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burmjohn
DEC Announces That 2014-15 Sporting Licenses Are Now Available
Deer Management Permits, Hunting, Fishing and Trapping Licenses Can Be Purchased at a Licensed Sales Outlet, Via Phone or Online
Hunting and trapping licenses, and Deer Management Permits (DMPs) for the 2014-15 season are now available for purchase, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens announced today.
“New York is home to some of the best hunting, trapping and fishing opportunities in the nation,” Commissioner Martens said. “Governor Cuomo’s NY Open for Fishing and Hunting initiative is creating new and improved, year-round recreation opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts, and DEC continues to develop and manage programs to enhance the outdoor experience while protecting our state’s natural resources. Hunting and trapping licenses and the DMPs will enable sportsmen and sportswomen to enjoy these outdoor opportunities for the 2014-15 season.”
Sporting licenses and permits can be purchased at one of DEC’s 1,100 license sales outlets statewide. Licenses can also be ordered by telephone or online (http://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/6101.html). The 2014-2015 hunting and trapping licenses are valid for one year beginning September 1, 2014. (Under a new law that took effect in February, fishing licenses and recreational marine fishing registrations are now valid for 365 days from date-of-purchase.) Funds from the sale of all sporting licenses are deposited into the Conservation Fund, which is used to manage New York's fish and wildlife populations and protect and manage fish and wildlife habitat.
As part of the NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, New York streamlined the hunting and fishing license structure, made it consistent for resident and non-residents, and reduced license fees. Some hunters and anglers may not be familiar with these license changes, but licensing-issuing agents are prepared to provide assistance and ensure the license buyers secure all the desired permits and privileges. Highlights of the changes are available on DEC’s website:http://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/95007.html.
In addition, the new Hunting & Trapping regulation guides are available at all license issuing outlets, as well as on DEC website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/6101.html. New Fishing regulations guide will be available next spring.
Individuals may donate to the Habitat Access Stamp Program, Venison Donation Coalition, Conservation Fund or the Trail Maintenance Program via DEC’s sporting license system. The DEC Call Center at (1-866-933-2257) is accessible from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdaythrough October 4 for people with questions regarding license purchases. Regular Call Center weekday hours from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. will resume on October 5.
To facilitate the purchase of a sporting license, individuals should have the following items ready when buying a license: complete name and address information, DEC customer ID number if you have it, proof of residency information (driver's license number or non-driver's ID number with a valid NYS address to qualify for a resident license), and, if purchasing by phone or internet, a credit card and card expiration date. Hunting license purchases require individuals to provide proof of a hunting education certification or a copy of a previous license, if this information is not already contained in their sporting license system file.
With the introduction of a new computerized system this year, it may take license-issuing agents some additional time to find previous license holders in the system. DEC asks that license purchasers remain patient as these agents gain experience with this new system.
Important updates for 2014-2015
Upon finalization of regulations, crossbows will be allowed to be used to take big game and small game for the 2014-15 seasons. For more information, visit DEC's website: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/68802.html ;
Set back distances for the discharge of a bow and crossbow have been reduced to 150 feet and 250 feet, respectively;
Expanded bear hunting opportunities are available this fall, with bear hunting allowed in additional wildlife management units (WMUs) that are open to bear hunting and the establishment of an early bear season in the southern zone. See: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/28605.html;
The Youth Firearms Deer Hunt will take place over Columbus Day weekend, October 11-13, 2014. For more information, see: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/46245.html ;
New legislation allows the use of rifles for big game hunting in Albany and Livingston counties. See Rifle, Shotgun, and Bow Areas(http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/35010.html) on DEC’s website for other counties where rifles can be used.
Mandatory Antler Restrictions (http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/27663.html) (3 points on one side minimum) remain in effect in WMUs 3A, 3C, 3H, 3J, 3K, 4G, 4O, 4P, 4R, 4S, and 4W during all seasons for all hunters 17 years and older (http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/27663.html).

Additional details are listed in the 2014-2015 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37136.html.
Deer Management Permits
Because too few female deer are being taken to reduce populations as needed across the Lake Plains, Finger Lakes Region, Mohawk Valley, and Long Island, DEC will be issuing approximately 17 percent more Deer Management Permits (DMPs; tags for antlerless deer) this year. DEC issues DMPs to control antlerless harvest and move the deer population closer toward objective levels in each Wildlife Management Unit (WMU).
DMPs will be available at all license issuing outlets and can also be obtained by phone, internet, or mail, through close of business October 1, 2014. DMPs are issued through a random selection process at the point of sale, and customers who are selected for DMPs will receive their permits immediately.
For planning purposes, review the 2014 chances of selection for DMPs in each WMU on DEC's website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/30409.html. Charts of the chances of selection are also available at License Issuing Agent locations, or on the DMP Hotline at 1-866-472-4332. The chances of obtaining a DMP remain the same throughout the application period - hunters do not need to rush to apply for a DMP on the first day of sale.
If a significant number of DMPs are still available in a WMU after October 1, the sale of the remaining DMPs will commence on November 1, and continue on a first-come, first-served basis until the end of the hunting season or until all DMPs have been issued in the WMU. Additionally, Bonus DMPs will be available in the bowhunting-only WMUs 3S, 4J, and 8C and in WMUs 1C. For information about Bonus DMPs, see DEC's website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/10001.html.
An outline on how DMP targets are set and permits are issued is available on DEC's website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/47743.html. Hunters are reminded that DMPs are only valid for antlerless deer in the WMU specified on the permit. To learn more about what to expect for deer hunting throughout the state this fall, see Deer Hunting Season Forecasts on DEC's website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37304.html.
Contribute Via Habitat Stamps, Trail Supporter Patch, or Donate Directly to Support the Conservation Fund or the Venison Donation Program
DEC encourages all outdoor enthusiasts to consider purchasing a Habitat/Access Stamp and/or a Trail Supporter Patch. These stamps and patches support DEC’s efforts to conserve habitat, increase public access for fishing and wildlife-related recreation, and maintain non-motorized trails. Buying a $5 stamp or patch or donating directly to the Conservation Fund is a simple way to help conserve New York's rich wildlife heritage and enhance outdoor recreation in the state.
Additionally, anyone - not just hunters and anglers - can help feed the hungry by making a monetary contribution to the Venison Donation Program at any license issuing outlet. Individuals should inform the license sales agent if they are interested in making a donation of $1 or more to support the program. Since 1999, the Venison Donation Coalition has paid for the processing of more than 330 tons of highly nutritious venison, the equivalent of 2.8 million meals served. For more information about the Venison Donation Coalition program, visit DEC's website.
Participate in Citizen Science to Benefit Wildlife Management
Each year, thousands of hunters, trappers and anglers help DEC monitor wildlife populations by recording their wildlife observations while afield. Information on how to participate in the Cooperator Ruffed Grouse Hunting Log, Bowhunter Sighting Log, Winter Wild Turkey Flock Survey and other Citizen Science programs is available on DEC's website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/1155.html.
The latest updates on New York’s fish and wildlife can be easily accessed on the Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources E-mail News, a free online e-mail list that visitors can subscribe to available on DEC's website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/public/65855.html.

burmjohn
Black bear hunting opportunities have expanded this year as a result of regulation changes adopted by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Commissioner Joe Martens announced today.
“Under Governor Cuomo’s NY Open for Fishing and Hunting initiative, New York is working to increase hunting opportunities for sportsmen and sportswomen,” Commissioner Martens said. “With these changes, DEC is implementing strategies of the recently adopted Black Bear Management Plan.”
More importantly, DEC deemed the changes necessary to limit population growth and range expansion by black bears in New York. Bears are a tremendous resource in New York, but they can have negative impacts too, through damage to camps, crops, homes and other property. In extreme cases they are a serious threat to public safety. DEC’s bear plan fosters a comprehensive approach to reduce negative black bear impacts by increasing public awareness of its role in preventing human-bear conflicts, addressing individual incidents of bear damage and reducing bear populations where necessary.
The adopted season changes are as follows:
establish bear hunting seasons in all of upstate New York (all counties north of New York City);
create a special early firearms season (Sept. 6 – Sept. 21) for bears in specific Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) in the Catskills and western Hudson Valley region; and
provide a uniform start date (Sept. 13) for bowhunting and early firearms bear season in the Northern Zone.

After careful consideration of public comments received on the draft bear plan last winter and on the proposed regulations this summer, DEC adopted the hunting season changes in accordance with the final Black Bear Management Plan. The purpose of the changes is to maintain bear population levels that are acceptable to the public while providing sustainable opportunity for New York’s big game hunters.
The NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative is an effort to improve recreational opportunities for sportsmen and women and to boost tourism activities throughout the state. This initiative includes streamlining fishing and hunting licenses, reducing license fees, improving access for fishing and increasing hunting opportunities in New York State.
In support of this 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.
This year's budget also reduces short-term fishing licenses fees; increases the number of authorized statewide free fishing days to eight from two; authorizes DEC to offer 10 days of promotional prices for hunting, fishing and trapping licenses; and authorizes free Adventure Plates for new lifetime license holders, discounted Adventure Plates for existing lifetime license holders and regular fee Adventure Plates for annual license holders.
The full text of the adopted regulations and a summary of public comments on this rulemaking are available on the DEC’s website at www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/34113.html. The resulting 2014 bear hunting seasons can also be found on DEC’s website at: www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/28605.html.
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.

burmjohn
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 to make formal public comments through July 21 may do so by sending an email to: wildliferegs@gw.dec.state.ny.us (include “crossbow regulations” in the subject line) or by writing to: Mr. Bryan L. Swift, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Bureau of Wildlife, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754.
The NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative is an effort to improve recreational opportunities for sportsmen and women and to boost tourism activities throughout the state. This initiative includes streamlining fishing and hunting licenses, reducing license fees, improving access for fishing and increasing hunting opportunities in New York State.
In support of this 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.
This year's budget also reduces short-term fishing licenses fees; increases the number of authorized statewide free fishing days to eight from two; authorizes DEC to offer 10 days of promotional prices for hunting, fishing and trapping licenses; and authorizes free Adventure Plates for new lifetime license holders, discounted Adventure Plates for existing lifetime license holders and regular fee Adventure Plates for annual license holders.

burmjohn
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 upstate New York, create a supplemental early firearms season for bears in the Catskills and Western Hudson Valley area, and provide a uniform start for bowhunting and early bear seasons in the Northern Zone. Specifically the proposed rule would:
allow bear hunting in Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) 6A, 6G, 6N, and all of 6K during the Northern Zone early bowhunting season, early muzzleloader season, and regular firearms season;
allow bear hunting in WMUs 4A, 4B, 4J, 5R, 6P, 6R, 6S, 7A, 7F, 7H, 7J, 8A, 8C, 8F, 8G, 9A, and 9F during the Southern Zone early and late bowhunting seasons, regular firearms season, and late muzzleloading season;
create a supplemental firearms bear season for 16 days beginning the 1st Saturday after Labor Day (Sept. 6 – Sept. 21, 2014) in WMUs 3A, 3C, 3H, 3K, 3J, 3M, 3P, 3R, 4P, and 4R;
begin the Northern Zone bowhunting season for bears on the same day as the early bear season, the 1st Saturday after the 2nd Monday in September (2nd Saturday after Labor Day).

DEC will accept written public comment on the proposed hunting rule changes through July 7, 2014. The rulemaking documents can be seen on the DEC website at www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/propregulations.html. The proposed rule can also be viewed in the May 21, 2014 publication of the New York State Register, which is posted on the DOS website at www.dos.ny.gov/info/register/2014.html. Citizens who wish to make formal public comments may do so by sending an email to: wildliferegs@gw.dec.state.ny.us or by writing to: Mr. Bryan L. Swift, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Bureau of Wildlife, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754.
The NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative is an effort to improve recreational opportunities for sportsmen and women and to boost tourism activities throughout the state. This initiative includes streamlining fishing and hunting licenses, reducing license fees, improving access for fishing and increasing hunting opportunities in New York State.
In support of this 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.
This year's budget also reduces short-term fishing licenses fees; increases the number of authorized statewide free fishing days to eight from two; authorizes DEC to offer 10 days of promotional prices for hunting, fishing and trapping licenses; and authorizes free Adventure Plates for new lifetime license holders, discounted Adventure Plates for existing lifetime license holders and regular fee Adventure Plates for annual license holders.

burmjohn
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.