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Long Island 1C - Weekend Reservation System Rant


Spear
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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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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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  • 4 weeks later...
On 11/21/2020 at 8:15 AM, Spear said:

 

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!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

You should look into the state property that is just south of the LIE. All you need is your land access permit and no reservations, that includes weekends. There’s a lot of room to roam around in there also as it’s a vast piece of state land

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On 11/22/2020 at 11:46 AM, blackbeltbill said:

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. 

I can tell you how bad it is and especially that you’re a bird hunter. The check station here releases birds 3 times a week. Once on any given weekday then Saturday and Sunday. The workers at the check station put a few phone calls out to some people, which I happen to know a few, and tell them they stocked tonight. Then the network of guys make there calls and they literally sleep there at night and getting all the “stocked” spots as they only stock spots with fields. I’ve been on the other end of some of these phone calls but can’t go because they give me a hard time thinking I’m guiding on state land. There’s other guys that will literally go the check station every day around 5 and if the stocking truck is gone they now know they’re out stocking. It’s really a shame and not fair to the working guy who decides to take a day off to go hunt. And when they stock they will literally put the birds in the same brush piles time and time again if they’re not in a rush. 

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I guess I'll give you guys credit to put up with all this nonsense just so you could hunt these places.  I sure wouldn't even if they paid me.  Hunting isn't supposed to be this complicated.  I'll put up with crowds of people trying to cut ahead of the line at Walmart, but surely not in the hunting fields.

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3 hours ago, bruno1 said:

Then the network of guys make there calls and they literally sleep there at night and getting all the “stocked” spots as they only stock spots with fields. 

Are you saying they sleep at the parking spot or check-in station? Either way, they should be receiving tickets from DEC LEO. You're only allowed to park in a parking spot 2 hours before sunrise, which is impossible with the check-in system as small game hunters are let out 15mins before sunrise.

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On 11/21/2020 at 8:15 AM, Spear said:

 

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!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

It's a zoo there sometimes. I do weekdays only

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6 hours ago, Spear said:

Are you saying they sleep at the parking spot or check-in station? Either way, they should be receiving tickets from DEC LEO. You're only allowed to park in a parking spot 2 hours before sunrise, which is impossible with the check-in system as small game hunters are let out 15mins before sunrise.

They sleep at the check in station in appropriate parking spots. These guys and gals will bbq, drink and tell stories all night long. Some even have slide on campers on their trucks and sleep in style. It’s definitely not illegal what they’re doing but to me it’s a bit immoral. Best is when an outsider beats them at their own game, boy do they get butt hurt

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On 12/20/2020 at 4:26 PM, bruno1 said:

They sleep at the check in station in appropriate parking spots. These guys and gals will bbq, drink and tell stories all night long. Some even have slide on campers on their trucks and sleep in style. It’s definitely not illegal what they’re doing but to me it’s a bit immoral. Best is when an outsider beats them at their own game, boy do they get butt hurt

Wow, how is that allowed? I had no idea you can sleep at the check-in station. Learn something new everyday.

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  • 11 months later...
On 12/20/2020 at 6:09 AM, bruno1 said:

You should look into the state property that is just south of the LIE. All you need is your land access permit and no reservations, that includes weekends. There’s a lot of room to roam around in there also as it’s a vast piece of state land

I thought the spots south of the LIE up to the shooting range are part of the Ridge Check Station reservation system .

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@bruno1 I know it’s late in the season but what is the best way to hunt pheasant on the state lands? Seems like the reservation call in system for weekends is pointless if it’s first come first serve to sign up on the list. I live 50 minutes from the check station so it’s not really that easy for me. I don’t have a dog but do have a couple buddies I can hunt with where we can walk the fields hopping to kick a bird up. From what it sounds like when they stock on the weekends that is the best chance at a bird since the one time they stock on a weekday is random. Are there birds still leftover if I were to get a parking spot on standby after a hunter in the morning goes out?

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46 minutes ago, LICOASTIE said:

@bruno1 I know it’s late in the season but what is the best way to hunt pheasant on the state lands? Seems like the reservation call in system for weekends is pointless if it’s first come first serve to sign up on the list. I live 50 minutes from the check station so it’s not really that easy for me. I don’t have a dog but do have a couple buddies I can hunt with where we can walk the fields hopping to kick a bird up. From what it sounds like when they stock on the weekends that is the best chance at a bird since the one time they stock on a weekday is random. Are there birds still leftover if I were to get a parking spot on standby after a hunter in the morning goes out?

Season is over this Friday so if you can get out I would

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On 12/29/2021 at 2:46 PM, LICOASTIE said:

@bruno1 I know it’s late in the season but what is the best way to hunt pheasant on the state lands? Seems like the reservation call in system for weekends is pointless if it’s first come first serve to sign up on the list. I live 50 minutes from the check station so it’s not really that easy for me. I don’t have a dog but do have a couple buddies I can hunt with where we can walk the fields hopping to kick a bird up. From what it sounds like when they stock on the weekends that is the best chance at a bird since the one time they stock on a weekday is random. Are there birds still leftover if I were to get a parking spot on standby after a hunter in the morning goes out?

Get there as early as possible on Friday if you can. If not, you will find birds in the woods surrounding the fields. A lot of guy with dogs tend to just hit the fields and that's it, but the woods remain untouched. I tend to go in the woods a bit with my dog, but not as much as I probably should. Big fields are very hard to hunt with out a dog since birds will run around you instead of fly. It can be done, just harder than going into the woods. Ill be there as well tomorrow. They stock on the weekends, as well as one day during the week. They switch up the days, so it wont be easy to know which day it is. I still find birds out there when im shotgun hunting, so there will be birds there tomorrow.

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On 12/22/2021 at 8:22 PM, bruno1 said:

Nope, south of LIE is no reservation or check in during archery season. You do need your free access permit. So basically from Toppings Path all the way south on state land, that doesn’t include county spots @DoubleDose

@bruno1 Just to be clear, are the Toppings Path spots reservation or access permit? 

Edited by DoubleDose
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3 hours ago, bruno1 said:

The info I gave you was for archery season. Shotgun season is by reservation 

Understood, archery season.  Same question:  Just to be clear, are the Toppings Path spots Ridge station check-in or access permit only? My recollection from the 1990s was they were part of the Ridge station check-in.  

I want to start bow hunting again in 2022 and want to avoid the Ridge check station if possible.

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