Early Bear Hunting Seasons Begin in September
The early bear season runs from September 9 to September 24 in portions of southeastern NY, including Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) 3A, 3C, 3H, 3J, 3K, 3M, 3P, 3R, 4P, and 4R.
In northern New York, the early bear season runs from September 16 to October 13 in WMUs 5A, 5C, 5F, 5G, 5H, 5J, 6C, 6F, 6H, and 6J.
With abundant apples, late ripening corn, and good hard mast crops across the state, bears will tend to cluster around these concentrated food sources. Early season bear hunters will do well to focus on areas where bears are feeding heavily. Hunters should skin and cool harvested bears as soon as possible to protect the quality of the meat and may consider skinning and quartering the bear in the field and packing out the meat in game bags.
Help DEC Monitor Deer Health
To date, Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) has not been reported in New York deer this year but has recently been detected in seven eastern states: PA, OH, VA, KY, TN, WV, and NC. EHD was previously confirmed in New York in 2007 and 2011. EHD is transmitted from animal to animal by bites of infected midges. Outbreaks tend to occur in late summer and early fall before the onset of frost and may affect only a few animals or result in localized pockets of high deer mortality. Fever and edema are common, and deer with EHD often have swollen heads, necks, tongues, or eyelids. Deer die quickly--within 8 to 36 hours. Fever causes deer to seek out water, so that dead deer may be found near or in water. EHD does not infect humans.
Please report any observations of sick deer or groups of dead deer to your local DEC regional wildlife office.
Deer Are Getting Ready for Fall – Are You?
The shortening day length triggers hormonal responses in antlered bucks that cease antler growth and begin the antler hardening process. Cooler temperatures also mean that deer need to fatten up and grow their winter coat to maintain body temperature. Now is a good time to inventory food resources to determine what will be available for food in the upcoming months. Fall food plots and standing agricultural crops provide high quality forage, making them attractive places for deer to feed. However, GPS studies have shown that deer may avoid these areas during daylight hours with as few as 2 to 3 hunts, so give yourself some options as you set your stands and plan your hunting spots. If mast crops are abundant in your hunting area, seeing deer may be more difficult, as deer may not need to travel very far to find food.
Here are some wild foods to look for while scouting:
- Apples – Deer love apples, and often scrapes can be found under low branches, making apple trees great locations to set up trail cameras to observe the deer using your area.
- Acorns – White oak acorns are preferred over red oak acorns, but all acorns are tremendous sources of fat and carbohydrates. White oak acorns usually drop early in the season, and because they sprout during the fall, they are not available very long. Red oak acorns usually drop later in the season and remain dormant until the following spring.
- Beech nuts – Beech nuts are high in fat, but good crop years are sporadic.
- Clover – Clover is tolerant to cold weather. When all of the grass is dead and dried, clover will still be green and delicious.
- Young forest – Recently logged areas are usually rich in stump sprouts, forbs, and brambles. These areas also serve as bedding cover, making them some of the most valuable areas on a hunting property. Scrapes on grown-up logging roads can be great places to set up trail cameras to observe deer.
As you observe deer in coming weeks and anticipate your fall hunts, remember that the decisions you make this year will affect your harvest options in the future. When you and your hunting companions choose to Let Young Bucks Go, you’ll have greater opportunity to see and take older, larger bucks.
For NY bucks to get bigger bodies and larger antlers, they simply need to get older.
Your choice makes a difference!
I have to interject here on this last part. While sure it is true if you let a small buck go it will grow larger, assuming it survives other possible causes of death. However, that is very poor conservation. In order for true conservation to take place we must not be selective. If all we do is kill large bucks then darwin's theory takes over and deer stop becoming large. It also creates an imbalance in the deer population in terms of artificially increasing the number of smaller deer. Mother nature will try to correct this and potentially in a way that is devestating to all deer. Stop being a buckhead and practice true conservation. And tell your DEC to stop catertering to special interest groups.
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DEC Announces Comprehensive Plan to Minimize Risk of Chronic Wasting Disease to New York Deer and Moose Herds
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