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November 2, 2012 - Field Notes

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

In This Issue

Drivers: Be Alert for Deer

deer walking along side of road
An estimated 60,000 to 70,000
deer-vehicle collisions occur throughout
New York State each year, most
between October and December
~ Photo by Bill Thompson, courtesy of USFWS

Deer-vehicle collisions increase in the fall for several reasons. Fall is the time of year when deer breed, and male deer become more active as they search for mates. Also, because of daylight savings time, more motorists are on the road when there's less light, including at dawn and dusk when deer feed. To reduce the risk of a deer-vehicle collision, motorists should take the following precautions:

  • Use extreme caution at dawn and dusk.
  • Slow down when approaching deer near the roadside.
  • Watch for more than one deer to cross the road, as they travel in groups.
  • Flash headlights to warn other drivers after you spot deer.
  • Remain alert when driving through marked deer-crossing areas.

Federal Recreational Black Sea Bass Closure

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has closed recreational black sea bass fishing for the remainder of the year in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ), which includes federal waters 3 to 200 miles offshore. Federal regulations require a closure when catch exceeds the harvest limit. Survey data showed the 2012 recreational harvest had exceeded the limit by the end of August. In the EEZ (federal waters), this closure applies to private recreational anglers and party/charter vessels. In coastal state waters (inshore out to three miles), recreational black sea bass fishing remains open to most anglers, except to holders of a federal party/charter permit. In New York, the recreational black sea bass season runs through December 31. For more details on the federal closure, see the see the full announcement released on October 23, 2012 at NMFS Northeast Region Bulletin webpage. (External Link)

Additional Deer Management Permits Available for Hunters

An extended application period for leftover deer management permits (DMPs) began November 1, 2012 for the following Wildlife Management Units (WMU): 1C, 3M, 3R, 3S (bowhunting only), 7H, 8A, 8F, 8G, 8H, 8J, 8N, 9A and 9F. DMPs, which allow hunters to harvest antlerless deer, are issued for specific WMUs to help control deer populations. The application process for these additional permits is on a first-come, first-served basis and will close once the target number of permits is issued per individual WMU. Hunters may apply for leftover DMPs at any sporting license sales outlet. Applicants who previously paid the $10 application fee will not be charged again. Visit DEC's Leftover DMPs webpage for more details, and to check the status of available leftover DMPs, which will be updated regularly.

Long Island Temporary Emergency Shellfish Closures Extended

Flooding of sewage treatment facilities and septic systems after Hurricane Sandy has resulted in extending temporary emergency closures of clam, oyster, mussel and scallop harvesting in multiple locations around Nassau and Suffolk counties through November 13, 2012. Initial closures began on October 29, 2012 in anticipation of the storm. Although the bay scallop season opens on Monday, November 5, the harvest of bay scallops is also prohibited in emergency closure areas. For detailed descriptions and maps of closure areas, see DEC's Temporary Emergency Shellfish Closure webpage. A recorded message advising harvesters of the status of these shellfish areas can be heard at 631-444-0480.

Managing Impacts of Hurricane Sandy

a great blue heron covered in oil receives assistance from DEC
DEC and private wildlife rehabilitators help
contaminated waterfowl, such as this great blue heron,
that were affected by oil spills in the Hudson Valley
caused by the hurricane

Hurricane Sandy has wreaked havoc on residents of New York City and Long Island and on the state's fish, wildlife and marine species and their habitats. DEC offices in the affected areas have been officially closed all week as residents recover from the immediate impacts of the storm. Staff from across the state are being deployed to assist with cutting downed trees, responding to spills and getting wastewater treatment plants running again. Assessments of coastal areas, barrier beaches, tidal wetlands and other critical areas are just beginning, but there is much work to be done. DEC will work diligently to mitigate impacts of the storm as best we can, restore what has been lost whenever possible and continue our mission to protect and enhance our fish, wildlife and marine resources.

Visit DEC's Storm Information webpage for the latest alerts relating to impacts from the storm and to view a photo gallery of Hurricane Sandy images.

November 13 - Marine Resources Advisory Council Meeting

The next Marine Resources Advisory Council (MRAC) meeting will be held at 2:00 PM on Tuesday, November 13 at DEC's Bureau of Marine Resources headquarters in East Setauket, NY. MRAC advises DEC on the management of New York State's marine resources and the fisheries that these resources sustain. The public is invited to attend these meetings to listen and provide comments. Please check the MRAC Website(External Link) for agenda items as they become available.

Upcoming Recreational Sporting Seasons

Listed below are upcoming recreational sporting seasons for Saturday, November 3 through Friday, November 16 only. To view all fishing, hunting and trapping seasons, visit DEC's Outdoor Activities webpage or DEC's new Sporting Seasons Calendar.

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


Youth Hunt Opportunities

  • November 10-11: Long Island Youth Waterfowl Hunt

Big Game (Deer and Bear)

  • November 16: Final day for regular bowhunting season in the Southern Zone (the late bowhunting season will open on December 10)


  • November 16: Final day for eastern areas and portions of western and central NY


  • November 10: Duck, coot and merganser seasons open in southeastern waterfowl hunting zone
  • November 16: Final day for Canada goose season in east central and Hudson Valley Canada goose hunting areas (The season will reopen for east central area on November 24 and for the Hudson Valley area on December 8.)

Migratory Game Birds

  • November 9: Final day for snipe, rail and gallinule seasons statewide
  • November 14: Final day for woodcock season statewide

Furbearer Trapping

  • November 10: The following seasons open:
  • Beaver - eastern areas and a portion of central NY upstate
  • Mink and Muskrat - eastern areas of upstate NY (Hudson River Valley/Catskills). Mink may also be hunted during the open trapping season with a firearm not larger than .22 caliber (for more details, visit DEC's Furbearer Hunting webpage).
  • River Otter - portion of eastern areas upstate (Hudson River Valley)

More Noteworthy DEC News

Below are DEC press releases not to be missed!

Did You Know...?

black-capped chickadees sitting on tree branch
Black-capped chickadees are year-round
residents in New York State
~Photo by Donna Dewhurst, courtesy of USFWS

Like squirrels, black-capped chickadees are excellent at caching food for winter. Yet, lacking a sense of smell, they must use a different approach to find their caches. The hippocampus region of their brains, an area for making new memories, expands by approximately 30 percent each fall because of the addition of new brain cells. This helps them remember a combination of visual and spatial cues to find stored food. It also helps them recall sites that were emptied, either by them or others.

Learn more about black-capped chickadees on Cornell's All About Birds webpage (External Link).

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