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October 21, 2011 - Field Notes

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

In This Issue:

Get Involved!

Volunteers Needed for DEC's Winter Raptor Survey.
Be a part of DEC's continued effort to monitor the movement and habitat use of raptors like the northern harrier, short eared owl, red-tailed hawk, and others this winter. Currently, volunteers are needed to help survey these birds of prey at the Fort Edward Important Bird Area in Washington County, NY. You can volunteer to participate in one or more surveys conducted once a month from December through March. If interested in participating, or for more information, please contact Theresa Swenson at tgswenso@gw.dec.state.ny.us by December 1.

Significant Notes

New Youth Pheasant Hunt on Long Island.
On October 29 and 30, before the start of the regular pheasant season on Long Island, young hunters ages 12-15 now have the opportunity to try their hand at pheasant hunting in Wildlife Management Units 1A and 1C. Young hunters are required to get a junior hunting license and must have a licensed and experienced parent or legal guardian accompanying them on the hunt. Please review information on youth pheasant hunting to ensure you are prepared before going afield!

Eastern hellbender
Eastern hellbenders are found in the
Susquehanna and Allegany Rivers in New
York State.
~Photo credit: John Ozard~

CITES Aims to Protect America's Largest Aquatic Salamanders.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) listed the eastern hellbender and the Ozark hellbender in the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wildlife Fauna and Flora (CITES). This listing aims to control and monitor the international pet trade of hellbenders to help prevent these species from becoming extinct, particularly as they become rarer and, consequently, more valuable in the trade industry. More details of the hellbender CITES listing can be found on the USFWS website (link leaves DEC website).

Five-Year Deer Management Plan Complete.
The five year deer management plan is complete after public comments were carefully evaluated from the draft plan released earlier this year. Several notable changes were made in the adopted plan based on these comments and DEC expects to implement several aspects of this plan prior to the 2012 hunting season. These details and more information can be reviewed in the DEC press release. The final plan can be found on New York's Deer Management Program web-page.

Commercial Fishing Trip Limit Updates.
On October 21, the commercial fishery trip limits will be changing for the following fish species:
-Scup daily trip limit increases to 8,000 pounds.
-Black sea bass daily trip limit changes to 70 pounds.
-Spiny dogfish fishery closes.

Laws & Rule-making

Proposed Regulation to Prevent Deer Importation from Maryland into New York.
In response to the recent discovery of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in white-tailed deer in Maryland, DEC is proposing a regulation to prohibit the importation of wild deer carcasses and parts from Maryland. CWD is an infectious and progressively fatal neurological disease of cervids, the family which includes deer, elk and moose. More details on this proposed rule-making can be found in the regulatory impact statement online. The public may submit comments through December 5, 2011.

Upcoming Recreational Sporting Season Reminders

The recreational season reminders listed below include season dates that extend over the next two weeks. For all season dates and to view more information about hunting and fishing in New York, visit DEC's Outdoor Activities webpage.

Youth Hunting

For Pheasant:

Big Game Hunting

For Bear:

  • October 22 - Opening day for firearm hunting and crossbow hunting in the Northern Zone.

For Deer:

Turkey Hunting

  • October 22 - Opening day for turkey hunting in central and western areas of the state.
  • November 4 - Final day for hunting in a portion of central and western areas of the state.

Waterfowl Hunting

For Duck, Coot, Merganser:

  • October 22 - Opening day in the Western and Northeast Zone.
  • October 29 - Final day for hunting in the Lake Champlain Zone.

For Canada Geese:

  • October 22 - Opening day in Northeastern, East Central, South, West Central, and Hudson Valley Zones.

For Snow Geese:

  • October 22 - Opening day in the Western Zone.

Furbearer Hunting & Trapping

October 25 - Opening day for the following furbearers:

  • For Bobcat -hunting and trapping opens for both northeastern and southeastern Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) (view the hunting map and/or trapping map for bobcat). Please remember if taking a bobcat, it must be tagged and sealed.
  • For Weasel, Opossum, Raccoon, Fox, and Skunk - hunting and trapping opens for all areas of the state except for Long Island and New York City WMUs (view the hunting map and/or trapping map for these species).
  • For Mink and Muskrat - trapping opens in northern WMUs of the state (view the mink and muskrat trapping map). Muskrat may also be hunted on Lake Champlain during the trapping season with a firearm not larger than a .22 caliber.
  • For Fisher and Marten - trapping opens in northern and southeastern WMUs of the state (view the fisher and marten trapping map). A special permit is required for trapping marten; please call the Warrensburg Wildlife Office at 518-623-1240 for details. Also, please remember if taking a fisher or marten, it must be tagged and sealed.

Corrections & Clarifications

Correction for Deer Hunting Season in Northern Zone.
The last issue of Field Notes, distributed on October 7, incorrectly stated that October 21 was the opening day for deer muzzleloader and bow hunting opportunities in the Northern Zone; however, October 21 marks the final day for these activities. While the bowhunting and muzzleloading seasons are ending in the Northern Zone today, the regular firearm and crossbow hunting seasons open tomorrow on October 22. View the big game hunting season's web-page for all 2011-2012 deer and bear hunting dates. Also, view hunting regulations for information on crossbow and firearm use.

Recipe of the Month

Venison Ghoul-ash

Prepare your white-tailed deer meat with this ghoulishly appetizing recipe and give your taste buds a delectable scare.

Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 2-1/2 hrs


  • 1-1/2 lbs venison, stew meat, cubed
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1-1/2 cups beer
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon horseradish
  • 2 teaspoons steak sauce
  • 3 drops hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • salt and pepper
  • flour


  1. Brown the venison cubes in the oil in a heavy skillet.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and season to taste, cover and simmer for 2 1/2 hours.
  3. Thicken the liquid with a little flour.
  4. Serve over buttered noodles.

Other News in the Press

Below are additional links to noteworthy DEC press releases:

  • DEC to Prepare Management Plan for State Lands in Clinton County: Availability Session to be Held at the Beekmantown Town Hall on November 2 at 6:30 p.m.
  • DEC's "Trees for Tribs" Stream Planting Program Launches with Restoration Plantings in Hard Hit Flood Area.
  • NYSDEC & NYCDEP Reach Innovative Draft Agreement to Improve New York Harbor Water Quality.

Did You Know...?

wooly bear caterpillar on pavement
According to weather predicting myths, a wide
brown band indicates an upcoming winter will be
mild and short, while a narrow brown band
indicates an upcoming winter will be harsh and long.
~Photo credit: Natalie Sacco~

Well known through folklore to predict the upcoming winter weather, the wooly bear caterpillar has the ability to survive in temperatures as low as negative 90 degrees Fahrenheit by producing an anti-freeze type compound. The caterpillar hibernates throughout winter by tucking underneath rocks or logs, or behind loose tree bark and forms a cocoon in the spring, later emerging as the Isabella tiger moth.

More on the wooly bear and tiger moth can be found in previous Conservationist brochure publications: "Backyard Bugs (PDF)" (247 KB) and "Butterflies and Moths (PDF)" (355 KB).

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