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From the October 2012 Conservationist


By Jenna Kerwin and David Nelson

Attention Big Game Hunters

A black bear in the wild
Photo: John Mosseso

DEC recently adopted several new regulations that affect deer and bear hunting seasons, including: lengthened bowhunting seasons in the southern zone; established a late bowhunting season in the northern zone; established mandatory antler restrictions in certain wildlife management units; and adjusted bear seasons in the northern and southern zones. You can check out these new regs on DEC's website.

Greening the Blue

DEC is conducting a new project to educate the public and land-care businesses on lawn care maintenance and pest management. Called "Be Green in the Great Lakes," the project is funded by the Federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative as an outreach effort to inform New Yorkers in the 28 counties of the state's Great Lakes watershed that they can help reduce water pollution through careful land care and pest management. Conventional lawn and landscape maintenance often require large amounts of water, and land-care pesticides and fertilizers have the potential (especially if improperly used) to seep into groundwater and run into streams that can enter the Great Lakes. To learn more about the project, and to take a survey about your current land and pest management practices, visit the Be Green in the Great Lakes information page on DEC's website.

Two Invasives Spread

An adult emerald ash borer on a leaf
Emerald ash borer (Photo: David Cappaert)
Side view of a spiny water flea
Spiny water flea (Photo: Kate Feil)

For the past several years, spiny water flea and emerald ash borer (two invasives) have rapidly spread through New York's waters and forests (respectively). First discovered in Great Sacandaga Lake in 2008, the aquatic spiny water flea was just recently confirmed in Lake George. (Go to the spiny water flea web page on the NY Invasive Species Clearing house site for more information.) To the south, emerald ash borer was recently confirmed in a DEC campground in Ulster County in the Catskill Forest Preserve. Originally discovered in NY in Cattaraugus County in 2009, this is the first time the tiny beetle has been found in a DEC campground. For more information about the beetle is on DEc's website.

Safe Hunting Year

A youth hunter aims a rifle while an adult hunter looks on

The 2011 hunting season tied 2009 for New York's safest hunting year on record for the number of hunting-related shooting incidents. There were 26 incidents reported, including four fatalities that occurred during the regular deer season; one was self-inflicted. Though hunting is safer than ever, accidents do happen and it is important to remember that every hunting-related shooting incident is preventable. First-time hunters are required to attend a comprehensive hunter safety course of a minimum of 10 hours, taught by DEC's highly trained instructors. All courses are offered free of charge, and students must successfully complete the course and pass the final exam before being eligible to purchase a hunting license. Visit DEC's Sportsman Education program webpage for more information.