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For Release: Monday, December 16, 2013

DEC Announces a Temporary Blackout Period for Sporting License Sales and Game Harvest Reporting

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens today announced that beginning Thursday, December 26, the public will not be able to purchase hunting, fishing or trapping licenses, or secure a recreational marine fishing registration or report their harvested game. The temporary blackout period is due to a transition that DEC will undergo from the current computerized licensing system to a newly developed system and is expected to last approximately one to two weeks.

"In order to transfer the most current data and transition to the new system, we need to completely shut down license sales and game harvest reporting," said Commissioner Martens. "The loss of the ability to purchase a sporting license, associated stamp or permit, register to recreationally fish in New York's marine waters or report a harvested deer or bear will be temporary and the public will be notified as soon the new system is accessible."

DEC is in the transition phase to a new system for computerized sporting license issuance and game harvest reporting since the contract with the provider of the current system ends December 31, 2013 and that provider will no longer be in sporting license business. DEC's new sporting license system is part of a larger multi-agency effort in New York State to consolidate licensing systems and facilitate securing licenses in New York.

Hunters, anglers, and trappers need to purchase their licenses, stamps, and permits prior to December 26, 2013 in order to hunt or fish during the blackout period. There will be outreach efforts about the blackout period so that potential anglers, hunters, and trappers are prepared for this closure period. Hunters are encouraged to purchase remaining first-come-first-served deer management permits (DMPs) prior to the December 26 blackout period. Sporting licenses are available at nearly 1,500 locations across New York State, via telephone (1-866-933-2257) and via the internet at https://nyfgisales.appsolgrp.com/fgnyia/html/index.jsp. For a list of license agents, visit DEC's website.

"If you know of a friend or relative that is planning to hunt, fish, or trap and who may not have already purchased a sporting license, please get the word to them about the black-out period and the need to purchase their license prior to December 26," Commissioner Martens said. "While another announcement will be made when the new system is functional and licenses are available for purchase, we encourage anglers, hunters, and trappers to periodically check the DEC website for updates."

Deer and bear season in Westchester County and deer season in Suffolk County will be open during at least a portion of the blackout period. Small game and waterfowl hunting seasons and many fishing seasons also remain open during this time.

Hunters are required, by law, to report deer, bear, and turkey harvested pursuant to a hunting license within seven days of taking the animal. During the blackout period, hunters will not be able to report their harvest; however, they will be given a seven-day grace period to report their harvest once the new system is up and running.

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