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August 26, 2011 - Field Notes

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

Significant Notes

  • DEC Investigating Deer Mortality in Rockland County.
    DEC is investigating reports of sick and dead deer in the Town of Clarkstown in Rockland County, NY. To diagnose the cause of mortality, tissue samples are being collected by the DEC's Wildlife Pathology Unit and sent to the Cornell University Animal Health Diagnostic Center for testing. While test results are pending, the DEC does not consider this as a human health issue at this time. DEC is requesting residents in the Rockland County area to refrain from approaching any sick deer or deer behaving abnormally, and to please report these animals to the DEC Regional Wildlife Office in New Paltz by calling (845) 256-3098.
  • Division's June Monthly Highlights Available Online.
    Don't miss the latest Division Monthly Highlights (PDF, 990 kb) with new information on the research and activities conducted by our fish, wildlife, and marine staff. In this issue you will find details about sea lamprey control efforts and new black bear tagging research, highlights from the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman workshop event, results from the annual horseshoe crab spawning survey, and much more!
  • New National Report Released on Deer Hunting.
    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) recently released a report indicating that deer hunting is undoubtedly the most popular type of hunting in the United States. According to the 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, there were 10.1 million deer hunters in 2006, which is nearly four times greater than the second most hunted species: wild turkey. A wide array of information on deer hunter behavior and demographic patterns, from general participation levels to bag rates is included in the full report (PDF, 1.5mb) (link leaves DEC website) on the USFWS website.
    The report also includes highlights specifically for New York:
    • 92% of NY hunters hunt deer.
    • NY hunters spent over 5.7 million days hunting deer in 2006, roughly 60% of their total hunting time.
    • On average, NY hunters spent 13 days hunting deer in 2006; 11 days for unsuccessful deer hunters and 17 days for successful hunters. This finding is a bit lower than results from our (DEC) 2007 and 2010 NY deer hunter surveys, which indicated that deer hunters spent roughly 18-19 days afield per year.
  • Mountain Lion Moves Through New York During a Long Trek.
    mountain lion paw track in snow
    The track of a mountain lion found in
    Lake George, NY in December of 2010.
    Earlier this month, DNA testing conducted by the DEC Wildlife Pathology Unit indicated that a mountain lion, which was spotted in December 2010 in Lake George, NY, was the same animal that was killed by a motor vehicle in Milford, CT in June this year. The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) collected the carcass to perform a necropsy (animal autopsy), which revealed that the lean, 140-pound male was two to four years old, had an empty stomach, and most likely had never spent time in captivity. Furthermore, genetic testing linked this mountain lion to a breeding population in the Black Hills of South Dakota, indicating he traveled a potential distance of around 1,800 miles; the longest distance ever recorded for a mountain lion. Further details on the analysis of this mountain lions journey are available on our Special News and Reports webpage.
  • New Search Engine for the DEC Website.
    A new search engine is now featured on the DEC website to provide more relevant and timely results for search terms. The DEC Division of Public Affairs and Education (DPAE) worked hard to get this new tool running to help serve the more than 10 million visitors who come to the DEC website annually. If you have any feedback, please email the DPAE webteam at dpaeweb@gw.dec.state.ny.us, and Happy Searching!

Laws and Rule-makings

  • Freshwater Anglers May Now Use Up to Three Fishing Lines.
    On August 17, Governor Cuomo signed into law a bill that allows New York anglers fishing in freshwater to use up to three fishing lines, with or without a rod. Prior to this change, only two lines were permitted. To ensure that New York's fish populations remain productive, this amended law does not change fishing limits, including size and bag limits, as well as seasons for freshwater fisheries.
  • Antler Restrictions Extend into Portion of Catskill Wildlife Management Unit 3A.
    On August 17, Governor Cuomo signed into law a bill that establishes mandatory antler restrictions in the portion of Wildlife Management Unit 3A that lies south and west of State Route 28 (includes parts of Delaware, Sullivan, and Ulster counties). The law prohibits hunters from taking any antlered deer except bucks that have at least one antler with at least three or more points; each point must be at least one inch measured from the main antler beam. The law applies to all public and private lands and all hunting seasons. Only hunters under the age of 17 may take any antlered deer with an antler measuring three or more inches in length. Information about the Antler Restriction Program can be found on the DEC website.
  • New Reporting Requirements for Marine Commercial Fisheries.
    DEC has adopted regulations that modify the reporting requirements for state licensed commercial fishermen, including lobstermen and crabbers, and marine and coastal district party and charter boat owners. Currently, all commercial fishermen must submit Vessel Trip Reports (VTRs) to DEC, describing all fishing activities undertaken for each trip. The new regulations detail how the fishing information must be reported and when it must be submitted. The law also allows the data to be submitted by fax (631-444-5628), e-mail (fwmarine@gw.dec.state.ny.us()), or through the Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program (ACCSP) SAFIS online reporting system (link leaves DEC website). Additionally, the regulation specifies that all food fish and crustacea dealers and shippers (fish and lobster/crab dealers) will be required to submit their fish/crustacea purchase data through the ACCSP SAFIS online reporting system starting in 2012. Currently, regulatory text of the new reporting requirements is available on the Adopted Regulations web page. DEC is in the process of updating the Commercial Fishing webpage for complete details.
  • New Regulation Defines Details of Crossbow Hunting Use in NY.
    DEC has adopted a rule-making on August 24 that defines the use of crossbows in New York for hunting big game (deer and bear) during certain firearm hunting seasons. Additionally, the rule-making replaces the "Modified Archery Permit" requirement with a "Modified Longbow Authorization Form" for citizens that are physically impaired and need to use a specially equipped longbow (not crossbow) to aid in the drawing, holding, and releasing of a bowstring. Details on regulations for Crossbow Hunting and for the new Modified Longbow Authorization Form can be found on the DEC website.
  • Public Comment Period Open on Proposal to Offer Pheasant Youth Hunt on Long Island.
    Comments are currently being accepted through October 3, 2011 regarding a proposed rule-making to establish a youth pheasant hunting season on Long Island prior to the start of the regular pheasant season. Visit the Youth Pheasant Hunting Proposed Regulation page online to review details of the proposed regulation and to identify how to submit your comments.

Upcoming Recreational Sporting Season Reminders

Please keep in mind that you will need a 2010-11 hunting license through September 30, and a 2011-12 hunting license beginning October 1.

View complete sporting season dates and regulations:

Other News in the Press

Below are additional links to noteworthy DEC press releases:

  • DEC Announces Rule-making Establishing Authorization to Close Areas to Conch and Whelk Fishing In Pollution Impacted Areas.
  • DEC to Participate at New York State Fair Starting August 25.
  • State Implements Quarantine to Prevent Spread of Emerald Ash Borer: Restricts Movement of Certain Wood Products to and from Orange County

Did You Know...?

chart for estimating the age of a young turkey

You can estimate the age of a young turkey (poult) based on its size. Once you have estimated the turkeys age, you will also know its hatch date. And if you subtract another four weeks from the hatch date, you will know the approximate date of when the hen started to incubate her eggs!

The next time you see a group of turkeys; use this chart to determine the approximate age of the young turkeys in the brood. In addition, consider participating in the Wild Turkey Sighting Survey, which simply asks you to report the number of turkeys you see through the month of August. The data collected helps DEC estimate the reproductive success of turkeys each year.

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