Deer Management Focus Areas
DEC has established a Deer Management Focus Area in central Tompkins County to intensify use of hunting to assist communities in the Ithaca area with the burden of overabundant deer populations. The focus area program (PDF, .76 MB) is established to reduce total deer populations within the focus area by providing more time and more tags to hunters who can gain access to huntable land. DEC plans to evaluate this new approach over the next several years and, depending on the results, will consider designation of other locations as deer management focus areas.
Within the DMFA, registered big game hunters will be authorized to:
- Take up to 2 antlerless deer per day using DMFA carcass tags during the general hunting seasons (regular season, and bow and muzzleloader seasons with appropriate special season privileges).
- Hunt antlerless deer only (limit 2 per day) during a DMFA season from the second Saturday in January through January 31. During the DMFA season, a hunter may use any hunting implement that is lawful during any other deer season in that area. Rifles are not authorized for big game hunting in Tompkins County.
- The January DMFA season is a firearms season, but rifles may not be used. Also, only bows (no crossbows this year) may be used in Robert H. Treman and Buttermilk Falls State Parks.
How it Works
- Any person currently licensed to hunt deer may register with the DMFA program and obtain a free DMFA Permit and Carcass Tags (see details below).
- During the special January DMFA season, you may only hunt deer within the DMFA boundary.
- Both the DMFA permit and carcass tags must be carried while deer hunting in the DMFA. The permit and carcass tags are valid only within the DMFA.
- Only DMFA carcass tags are valid during the January DMFA season. DO NOT use other leftover tags from the regular hunting seasons (bow/muzzleloader tags, DMPs, regular big game tags).
- All DMFA registered hunters must submit a hunting activity log with reports of all deer harvested in the DMFA no later than seven days following the close of the DMFA season. The hunting activity log will be provided with the DMFA permit.
DMFA Location and Available Hunting Lands
Available hunting lands include (links leave DEC's website):
- Buttermilk Falls State Park (bowhunting only)
- Robert H. Treman State Park (bowhunting only)
- Hunters with legal access to private lands in the DMFA may also participate in the DMFA program.
- There are no state forests or wildlife management areas within the DMFA.
Please note: Hunting on Cornell managed lands requires a Cornell Hunting Permit. If you did not register with the Cornell Hunting Programs prior to October 15 (Cornell's application deadline), you may not hunt on Cornell lands. Trespassers will be prosecuted.
To participate in the DMFA program during the 2012-2013 season, you must obtain a DMFA registration number and write the number on your DMFA Permit, DMFA Carcass Tags, DMFA Hunting Activity Log / Harvest Report Form. Please review the DMFA Permit conditions before registering.
- Download and print the DMFA Permit (PDF 1.16 MB) - requires a DMFA registration # to be valid. You will need to carry this with you while hunting in the focus area.
- Register to participate in the Tompkins County DMFA (link leaves DEC's website)
- Download and print the DMFA Hunting Activity Log/Harvest Report Form (PDF) (58 kB). Download and print additional hunting Log/Harvest Report forms (PDF) (26 kB) as needed. This form requires a DMFA registration # to be valid. All registrants must mail this form to DEC at the end of the DMFA season.
- Download and print DMFA Carcass Tags (PDF) (132 kB) - requires a DMFA registration # to be valid. You will need to carry at least 1 carcass tag with you while hunting in the focus area.
To Find Your Lost DMFA Number click the link on the right side of this page.
Note: You do not need to register with the DMFA program if you only hunt during the general hunting seasons using your regular deer carcass tags (regular or special season, DMP or DMAP tags).