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February 22, 2013 - Field Notes

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

In This Issue:

Cuomo Aims for Sporting License Changes in 2014

Governor Cuomo has proposed a bill in the 2013-14 Executive Budget that will simplify the sporting license structure for anglers, hunters and trappers, as well as for license-issuing agents and license-system managers.

Among the proposed changes are several highlights shown below:

  • Reduce the cost of many resident and non-resident sporting licenses.
  • Condense the number of license types from 17 to 7.
  • Make the annual freshwater fishing license and saltwater fishing registration valid for one full year from the date of purchase or registration.
  • Change the hunting license year from October 1 through September 30, to September 1 through August 31 to incorporate many hunting seasons that start in September.

For more details, including a table of proposed license fees, see the Governor's press release. (External Link)

Studying Distribution of Fishers in New York State

Fisher taking the bait
Beaver meat is used as bait to lure
fishers. Gun brushes set around the
bait collect hair, which is used to
obtain an individual fisher's DNA.
~ Photo captured by DEC trail camera
in Steuben County

This winter, DEC teamed with Cornell University on a large-scale survey of fisher across the southern tier of central and western New York. To track these secretive mammals, digital trail cameras and bait are placed at survey locations across the region. Fisher hair collected at bait sites will be used for DNA analysis to help biologists estimate population size.

Preliminary results documented fishers at 54 percent of 100 survey locations during the first month. Surveys will continue for another two months, and final results will help in the development of a comprehensive fisher management plan.

In addition to this survey, DEC is interested in receiving fisher observations from you. Please report your fisher sightings to Fish and Wildlife email box, and include the following information: date of observation, town, county, nearest intersection or address of observation, description of animal, photos (if any), and your name and contact information.

Find a New Place to Fish

Information about 86 new Places to Fish throughout New York State have recently been added to DEC's website. They include ponds and lakes in Southeastern New York (DEC Region 3), the Adirondacks and Lake Champlain (DEC Region 5), North Central New York (DEC Region 6) and West Central New York (DEC Region 8).

Each new webpage offers details about the area's physical features, access locations, fish species to catch, applicable special regulations and more. Discover a new place to fish today!

Exams for Falconry, Wildlife Rehabilitation and Leashed Tracking Dog Licenses

Examinations are being offered on Friday, April 19 for those interested in obtaining a license to participate in the sport of falconry, help wildlife in distress, or use leashed dogs to track deer and bear. An exam application or registration form is due by April 5. Each exam will be held at DEC regional wildlife offices statewide from 10 AM to noon, except for DEC's Avon Office, where the exam time is from 1 PM to 3 PM.

Visit DEC's Special Licenses webpage to download an application or form and to get more information about the falconry, wildlife rehabilitation or leashed tracking dog license.

Youth Sportsman Camp at Montezuma Audubon Center

camper learning how to use a firearm
Campers will learn how to be safe
and responsible while handling firearms.

Kids ages 12 to 15 are invited to the summertime Youth Sportsman Camp at Montezuma Audubon Center in Savannah, NY. In three weeks of hands-on learning and outdoor field experience from July 15 through August 1, campers can receive a hunter safety, bow safety or waterfowl identification certificate.

Campers may participate in one, two or all three weeks of camp, each held Monday through Thursday from 9 AM to 4 PM. Week one focuses on hunter education, week two on bow education and week three on waterfowl identification. Each week includes engaging classroom instruction and field lessons in orienteering, canoeing, tracking game and more. Campers also will participate in habitat conservation projects for game and non-game species.

The cost is $100 for one week of camp, $190 for two weeks or $270 for all three weeks. For more information and to register, call 315-365-3588, or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org.

Recreational Sporting Season Reminders

Listed below are recreational sporting season dates for Saturday, February 23 through Friday, March 8 only. To see more fishing, hunting and trapping seasons, visit DEC's Outdoor Activities webpage or the new Sporting Seasons calendar Hunting/Trapping


Furbearer Hunting

Furbearer Trapping

Small Game

  • February 28: Final day for the following seasons in the following locations:
    • Squirrels statewide
    • Varying/Snowshoe hare in southeastern areas upstate and portions of central New York
    • Cottontail rabbit in western, central and eastern areas upstate and on Long Island
    • Ruffed grouse statewide
    • Pheasant in northern and eastern areas upstate, as well as southern portions of western and central New York
    • Quail in Orange and Putnam counties

More Noteworthy DEC News

Below are DEC press releases not to be missed!

Did You Know...?

Northern pike
Inside a northern pike's wide, round mouth
are very sharp teeth
~ Photo credit: Luc Viatour/www.Lucnix.be

While their metabolism may slow down in colder temperatures, the northern pike still regularly hunts throughout the winter. Despite its large size, it avoids being seen by lurking within crevices and cracks of rocky ledges, where it waits to ambush unsuspecting prey.

Find more interesting facts about this and other pikes of New York State on DEC's Pikes webpage.

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