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Places to Hunt in Region 6

Public Lands To Hunt

Waterfowl Hunting Opportunities

There are many great waterfowl hunting locations on public lands in Region 6. Several wildlife management areas (WMA) contain large wetlands and are managed for wetland wildlife, including ducks and geese. Some areas like Lakeview WMA are open for hunting with no special regulations. Perch River, Wilson Hill and Upper and Lower Lakes WMAs require people to abide by special regulations for hunting and other recreational uses during certain times of the year. There may be daily permits and hunter registration. People from all over New York and even neighboring states who waterfowl hunt will make these public lands in Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties a destination during New York's northeastern zone waterfowl season. Lakeview WMA, Jefferson - 20 miles southwest of Watertown, Rte. 3, just south of Southwick Beach State Park
Perch River WMA, Jefferson - 7 miles N of Watertown (Rte 12)*
Upper & Lower Lakes WMA, St Lawrence - 4 miles W of Canton, Rte. 68*
Wilson Hill WMA, St. Lawrence - 6 miles w of the village of Massena, Rte. 37*
* Special regulations apply, contact DEC office or download the special regulations from the right hand column links.

Ruffed Grouse Hunting Opportunities

Ruffed Grouse in a TreeMany acres of public hunting exist in the forms of state wildlife management areas (WMA) and state forests (SF) scattered around Region 6. Public hunting is also available on some county owned lands. Like many small game species, ruffed grouse are susceptible to dramatic population shifts. Severe winters, wet springs, and changing habitat conditions can affect populations locally and regionally. Grouse are naturally sustaining, unlike ring-necked pheasants which are reared and stocked.

Cover to look for grouse in.

Ruffed grouse occupy a range of different habitats. Secretive birds, they will rarely expose themselves to the open. Field edges , overgrown pasture, and mature forest are all utilized at some point. Areas producing both soft (wild grape, blueberry, etc.) and hard (black cherry, acorn, etc. ) mast crops will draw grouse in the autumn. Old apple orchards are a good bet early in the fall. Hemlock thickets and other evergreen stands are often productive late fall and winter.

WMA's and public Lands, county and location

Ashland WMA, Jefferson - 5 miles NW of Chaumont
Littlejohn WMA, Jefferson/Oswego - 13 miles east of Mannsville
Perch River WMA, Jefferson - 7 miles N of Watertown (Rte 12)*
Fort Drum, Jefferson - 3 miles NE of Watertown, Rte 11 (link to Fort Drum on right sidebar)**
Tug Hill SF, Jefferson - 2 miles W of Barnes Corners on Rte. 177
Winona SF, Jefferson/Oswego - 5 miles east of Lacona
Jadwin SF, Lewis - S of Harrisville on Rte 812
Tug Hill WMA, Lewis - 7 miles S of Bellwood
Brasher SF, St. Lawrence - Vicinity of Brasher Falls
South Hammond SF, St Lawrence- 11 miles N of Redwood, Rte 37 to South Hammond Rd.
Fish Creek WMA, St Lawrence- @ Pope Mills, adjacent to Black Lake
Upper & Lower Lakes WMA, St Lawrence - 4 miles W of Canton, Rte. 68*
* Special regulations apply, contact DEC office.
** Fort Drum requires special permitting, call their outdoor recreation office (315-772-9636 or 772-4999) for information.

This list is not meant to be all inclusive. Numerous other hunting opportunities exist. Other regions of the state also have good areas to hunt grouse.

Snowshoe Hare Hunting Opportunities

Snowshoe hare with white coat

The snowshoe hare is an important game species in northern New York. It is a species well known for its color variation from the summer to winter months (changing from brown to white). Snowshoe hares are generally larger then cottontail rabbits, have broader hind feet, and give birth to young with open eyes.

Snowshoe hares are densities were high during the 1950s and '60s in northern New York, but have since leveled off. The loss of good quality habitat due to the maturation of reforested lands has contributed to this decline. Slight population shifts also occur in relation to levels of predators such as fox, coyote, and the great horned owl.

Habitat to look for snowshoe hares in.

Research indicates that distribution of snowshoe hare depends heavily on the presence of conifers (evergreen trees). The best habitat for snowshoe hare consists of continuous, dense stands of coniferous cover less than 11.5 feet in height (base cover). Hares avoid travel across large gaps between good cover areas; therefore, populations may be low or non-existent in habitat with many open patches. Snowshoe hares feed on green vegetation (grasses, flowers) during most of the year, but turn to hard woody brose (twigs, bus, and bark) during the winter months.

WMA's and public Lands, county and location

Many acres of public hunting exist in the forms of state wildlife management area (WMA) and state forest (SF). Good hunting opportunities can still be found, especially on Tug Hill plateau and the peripheral Adirondacks. The key to hunting success is locating good habitat.

Happy Valley WMA, Oswego - 6 miles NE of Parish
Littlejohn WMA, Jefferson/Oswego - 10 miles E of Locona
Fort Drum, Jefferson - 3 miles NE of Watertown (link to Fort Drum on right sidebar)**
South Hammond SF, St Lawrence- 11 miles N of Redwood
Winona SF, Jefferson/Oswego - 5 miles east of Lacona
Jeff #3 SF, Jefferson - 2 miles W of Barnes Corners on Rte. 177
Jadwin SF, Lewis - S of Harrisville on Rte 812
Sears Pond SF, Lewis - S of Bellwood
Lewis 8 & 9 SF, Lewis - 5 miles W of Turin
Brasher SF, St. Lawrence - Vicinity of Brasher Falls
Tug Hill WMA, Lewis - 7 miles S of Bellwood
Upper & Lower Lakes WMA, St Lawrence- 4miles W of Canton, Rte. 68*
*Special regulations apply, contact DEC office.
** Fort Drum requires special permitting, call their outdoor recreation office (315-772-9636 or 772-4999) for information.

This list is not meant to be all inclusive. Numerous other hunting opportunities exist. Other regions of the state also have good areas to snowshoe hare.

Wild Turkey Hunting Opportunities

Picture of a Turkey

The eastern wild turkey is a bird that was eliminated from much of its historical range in North America due to habitat loss from excessive lumbering and unregulated market hunting. As the habitat recovered and became suitable for wild turkeys, reintroduction efforts were begun. Successful reintroduction was accomplished by trapping and transferring turkeys from wild flocks. Efforts to restore populations using farm reared "wild turkeys," commonly called game farm wild turkeys, were unsuccessful. These birds were genetically impure and lacked the "wildness" needed for survival.

Cover to look for turkeys in.

Wild turkeys are very adaptable and occupy a wide variety of habitats, ranging from open fields to brushy young forests. Young turkeys need a high protein diet, so open areas with high numbers of insects are heavily used in late spring through early fall. Areas producing both soft (wild grape, blueberry, etc) and hard (black cherry, acorn, beechnut, etc) mast will attract wild turkeys in the fall and early winter. Agricultural areas with waste grain and/or manure to pick through often attract turkeys in the winter, as do areas where snow depth allows turkeys to scratch through to get green plant material.

WMA's and public Lands, county and location

Many acres of public hunting exist in the form of wildlife management areas (WMA) and state forests (SF). Public hunting is also available on some county-owned lands. The top three counties in Region 6 for both spring and fall harvests are Jefferson, Oneida and St. Lawrence.

Indian River WMA, Jefferson - 4 miles N of Theresa
Little John WMA, Jefferson/Oswego - 13 mi E of Mannsville
Fort Drum**, Jefferson - 3 mi NE of Watertown (link to Fort Drum on right sidebar)
South Hammond SF, St Lawrence - 11 miles N of Redwood
Tassel Hill SF, Oneida - 3 miles E of Sangerfield
Oneida SF #s 2,3,9,11,14, Oneida - Towns of Florence and Annsville
Jeff #3 SF, Jefferson - 2 miles W of Barnes Corners on Rte. 177
Fish Creek WMA, St Lawrence- at Pope Mills, adjacent to Black Lake
Upper & Lower Lakes WMA, St Lawrence- 4miles W of Canton, Rte. 68*
*Special regulations apply, contact DEC office.
** Fort Drum requires special permitting, call their outdoor recreation office (315-772-9636 or 772-4999) for information.

This list is not meant to be all inclusive. Numerous other hunting opportunities may exist on private lands; access may or may not be granted by landowners.


More about Places to Hunt in Region 6: