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October 5, 2012 - Field Notes

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

In This Issue:

Turkey Hunters: Help DEC Track an Emerging Turkey Disease

With the first confirmation of lymphoproliferative disease virus (LPDV) in New York this past spring, DEC's Wildlife Health Unit needs your help to learn more about the virus. Visual symptoms of infection include skin lesions on the turkey's head, neck, legs and feet that closely resemble those of avian pox, a turkey virus common in North America. LPDV's close resemblance to avian pox may have prevented its detection and diagnosis until now, as only laboratory tests can distinguish between the two diseases. Fall hunters who see turkeys with skin lesions should contact a regional DEC wildlife office or e-mail the wildlife office to receive instructions on how to submit a sample for testing. As always, DEC advises against eating wild animals that appear sick.

Latest Fisheries Annual Report

Reflected in the daily work of DEC's Bureau of Fisheries is its mission to conserve New York State's abundant fish resources and increase quality recreational angling opportunities statewide. In the Bureau of Fisheries Annual Reports, you can see the efforts and achievements of fisheries staff in fulfilling this mission. The latest annual report summarizes significant activities completed throughout the state during fiscal year 2011-2012, including fish disease investigations, rare fish population enhancements, habitat improvements, new fishing access installments, invasive species control and much more.

The October Conservationist!

Cover of October 2012 Conservationist
Cover designed to reflect the earliest
Conservationists of 1946 and '47

Don't miss the latest Conservationist! In the October issue, you will read about the wild mountain lion that traveled through New York, learn how invasive wild boars are threatening the state, discover the advantages of non-lead ammunition, celebrate the 75th anniversary of Wildlife and Sportfish Restoration (External Link), learn why birding with your kids can be rewarding and humorous at the same time, explore autumn in New York with photographer Mark Bowie and more. To get your copy, call 1-800-678-6399, or visit us online at The Conservationist.

Upcoming Recreational Sporting Seasons

Listed below are upcoming recreational sporting seasons for Saturday, October 6 through Friday, October 19 only. To view all fishing, hunting or trapping seasons, visit DEC's Outdoor Activities webpage.


Youth Hunt Opportunities

  • October 6-8: NEW! Youth Firearms Deer Hunt Upstate
  • October 13-14:
    • Youth Pheasant Hunt in Central and Western New York
    • Youth Waterfowl Hunt in the Western Waterfowl Zone
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 1-888-426-3778

Big Game (Deer and Bear) - Northern Zone Only

  • October 12: Early Bear Season Final Day
  • October 13: Muzzleloader Season Opens
  • October 19: Bowhunting and Muzzleloader Season Final Day


  • October 19: Final Day in Northern Areas


  • October 6: Brant Season Opens in Western and Northeastern Waterfowl Zones
  • October 6: Duck, Coot and Merganser Seasons Open in Northeastern Waterfowl Zone
  • October 13:
    • Long Island Sea Duck Season Opens
    • Brant, Duck, Coot and Merganser Seasons Open in Lake Champlain and Southeastern Waterfowl Zones
    • Canada Goose Season Opens on Lake Champlain
  • October 14: Northeastern Waterfowl Zone Duck, Coot and Merganser Final Day
  • October 17: Lake Champlain Duck, Coot and Merganser Final Day (reopens October 27)

Did You Know...?

Male rock pigeon in flight
Male rock pigeon in flight
~Photo by Alan D. Wilson

With their remarkable ability to navigate and flying speeds of up to 80 mph, pigeons were used to carry vital messages when time was of the essence and no other means of rapid communication existed. During both world wars, they transported crucial information across enemy lines, saving lives and improving war strategies. More than 30 pigeons received a special medal, called the Dickin Medal, for their heroic efforts and devotion to duty.

Read more about this common, yet exceptional bird on Cornell University's "All About Birds" (External Link) website.

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