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NYS DEC Hunting and Trapping News: Big Game Update

Posted by NYS DEC and Tacti_Steve on

Early Bear Hunting Seasons Begin in September

DePerno bearThe 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.

See Black bear Hunting in New York for season dates and regulations. DEC’s booklet Hunting the Black Bear in New York (PDF, 800 KB) includes tips on bear hunting and proper care of harvested bears.

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?

Velvet Bucks_Dick Thomas pictureThe 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.

Let Young Bucks Go

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. 

Bowhunters: Help Monitor Deer and Other Wildlife Populations

Participate in DEC's Bowhunter Sighting LogLast year, 3,805 bowhunters from across the state participated in the Bowhunter Sighting Log and provided valuable data to aid DEC biologists with long-term monitoring of deer and other wildlife populations. Participants logged 186,110 hours afield and recorded seeing 120,067 deer, 47,772 turkeys, 2,698 ruffed grouse, 2,232 coyotes, 1,376 red [...]

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Become a Citizen Scientist for Black Bear Research and Management in New York with iSeeMammals App

iSeeMammals is a new citizen science project of DEC and the New York Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Cornell University. It collects data to help researchers and DEC biologists study the distribution and size of the black bear population in New York. iSeeMammals will help researchers collect data from more areas than researchers [...]

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DEC Announces Comprehensive Plan to Minimize Risk of Chronic Wasting Disease to New York Deer and Moose Herds

DEC Announces Comprehensive Plan to Minimize Risk of Chronic Wasting Disease to New York Deer and Moose HerdsPublic Comments on the Draft Plan Accepted Through September 1New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the release of a draft New York State Interagency CWD Risk Minimization Plan for public comment. [...]

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Thinking about Deer Season Yet? Start Planning Your Next NY Hunt.

Hunting Licenses are now available for the 2017-18 seasons.Licenses and permits can be purchased at any one of DEC's license-issuing agents, by telephone (866-933-2257) or online. Hunting and trapping licenses are valid for one year beginning September 1, 2017.New this year, we are requesting that hunters provide an email address when purchasing their licenses, so [...]

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Buy a collar get a crate fan

Promo Details:Promo Dates: 8-1-17 through 8-31-17 (or while supplies last)Free offer not applicable to extra collars/receivers (must be complete e-collar system noted above)Crate fan will be automatically added to your order when shippedPromotion is not retroactive to previously shipped ordersEligible SKUs: [...]

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Choosing a hunting light

Just found a nice little review site on some different lights. The light I use they have listed as number 5. I have it under a different brand but its the same light. Great for the price. But if quality is what you're looking for then I recommend brighteyes. Which funny enough wasn't on their [...]

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Some More HT60 Pictures

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DEC Revising Permit Requirement for Bobcat Hunting and Trapping

New York Hunters and Trappers No Longer Required to Obtain Special PermitThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today that the agency is adopting a regulatory proposal to revise the special permit requirement for bobcat hunting and trapping.Upon completion of the Bobcat Management Plan in 2012, regulations were adopted to establish a [...]

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HT60 is S.A.F.E. Act Compliant

Here we are going to clarify for those in New York State why the HT60 is S.A.F.E. Act compliant. This means you can have all the features the restricted in the S.A.F.E. Act when you use the HT60. First and foremost this ONLY applies when the HT60 is assembled on the Marlin Model 60 or any of the tube-fed variants! [...]

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