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November 24, 2010 - Field Notes

Noteworthy News from the Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources

Public Input

  • Seeking Input on the Sea Level Rise Task Force Draft Report.
    With important natural habitats and coastal ecosystems, and more than 60% of New Yorkers living in homes on or near waterfront areas, the New York Sea Level Rise (SLR) Task Force has been developing a statewide framework to address the risks posed by climate changes on sea level rise and coastal storms. DEC is inviting the public to provide feedback on the findings and recommendations within the SLR draft report (pdf, 1.5MB) before it is submitted to the Legislature in January. Comments will be accepted through December 12, 2010 and may be submitted by email to SLRComments@gw.dec.state.ny.us or mailed to Sea Level Rise Comments, Office of Climate Change, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany NY 12233-1030. Please note: Any e-mail attachments must be MS Word or pdf files with a maximum file size of 10 megabytes. There will be no formal response to comments received, but all submitted comments may be reviewed on the DEC website.
  • Proposal to Adopt Youth Turkey Hunt for Long Island.
    DEC is proposing a regulatory change to establish a Spring season youth turkey hunt in Suffolk County that coincides with the youth turkey hunt in upstate New York. This proposed change will allow junior hunters (ages 12 to 15) to hunt for turkey with an adult mentor in Suffolk County (WMU 1C) during a two-day period in the month of April. With a growing turkey population on Long Island of more than 3,000 birds, this proposal will provide an important opportunity for young hunters and their adult mentors to engage in the sustainable use of the wild turkey resource. Comments on this proposed regulatory change will be accepted through January 2, 2011. Visit the DEC website for more information and details on submitting comments.

Significant Notes

youth hunter with his first deer
Devon Yarid, age 14 with his first deer,
taken with a muzzleloader in Ontario
County, November 2010
  • Share your Youth Hunt Photographs.
    Help us celebrate the successes of young and first-time hunters and trappers by submitting photographs to DEC's Hunter & Trapper Photo Galleries. Instructions for submitting photographs and tips on taking photographs can be viewed on the galleries page.
  • DFWMR October Monthly Highlights Available.
    Review the October Monthly Highlights (pdf, 1.16mb) for noteworthy updates on activities and research efforts conducted by our staff. In October's highlights, find important information on fish consumption health advisories for women and children in the Adirondack and Catskill regions. Also, read about the first youth trapping camp, the gilt darter recovery efforts, the installation of sea lamprey barriers, the total Fall egg take for fish stocking, the habitat improvements made for common terns, and the rare species encountered during the Wilton Preserve survey. Other highlights include information on new boat launch sites and public access improvements for both fishing and wildlife recreation. All of this and more is available to review online!
  • Opening Weekend Southern Zone Deer Harvest Reports.
    The harvest reports for the 2010 regular firearms deer season opening weekend are up about 5% compared to opening weekend in 2009. This first Saturday and Sunday of the Southern Zone regular deer season is an important time for deer hunters and deer harvest. In a 2007 survey (pdf, 709 kb), roughly 85% of New York deer hunters indicated that they participated in the Southern Zone regular season. Of these hunters, about 93% hunted on opening day, including 5% who only hunted on opening day. Hunters averaged just under 7 hours afield on opening day but dropped back to an average of less than 6 hours per day during the rest of the regular season. In 2009, deer harvest during the opening weekend accounted for: nearly 50% of the Southern Zone regular season buck take; almost 40% of the Southern Zone regular season total deer take; slightly more than 25% of the Southern Zone deer take during all seasons; and more than 20% of the statewide deer take during all seasons.
  • Commercial Marine Fishing Limit Changes.
    Changes have been made to black sea bass and summer flounder commercial fisheries as listed below. Additional commercial trip limit regulations can be viewed online. For questions or concerns, contact the Bureau of Marine Resources by e-mail or call (631) 444-5621.
    • Black sea bass commercial fishing has closed and will remain closed until further notice, effective November 13, 2010.
    • Summer flounder weekly trip limit, open to summer flounder permit holders that elect into the program, is 1,000 pounds per week, effective November 20, 2010.
    • Summer flounder daily trip limit has lowered from 210 pounds to 100 pounds, effective November 21, 2010.
  • Attention Motorists: Remain Alert for Deer.
    The peak period for deer-vehicle collisions is October through December, with the highest incidences occurring in November. This corresponds with the peak of the annual deer breeding cycle when deer are more active and less cautious in their movements. Approximately 65,000 deer-vehicle collisions occur throughout NYS each year and two-thirds of the annual collisions occur during this three month period. Most of the collisions occur between 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Motorists are advised that the best way to avoid a collision with a deer is to reduce speed and be alert for their presence on or near the highway.

Fish & Game Season Reminders


  • November 30: Final Day to Go Fishing for Several Species.
    November 30, 2010 marks the last day to fish and take the following fish species: black bass (smallmouth and largemouth bass), muskellunge, hickory shad, and striped bass on the Hudson River (north of the George Washington Bridge). There are areas of the state where fishing opportunities remain open for these species. To identify if fishing remains open in an area near you, review the Freshwater Fishing Regulations and/or the Saltwater Fishing Regulations for a list of exceptions.
  • December 1: Black Bass Catch and Release Season Opens.
    The statewide catch and release season for black bass (smallmouth and largemouth bass) opens December 1, 2010. Some exceptions may apply for areas across the state; these exceptions can be found in the 2010-2011 Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide online.

Successful hunters must report take on deer, bear and turkey within 7 days. Effective November 17, 2010, the reporting deadline was extended from 48 hours to 7 days. Simply report your take online or call toll-free at 1-866-GAME-RPT (1-866-426-3778).

(Get all available hunting dates by visiting the Hunting Seasons webpage)

Big Game

  • November 27: Regular Bear Hunting Opens in Western and Central Areas of the State.
    The regular firearm bear hunting season for Western and Central Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) begins November 27, 2010 and continues through December 12, 2010, both dates inclusive. View the Black Bear Season Map to identify hunting area boundaries. Review big game hunting regulations and hunting license information before going afield.

Migratory Waterfowl


  • November 24: Final Day for Turkey Hunting in Long Island.
    The last day for fall turkey hunting in Suffolk County, Wildlife Management Unit 1C is November 24, 2010.


  • November 25: Beaver, Mink & Muskrat Trapping Opens for Western and Central Areas of the State.
    Beaver, mink & muskrat trapping opens for Western and Central Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) on November 25, 2010. View the appropriate Trapping Season Map to identify hunting area boundaries and review the Trapping Regulations before going afield. Due to recent regulation changes, beavers no longer need to be tagged and pelt sealed.

Did You Know...?

a male wild turkey
A male turkey, also known as a tom or gobbler.
~Photo courtesy of Mrs. Larry Burch~

Around 1948, wild turkeys from a small remnant population in northern PA crossed the border into western NY. These were the first birds in the State after an absence of 100 years. Today, over 100,000 turkey hunters harvest over 35,000 birds annually in New York and spend almost 60 million dollars on hunting trips and equipment, the eighth most in the nation!

Read more about this traditional Thanksgiving bird online

Also, review the latest Conservationist 4 Kids for fun facts on the management of turkeys in New York State.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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