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August 24, 2012 - Field Notes

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

In This Issue:

Get Archery in Your School

Student practicing her archery skills during gym

The National Archery in Schools Program (NASP) initiated in 2002 has been bringing the ancient sport of archery to schools nationwide. NASP continues to grow as 1.7 million students participated this past school year. In New York alone, more than 21,500 students from 141 schools in 97 school districts were involved. The program is offered through a school's physical education curriculum for students in grades 4-12. Content includes archery history, safety, technique, equipment, mental concentration and self-improvement. To get your school involved, contact DEC's NASP-NY program coordinator, Melissa Bailey, at 315-793-2515, or e-mail her at: mrbailey@gw.dec.state.ny.us. For more information and photos, visit DEC's NASP-NY webpage.

Don't Miss the Latest Monthly Highlights

The June and July issues of DEC's Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources Monthly Highlights are now available online. In these issues, you will read about:

  • Detection of invasive species, such as snakeheads and spiny waterflea in new locations
  • A comprehensive plan to inventory all New York State boat access areas for future modernization
  • Questions and answers regarding rabies and nuisance wildlife concerns
  • A new invasive species bill aimed at enhancing regulatory action on foreign plants and animals in New York State
  • Status of important gamefish and preyfish species
  • And much more!

Register for a Sportsman Education Course

DEC Sportsman education instructor works with student on safely crossing over a fence with a firearm

With hunting and trapping seasons quickly approaching, don't delay in registering for a sportsman education course. First-time hunters and trappers are required to successfully complete relevant courses before purchasing a sporting license. Hunting with firearms, bowhunting and trapping courses cover safety skills, responsibilities, equipment, laws and regulations and much more. Whether you are new to hunting or trapping or just want a refresher, make sure to register early, as courses fill quickly during September. To find a course near you, visit DEC's Sportsman Education webpage.

Upcoming Recreational Sporting Seasons

Listed below are upcoming seasons for Friday, August 24 through September 7 only. To view all fishing, hunting or trapping seasons, visit DEC's Outdoor Activities webpage.

Saltwater Fishing
  • September 1 - Increased Scup Possession Limit aboard Party/Charter Boats Only
    Anglers aboard licensed party/charter boats may possess 40 scup/porgies from September 1 through October 31. This special season allows anglers aboard party/charter boats to keep an additional 20 fish than the regular season allows. For legal purposes, customers must obtain an original dated receipt from the licensed vessel if taking more than 20 fish during this period. Use the link above for more details on scup and other saltwater fishing seasons.


Notice for seasons below: If hunting through September 30, you must have a valid 2011-12 hunting license. If hunting on or after October 1, you must have a valid 2012-13 hunting license. For more information on hunting licenses, seasons and regulations, visit DEC's Hunting webpage.

  • September 1 - Squirrel Hunting Season Opens for Upstate New York
    Gray, black and fox squirrels may be taken during this season. The season runs through February 28, 2013, and the daily bag limit is 6. Red squirrels are unprotected and may be hunted at any time without limit with a valid small game hunting license.
  • September 1 - Crow Hunting Season Opens for Most of New York State (Except NYC)
    This season runs through March 31 in Suffolk and Nassau counties and all counties north of the Bronx-Westchester County boundary. There is no bag limit. Hunting days are limited to Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday from sunrise to sunset. A federal migratory bird stamp and HIP registration are not required to hunt crow.
  • September 1 - Snipe, Rail and Gallinule Season Opens for Upstate New York
    This season runs through November 9 for all counties north of the Bronx-Westchester County boundary. The daily bag limit is 8, and possession limit is 16 - the maximum number of a single species or combination of species you can possess at any one time, two times the daily bag limit after the first day of the season. Non-toxic shot and HIP registration are required to hunt these species.

More Noteworthy DEC News

Below are DEC press releases not to be missed!

red squirrel eats while sitting on a branch of a pine tree
Red squirrels prefer to eat the seeds
of pine and spruce cones
~Photo by Donna Dewhurst; courtesy of USFWS

Did You Know...?

Tree squirrels are experts at preparing for winter. Gray squirrels can stash 25 nuts in a half-hour, and red squirrels can bury pinecones in a matter of seconds. Their quick, efficient work ensures they'll have plenty of food for the season. Tree squirrels also prepare cozy dens in the cavities of trees or construct complex leaf nests among tree branches for shelter from frigid temperatures and precipitation. While adult squirrels prefer to live alone, two or more of them may share living quarters to survive harsh winter conditions.

Learn more about tree squirrels like gray, red, black and fox species and other types of squirrels in DEC's brochure, Squirrels of New York State (PDF) (1.13 MB).

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