and late bow and muzzleloader seasons.
With the adoption of these new rules, hunters will not be allowed to take any antlerless deer during the early muzzleloader season in this unit until the deer population rebounds. In recent years, about half of the antlerless harvest in this unit has occurred during the early muzzleloader season.
DEC has revised its hunting season maps at dec.ny.gov/outdoor/28605.html to reflect these changes in antlerless harvest rules.
Deer Management Assistance Program Refined
The Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) enables DEC biologists to help landowners and resource managers implement property-specific deer management on their lands. Adopted modifications will improve the program for applicants and DEC.
DMAP application changes
The application deadline will be changed from September 1 to August 1, beginning in 2016.
DMAP permit durations will be extended from one year to three years, while retaining annual reporting requirements for permittees and hunters.
DMAP use changes
DMAP permits will now be allowed to be used during the September portion of the early bow season in the Northern Zone and hunters will now be allowed to use up to four DMAP tags per permit where needed.
The full list of changes to the DMAP rules, including application forms, can be found at: www.dec.ny.gov/animals/33973.html.
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NYDEC: Deer Management Assistance Permits (DMAP) Available for Beaver Meadow State Forest in Chenango CountyBy burmjohn
Hunters Must Apply in Person at DEC Lands and Forest Office in Sherburne.
Under Governor Cuomo's NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Office in Sherburne, NY, will once again have Deer Management Assistance Permits (DMAP) available for use this hunting season on Beaver Meadow State Forest in Chenango County. Individuals with a valid state hunting license are eligible to take advantage of the DMAP program that has been approved for Beaver Meadow. The forest, consisting of approximately 5,816 acres of land in the towns of Smyrna and Otselic in Chenango County, has been part of the DMAP program for the past four years. DMAP tags are valid only for antlerless deer. Last year, 57 antlerless deer were taken under the DMAP program in the county.
DEC foresters have determined that browsing by deer is negatively impacting the state forest beyond what traditional hunting and forest management can address. Tree regeneration, wildflowers and other herbaceous plants have been repeatedly damaged and degraded by persistent overbrowsing by deer.
"By focusing additional hunting in a targeted area for an extended amount of time, the forest will have an opportunity for tree regeneration to grow above the browse height of deer," noted DEC Regional Director Ken Lynch. "This is a great opportunity for hunters to take an additional deer while also helping with forest management."
Hunters may apply in person from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the DEC Lands and Forest Office, 2715 State Highway 80 in Sherburne. DMAP tags are available for use on the forest during both the regular and bow hunting seasons. Tags will be loaned out for two-week periods, determined by an on-going lottery, depending on hunter demand. The DMAP application for Beaver Meadow State Forest is available online. More information about Beaver Meadow State Forest, including a map of the forest, is also available.
Application Link: http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/66900.html
DMAP tags will be used on Beaver Meadow State Forest for a period of time, typically about four to seven years, based on the success of the program. The end result will be healthier forests and better habitat for deer and other flora and fauna that have been missing or greatly reduced in the forest due to over browsing by deer.
In support of the NY Open for Fishing and Hunting 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, the 2014-15 budget includes $4 million to repair the state's fish hatcheries; and renews and allows expanded use of crossbows for hunting in New York State.
For further information, contact the Sherburne Lands and Forests office at 607-674-4017.
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Deer Management Focus Area Open Until January 31, 2014
A special deer hunting season to help control the deer population in and around the city of Ithaca, Tompkins County, will be open until January 31, 2014, State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Regional Director Ken Lynch announced today.
The Deer Management Focus Area (DMFA) program was initiated in 2012 in the Ithaca area to expand the use of hunting to assist local communities burdened with overabundant deer populations. The DMFA encompasses 60,000 acres of land in and around the city of Ithaca, including the city and town of Ithaca, the villages of Cayuga Heights and Lansing, and parts of the towns of Danby, Caroline, Dryden, Lansing, Enfield, Newfield and Ulysses.
During the special January season in the DMFA, registered hunters are authorized to shoot two antlerless deer per day using a shotgun, muzzleloader, handgun, or bow (if they have bowhunting eligibility). Hunters must still comply with all state trespassing laws, as well as all applicable local ordinances governing the discharge of firearms.
To participate, hunters must register with the DMFA program and download a permit, carcass tags and a hunting activity log. Both the DMFA permit and carcass tags must be carried while hunting in the DMFA and are valid only within the DMFA. All DMFA hunters must record their deer hunting activity and harvests on the hunting activity log regardless of their success or hunting activity level, and are required to submit the log form to DEC by February 7. Instructions are provided on the permit and log form.
For additional information about the DMFA, including a map of the DFMA that includes boundaries, a description of available hunting lands, or to register and download a permit, carcass tags and a hunting activity log .
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