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September 21, 2012 - Field Notes

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

In This Issue:

New Youth Firearms Deer Hunt

Junior hunter with his mentor and
Junior hunter with his mentor and
harvested deer

A new opportunity for junior hunters launches this Columbus Day weekend, October 6-8, as New York State offers the first-ever Youth Firearms Deer Hunt. Under the close supervision of a licensed and experienced adult mentor, 14- to 15-year old junior hunters may use a firearm or crossbow to take one deer of either sex with the appropriate licenses, tags and privileges. The season is open in both the Northern and Southern zones, except in bowhunting only designated areas (view bowhunting only areas). Complete details can be found on DEC's Junior Hunter Mentoring Program webpage.

Sign Up for the New Outdoor Discovery E-mail Newsletter

New York State has wonderful recreational opportunities, and DEC's new e-mail newsletter, Outdoor Discovery, will highlight these for you monthly. Features include Watchable Wildlife, Hike of the Month, an outdoor adventure, a calendar of upcoming events and photos of New York's most stunning scenery. See the September issue and find out today how you can sign up to receive this free e-mail newsletter!

Explanation of Northern Zone Deer Management Permits

Some hunters are confused by a statement on page 31 in the 2012-13 New York Hunting and Trapping Guide regarding new regulations that refer to "allowing Deer Management Permits (DMPs, "doe tags") to be used in all seasons in the Northern Zone." This means that hunters in the Northern Zone who obtain a DMP may take an antlerless deer during any open regular (firearm), muzzleloader or bow season within the designated wildlife management unit (WMU) on the DMP. Hunters can identify their designated WMU on the lower left hand corner of their DMP deer tag. This year, DMPs are offered for WMUs 6C, 6G, 6H, 6K and 6R in the Northern Zone (view the DMP map). Visit DEC's Deer Management Permits webpage for more details.

Find a Good Pheasant Hunting Location

Two men, a young girl and a dog hunt pheasant together
~Photo by Brett Billings; courtesy of USFWS

On DEC's Pheasant Release Sites webpage, you can find locations statewide where more than 30,000 adult pheasants will be released for the upcoming fall pheasant hunting season. Most birds are released on state-owned lands open to public hunting. The youth pheasant hunt for junior hunters, ages 12 to 15 years old, initiates the 2012 pheasant hunting year on September 29 and 30 in northern and eastern portions of the state, followed by the regular season in these areas on October 1. Visit DEC's Pheasant Hunting Seasons webpage for youth hunt and regular season details statewide.

Early Bear Season off to a Great Start

Less than one week into the early bear season in northern New York, hunters reported taking more than 140 bears. During the same time period for the past five years, the take averaged only 104 bears. Currently, areas with the greatest bear harvest appear to be along the western fringe of the Adirondacks, within Herkimer, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. DEC originally anticipated high harvest levels for this season compared to last year, and preliminary numbers indicate a great start.

Upcoming Recreational Sporting Seasons

Listed below are upcoming recreational sporting seasons for Friday, September 21 through Friday, October 5 only. To view all fishing, hunting or trapping seasons, visit DEC's Outdoor Activities webpage.


Notice for seasons below: If you do not have a lifetime license and are 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 (view more details on hunting licenses).

Remember to Report Your Harvest Logo
You must report
your take of bear,
deer or turkey within
seven days via DEC's
online reporting system
or by calling

More Noteworthy DEC News

Below are DEC press releases not to be missed!

Field Notes Issue Clarification: Helping Injured Wildlife

In the last issue of Field Notes (September 7), there was information on the importance of getting an injured or orphaned wild animal into the care of a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. However, an important message was not clarified: Wildlife should be handled and transported only by a trained wildlife rehabilitator or professional. If you discover an injured or orphaned animal, please leave it where you found it and contact a rehabilitator immediately. Use the contact list on DEC's Rehabilitators webpage to find a licensed rehabilitator who can retrieve and care for the specific animal or bird you have found.

Did You Know...?

Male Atlantic salmon displaying "kype"
~Photo by Steenstra, Edward Peter; courtesy of USFWS

During the spawning season, mature male salmon undergo a drastic skeletal change, developing an exaggerated hooked lower jaw referred to as a "kype." This characteristic trait is useful in fending off the unwanted attention of other males to their selected females.

Visit DEC's Salmon of New York webpage for more interesting salmon facts.

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