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Long Island 1C - Weekend Reservation System Rant

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I have a little rant about the weekend/holiday reservation system on Long Island (1C). As someone who is able to hunt some weekdays, I now fully understand why I don’t hunt weekends. The reservation system makes no sense.

 

I called last Saturday to make a big game hunting reservation for today - I was the 3rd big game caller. I was under the impression that I would arrive at the check station this AM, park in the numbered spot, and be able to be the 3rd big game hunter to pick a spot - I could not have been more wrong.

 

Upon arriving at the check station there was about 20-30 trucks already parked and waiting (check station opens 45mins before sunrise for big game hunters; 15mins for small game; this is a whole other argument I’ll skip for now). My number 3 spot was taken. Then I look up at the check-in window and there’s already a line of hunters. So, I did not end up being the 3rd big game hunter to pick a spot. What’s the point of calling to secure a numbered spot if it’s just first come first serve in the AM?

 

My suggestion is they change this to the same procedure as the early out used for non-reservation days. Call the day before, secure your spot you want, pick up the parking pass that night, and be able to drive straight to your spot in the morning. Would make like much easier for both hunters and the check station.

 

Sorry, rant over. Thanks for reading!

 

 

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I agree with you 100% with all the technology  today no one should be standing in line to get out after sunrise to hunt.

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The issue is DEC non enforcement of their own rules at the check station.

Been hunting there close to 30 years.  It used to be much much worse.  They used to lock the entrance gate and vehicles would line up down the road waiting for the check station to open.   When they unlocked the gate and you pulled in you would find the sign in list would already be half full, as it was put out the night before.  Certain people knew about a hole in the fence and would walk in and sign the list while everyone waited in line outside.

Weekends used to be reservation only or you could go on an alternate reservation list.  People hunting a particular spot (deer) during the week would reserve that spot for the weekend to prevent others hunting it.  Others would call to be on the alternate list on the 1 in 1M chance they might hunt. I showed up on a saturday afternoon, no reservation and no alternate reservation.  I drove the property and more than half the spots were empty.  I was told I could not go out. I had a conversation with DEC office regarding this years ago and explained what was going on and this was not facilitating hunting which is their goal.   Interesting that the next year the rule changed and on weekends anyone could go out after 12:00, no alternate reservation list, providing there were spots open.

Pretty much hardly hunt there anymore.  Too much of a hassle and no where near as good as it used to be.

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The issue is DEC non enforcement of their own rules at the check station.
Been hunting there close to 30 years.  It used to be much much worse.  They used to lock the entrance gate and vehicles would line up down the road waiting for the check station to open.   When they unlocked the gate and you pulled in you would find the sign in list would already be half full, as it was put out the night before.  Certain people knew about a hole in the fence and would walk in and sign the list while everyone waited in line outside.
Weekends used to be reservation only or you could go on an alternate reservation list.  People hunting a particular spot (deer) during the week would reserve that spot for the weekend to prevent others hunting it.  Others would call to be on the alternate list on the 1 in 1M chance they might hunt. I showed up on a saturday afternoon, no reservation and no alternate reservation.  I drove the property and more than half the spots were empty.  I was told I could not go out. I had a conversation with DEC office regarding this years ago and explained what was going on and this was not facilitating hunting which is their goal.   Interesting that the next year the rule changed and on weekends anyone could go out after 12:00, no alternate reservation list, providing there were spots open.
Pretty much hardly hunt there anymore.  Too much of a hassle and no where near as good as it used to be.

You can go out on stand-by after 8am now without a reservation. Also, after 8am you can go to whichever spot you want - don’t have to go to the spot in the pass they give you. So, not really sure what the point of the reservation system is if I can just go wherever after a certain time. Can’t wrap my head around it.


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I find a lot of the staff to be useless there too. I call at 11:59 multiple times into 12:00 with no answer and no breaks in me calling, but somehow someone was able to get the early out reservation before me. I think they screen calls for people they know or something like that. Happened to me multiple times by the same guy each time

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This place sounds a whole lot worse then Stewart.  DEC Check station was taken down some years back. 

   You wait in the car/truck line and at 1 hour before Sunrise- everyone races in. 1 Vehicle to a hunter Parking area only!

   I have parked at 2.30am to be near the front of the line only to see 15 minutes later-- a hunter drive past the line and drive into the Forest to wait at the hunter Parking area that he will make sure he gets. 

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