For Release: Thursday, August 11, 2011
2011-2012 Sporting Licenses Available Beginning August 15, 2011
Deer Management Permits, Hunting, Fishing, Trapping Licenses will be Available
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens today announced that 2011-2012 hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses and Deer Management Permits (DMPs) may be purchased beginning Monday, August 15.
Licenses and permits can be purchased at one of DEC's 1,500 license sales outlets statewide. Sporting licenses can also be ordered by mail or by telephone and via the internet. The 2011-2012 sporting licenses are valid beginning October 1, 2011, through September 30, 2012.
"Hunting, trapping, and fishing opportunities in New York are fantastic, and DEC is committed to helping provide outdoor enthusiasts with numerous recreational opportunities to enjoy the beauty of our state throughout the year," Commissioner Martens said. "With a new deer management plan soon to be adopted, statewide management plans being developed for black bear and furbearers, and construction of new or upgrades to existing boat launches, we're continually working to make improvements to better serve the public and protect our natural resources."
Due to unforeseen delays associated with production of the hunting and trapping and fishing regulations guide books, they may not be available at license sales outlets on August 15. Those purchasing a license and not receiving a guide can download a copy from the DEC website for the New York Hunting and Trapping Guide and for the Freshwater Fishing Regulations or return to any license vendor at a later date and request the 2011-2012 guide(s) desired.
DEC Automated Licensing System
DEC's Automated Licensing System (DECALS) is New York State's program for issuing sporting licenses and tracking license sales and revenues. DECALS may also be used for donations to the Habitat Access Stamp Program, Venison Donation Coalition, Conservation Fund, and the Trail Maintenance Program. DEC continues to improve and enhance DECALS to better meet the needs of sportsmen and women. For questions regarding license purchases, please call DECALS Call Center at (1-866-933-2257). Hours of operation for the Call Center are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday from August 15 to October 15, 2011. Regular weekday hours of 8 am to 5 pm will resume on October 17, 2011.
License buyers should have the following items ready when applying: complete name and address information, customer ID number if you have it, proof of residency information (driver's license number or non-driver's ID number to qualify for a resident license), and, if purchasing by phone or internet, credit card and card expiration date. Hunting license purchases require individuals to provide proof of hunting education certification or a copy of a previous license, or this information must already be contained in their DECALS file.
Sales of all sporting licenses are deposited into the Conservation Fund which is used for the management of New York's fish and wildlife populations and for protection and management of wildlife habitat.
New Regulations for 2011-2012
Hunters and trappers should be aware of several new regulations in effect for 2011-2012:
Crossbows may now be used for hunting big game (deer and bear) during the early bear season, regular firearms seasons, the special January firearms season in Suffolk County, and all late muzzleloading seasons. See Crossbow Hunting for more information.
- Recent legislation lowered the minimum age for youth hunters to purchase a Junior Bowhunting license for big game hunting from 14 to 12 years of age. See the Junior Hunter Mentoring Program for detailed information on youth hunting requirements.
- Bear hunting is now open in new areas in eastern New York and bear hunting season dates in central and western New York have been modified to create a uniform season across the Southern Zone. See Deer and Bear Hunting Seasons for season dates and locations.
- Woodcock season has been expanded to 45 days. See Woodcock Hunting Seasons for dates.
- New legislation now allows use of rifles for big game hunting in Wyoming and Cortland counties and in the portion of Chautauqua County south of Route 20.
More detail for each of these regulation changes is available in the 2011-2012 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide.
Anglers should be aware that although the majority of fishing regulations have not changed from 2010-2011, significant changes have been made to the regulations for use and transportation of baitfish. Transportation corridors through which uncertified baitfish can be transported in motor vehicles have been established for Lake Ontario, Lake Erie and adjoining waters, as well as the Hudson River see Baitfish Regulations.
Deer Management Permits
DEC issues Deer Management Permits (DMPs), often called doe tags, to move the population closer toward objective levels in each Wildlife Management Unit (a map of WMU boundaries across the state can be found on the DEC website.) The target DMP allocation for 2011 varies by unit depending on the management objective, but overall DEC intends to issue approximately 10% more DMPs than in 2010. In addition to the Adirondack and Tug Hill units where DMPs are not authorized, WMUs 3A, 4L, 4S, 4U, and 4Z will be closed for DMPs in 2011. Applicants are reminded that DMPs are only valid for antlerless deer in the WMU specified on the permit.
For specific boundaries of the WMUs mentioned in this announcement and for all current hunting, fishing and trapping regulations, access the DEC's website.
DMPs will be available at all license issuing outlets and by phone, internet or mail, from August 15, 2011 through close of business October 1, 2011. DMPs are issued through a random selection process at the point of sale, and customers who are selected for DMPs will receive their permits immediately. Chances of selection in each WMU are available at License Issuing Agent locations, or you may call the DMP Hotline at 1-866-472-4332. Chances of getting a DMP remain the same throughout the application period, so hunters do not need to rush to apply for a DMP on the first day of sale.
If a significant number of DMPs are still available in a WMU after October 1, leftover DMP sales will commence on November 1, 2011 and will continue on a first-come/first-serve basis until the end of the hunting season or until all DMPs have been issued in the WMU. Additionally, Bonus DMPs will be available in the bowhunting-only WMUs 3S, 4J, and 8C and in Suffolk County (WMU 1C). For information about Bonus DMPs please see DEC's website.
Be a Mentor to a New Hunter or Trapper
Adult hunters and trappers are encouraged to pass along their traditions and become a mentor for a junior hunter or trapper. The junior hunter and trapper mentoring program allows 14-15 year olds to hunt big game with a firearm and 12-15 year olds to hunt big game with a bow while accompanied and supervised by an experienced adult hunter. Unlicensed youth less than 12 years of age may also accompany and assist a licensed and experienced adult trapper. More details about these opportunities are available in this year's Hunting and Trapping Laws and Regulations Guide or Junior Hunter Mentoring Program webpage.
Take the Pledge to Introduce Someone New to the Sport of Fishing
Anglers are encouraged to "Take the Pledge" and help grow the sport of fishing in New York State by taking someone new fishing this year. Over 11,000 New York anglers have participated in this joint program of the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation and the Department since its inception in 2006. Anglers interested in Taking the Pledge can do so on DEC's Fishing page. Together we can create a future generation of anglers that value the great outdoors we all cherish.
Contribute Via Habitat Stamps, Trail Supporter Patch, or Donation Directly to Support the Conservation Fund or the Venison Donation Program
DEC encourages all outdoor enthusiasts to consider purchasing a Habitat/Access Stamp and/or a Trail Supporter Patch. These stamps and patches help support the DEC's efforts to conserve habitat and increase public access for fish and wildlife-related recreation and maintain non-motorized trails. Buying a $5 stamp or patch or donating directly to the Conservation Fund is a way to help conserve New York's fabulous wildlife heritage and enhance outdoor recreation in New York State.
Additionally, anyone - not just hunters and anglers - can help feed the hungry by contributing to the Venison Donation Program at all license issuing outlets. Individuals should inform the license sales agent that they want to make a donation of $1 or more to support the program. Since 1999, the Venison Donation Coalition has paid for the processing of more than 330 tons of highly nutritious venison, the equivalent of 2.8 million meals served. For more information about the program go to Venison Donation Coalition.
Participate in Citizen Science to Benefit Wildlife Management
Each year, thousands of hunters, trappers, and anglers help DEC monitor wildlife populations by recording their wildlife observations while afield. To learn about how you can participate in the Cooperator Ruffed Grouse Hunting Log, Bowhunter Sighting Log, Winter Wild Turkey Flock Survey and other citizen science programs, please see Citizen Science: Wildlife Observation Data Collection.
The latest updates on New York's fish and wildlife can be easily accessed go to Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources E-mail News, a free online e-mail list.