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October 29, 2010 - Field Notes

Noteworthy Dates

  • 11/1 - Black Sea Bass Recreational Fishing Re-opens.
    The recreational marine fishing season re-opens for black sea bass starting November 1, 2010 and continues through December 31, 2010, both dates inclusive. For catch and size limits, review the saltwater fishing regulations. Please remember, a 2010-11 recreational marine fishing license is required, unless fishing aboard an appropriately licensed party and/or charter boat.
  • 11/1 - Furbearer Trapping Opportunities Open for Long Island, New York City, and Northern Areas of the State.
    Trapping for weasel, opossum, raccoon, gray fox, red fox, and skunk in Long Island and New York City Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) starts November 1, 2010 and continues to February 25, 2010, both dates inclusive. Hunting for these species is open for Long Island WMUs only (view the Hunting Map and/or Trapping Map for open WMUs). Please check with local authorities for zoning ordinances regarding discharge of firearms in your area. Trapping for beaver and river otter in Northern WMUs begins November 1, 2010 and continues to April 7, 2010, both dates inclusive (view the Beaver Trapping Map and River Otter Trapping Map for open WMUs). Please remember, beaver and river otter need to be tagged (pdf, 29kb) and pelt sealed.
  • 11/1 - Small Game Hunting Opportunities Open for Long Island and New York City.
    Pheasant, squirrel (gray, black and fox only), and cottontail rabbit hunting in Long Island and New York City Wildlife Management Units (WMUs), as well as, bobwhite quail hunting in Long Island WMUs starts on November 1, 2010. Hunting small game in New York City WMUs is by falconry only (taking of small game with a trained raptor). You must be appropriately licensed by DEC to engage in the sport of falconry (get information on falconry licensing and/or review falconry regulations). Find maps of open WMUs and season regulations on the Small Game Seasons webpage.
  • 11/4 - Last Day for Woodcock Hunting.
    The final day to hunt for woodcock is November 4, 2010. If looking to hunt woodcock before the season ends, review the bag limits and regulations online.
  • 11/5 - Last Day for Turkey Hunting in Northwestern Areas of the State.
    The final day for turkey hunting in Northwestern Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) is November 5, 2010. View the Fall Turkey Season Map for WMUs that will be closing, and to find other WMU areas of the state that remain open for additional turkey hunting opportunities.
  • Take a Hunter Safety Course in November.
    Visit the Sportsman Education Classes (External Link) page to find specific courses being offered for the month of November. All courses require pre-registration, so check out the dates and contact information to register!

Please remember that reporting take on deer, bear, and/or turkey within the first 48 hours of kill is a requirement in New York State. Reporting your game take is mandatory and necessary for proper game management, to determine game harvests and to set future hunting seasons. Simply report your take online, or call toll-free at 1-866-GAME-RPT (1-866-426-3778).

Significant Notes

Landlocked Atlantic salmon from the Willsboro Fishway near Lake Champlain
  • Landlocked Atlantic Salmon Returning to Tributaries of Lake Champlain.
    DEC's Bureau of Fisheries has worked together with Vermont's Fish and Wildlife Department, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service to restore salmon and lake trout in Lake Champlain. Progress from those efforts is encouraging, with good returns of salmon to various tributaries in 2010. This fall, 51 adult salmon returned to the Willsboro Fishway on the Boquet River in Essex County. That is the most salmon collected in the Fishway in more than a decade. A fish lift on the Winooski River in Vermont had similarly strong returns, and anglers are reporting good catches of salmon in New York's Saranac River. Similarly, anglers fishing Lake Champlain over the summer indicate that fishing was great for both salmon and lake trout. The restoration of these two native species provides substantial economic, recreational, and ecological benefits. Agency activities that contribute to the restoration include: sea lamprey control; hatchery production and stocking; providing fish passage on salmon spawning streams; and a variety of programs that protect habitat and water quality.
  • Additional Deer Management Permits Available.
    With approximately 5,000 Deer Management Permits (DMPs) left from the initial selection process earlier this month, hunters still have an opportunity to receive a DMP for certain Wildlife Management Units (WMUs). Many of these remaining DMPs will be directly mailed to applicants who were denied permits in the affected WMUs during the initial application period. Additionally, WMUs 1C, 3M, 3R, 3S (bowhunting-only), 8A, 8F, 8G, 8H, 8J, 9A, and 9F (view the WMU map) did not reach their DMP targets. Hunters can apply for DMPs in these WMUs starting November 1, 2010 at any DEC license sales outlet. Read the DEC press release to get more details and information.
  • Four Adirondack Roads Re-Open for Sportsman and Recreation.
    Lily Pond Road, Gay Pond Road, Indian Lake Road, and Otter Brook Road located within the Adirondack Forest Preserve are now open once again for public access. DEC closed these roads earlier this year after budgetary cutbacks hindered the necessary maintenance, repairs, and patrol of these state lands. With the collaboration and assistance from local partners and communities, these roads are now repaired and re-opened to the public. Access to these roads offers access to state land area for hunting, fishing, trapping, and camping, and hunters can now take advantage of these great locations for the open Northern Zone regular big game hunting season. Get more details on the re-opening these state roads by reviewing the DEC press release.

Hunting with Juniors and Blinds

With the start of the southern zone regular deer season just around the corner, many youth hunters are gearing up for what may be their first season afield. This is an exciting time, full of anticipation for opening day and dreams of deer slipping through the early morning light. Many seasoned hunters still toss and turn through a sleepless night, awaiting the alarm clock to signal the start of another deer season. For youth hunters, eager to hunt with their family or adult mentor, the anticipation is all the greater.

two ground blinds
~Ground blinds, as shown in the photograph,
camouflage well in the woods or in the field.~

Since 2008, the Junior Hunter Mentoring Program allows 14 and 15 year old hunters to hunt deer and bear with a firearm when accompanied by an experienced adult mentor. In addition to wearing "hunter orange," the program requires the junior hunter and the mentor to hunt from the ground, which may be a break in tradition for hunters accustomed to using tree-stands. Yet with the variety of relatively inexpensive ground blinds available at sporting goods stores and outfitters, junior hunters and their mentors have access to a great method of concealment for a safe and effective hunt. Ground blinds (sometimes called pop-up blinds) are essentially small camouflaged tents, many of which can comfortably hide two hunters. Most commercial ground blinds are portable and easy to set up, and they provide good protection from the wind and rain. Most importantly, ground blinds conceal a lot of hunter movement, something particularly valuable for the junior hunter that shakes with excitement each time a squirrel hops through dry leaves. Hunting out of a ground blind is legal in New York, and while not required, DEC recommends marking the blind or nearby trees with hunter orange tape to alert other hunters of the blind's presence.

Did You Know...?

crows in tree
~Photo courtesy of NYSDEC

In the fall and winter months, American crows gather in large congregating roosts of a few hundred to two million! Some of these congregating roosts have formed in the same general location for well over 100 years.

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