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October 2013 Outdoor Discovery

DEC Outdoor Discovery is published by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.

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Hunter with his dog.

New York State has wonderful recreational opportunities which will be highlighted for you each month. Get ready to start planning your next adventure!

A red eft on some rocks.

Check the October 2013 Conservationist where you can explore the sport of falconry with seasoned falconers; tag along with handlers and their dogs who track wounded big game; celebrate autumn in NY through photos by Bill Banaszewski; appreciate the rewards of a successful deer hunt; and much more. Subscribe online or call 1-800-678-6399.


DEC Events

Select Recreation Events
New Sporting Licenses take effect - 10/1
Various Hunting Seasons open throughout the state - 10/1
Fall Harvest Festival at Reinstein Woods - 10/5
Science on the River at Norrie Point - 10/5
Youth Hunting Weekend for Pheasant and Deer - 10/12-13
See more upcoming events


Nature Notes

Napoleon Bonaparte.

Take a detour from Greenwood Creek State Forest to Bonaparte's Cave State Forest for a bit of intrigue. Local legend has it that Napoleon Bonaparte's brother and his family escaped from Europe to what's now known as Bonaparte's Cave SF after his famous brother was arrested. They eluded hired assassins by hiding out in the rocky ledges and small caves here.


Safe and Sound

Wintery conditions on top of a mountain.

October days may be warm and sunny, but the temperature can quickly drop below freezing. Be prepared with proper clothing (including footwear) and shelter.


Featured Video

Fishing in New York City.

There are many places to go fishing in and around New York City. Watch DEC's YouTube page as a group fishes the East River for blue fish.


Explore for FREE

You can explore many state lands free of charge. However, some state campgrounds and day-use areas charge a small fee, depending on the season (campsite rentals extra).


Let Us Know

We hope you enjoy this newsletter and will share your favorite hiking spot, recreation activity or outdoor tip with us. Your feedback is always welcome.
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Photo Credits

Buck: Ed Jakubowski
Greenwood Creek SF: Holly K. Austin
Bluebird: Louis J. Suarato
Safe and Sound: Appalachian Mt. Club

White tailed deer.

Fall Hunting Seasons throughout New York

Leaf peeping, apple picking and hunting mean fall has arrived in New York State. Join the nearly 1 million hunters who participate in this popular American tradition. Central and western New York are great places to don your hunting gear. A large deer population and abundant state lands, where the highest concentrations of deer are taken every year, virtually guarantee success.

Bear hunters should head to southeastern New York, where hunters in Delaware, Greene and Ulster counties took hundreds of bears last season. Turkey hunting season is open in the Adirondacks and eastern New York this month as well.


Great Autumn Hikes

Explore fall in New York's outdoors. The Great Autumn Hikes webpage lists some favorite fall hikes of DEC staff. Selections span the state and range from short and easy to long and challenging.


Family Fishing Festival at Hempstead Lake

Hempstead Lake.

Want to find a sport the whole family, from toddlers to grandparents, can enjoy? Try fishing. The perfect place to start is at the annual Fall Fishing and Children's Festival, which will be held on Saturday, October 19 at Hempstead Lake State Park from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. More than 1,000 trout will be stocked prior to this event.

Participants fish for free-no freshwater fishing license is required. Learn how to fly-fish, cast and identify local fish. Loaner rods are available, along with free bait and fish cleaning. Children's activities will include pumpkin decorating, a magic show, pony rides and face painting. The headline event is a casting contest in which participants can "catch" a pumpkin or "hook" a prize.

Cost: $6 for those 12 and older.

For more information about the Fall Fishing Festival, or if you have weather concerns, please call DEC's I FISH NY number, 631-444-0283

Long Island isn't the only place downstate where the fishing is great. Learn about fishing in New York City in the October 2011 Conservationist magazine.


Hike of the Month: Greenwood Creek State Forest

Greenwood Creek.

Travel along the Olympic Byway, Rte. 3 in the western Adirondacks, to view spectacular fall foliage and visit quaint towns. Just outside the Village of Harrisville in St. Lawrence County, enjoy a hike in Greenwood Creek State Forest. There is a small picnic area near a stream and waterfall and a trail that runs alongside the stream, through the woods and back to the picnic area. Hikers can take a quarter-mile hike here, or choose the full 1.8-mile loop past a bubbling spring, through a red pine plantation and along rocky ridges.

For other hikes throughout the state, visit DEC's Great Autumn Hikes webpage.


Watchable Wildlife at Landis Arboretum


Esperance, Schenectady County
Landis Arboretum, a former farm overlooking the Schoharie Valley, is one of only three arboreta in eastern North America that have old-growth forests. It also has a complete New York State native plant collection, year-round educational programs, and perennial gardens. The arboretum is home to dozens of species of birds and other wildlife. There is a designated bluebird trail, and hawkwatches and owl prowls are popular. Wetlands and ponds attract ducks, geese, herons and woodcock, while scrub areas harbor grouse, killdeer and sandpipers. Deer are prevalent, and dawn and dusk offer the best opportunities for seeing coyotes, fishers, squirrels, foxes, raccoons and, occasionally, bears.

Watchable Wildlife logo.

Visit DEC's Watchable Wildlife webpages for other great places to view wildlife.


Camp at Fish Creek Pond Almost Until the Snow Flies


Fish Creek Pond remains open later than any other DEC campground in the state, not closing until November 10. Located in the heart of the Adirondacks just west of Saranac Lake, it is ideal for fall camping. Because summer crowds are gone, leaving peace in their wake, fall may become your favorite time for camping. A limited number of sites, including several with water access, remain open through the fall on a first-come, first-served basis. Enjoy a quiet paddle in a canoe on mild days, and warm yourself near a crackling campfire on chilly nights. See the webpages for Fish Creek Pond Campground to plan your stay.

October 2013 DEC Outdoor Discovery Newsletter © New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

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