DEC publishes the final deer management plan | News, Sports, Jobs

By on June 21, 2021 0

A pair of white-tailed deer graze in the snow near Saranac Lake. (Business photo – Lou Reuter)

ALBANY – Informed by public comments, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation recently released a final version of its management plan for white-tailed deer.

The DEC first released its draft deer management plan for public review in late fall 2020. The recently released final plan includes revisions and clarifications based on the DEC’s review of over 2,000 comments submitted by individuals, organizations and elected officials.

The deer management plan presents strategies for managing deer populations across a range of abundance levels and various deer-related impacts, in rural, urban and suburban areas. It also enhances DEC programs that provide relief to landowners and the public facing deer-related damage and conflict, seeks to protect New York’s deer from the devastating potential of chronic wasting disease.

The plan provides information on how the DEC determines population goals, sets harvest quotas and calculates the annual deer harvest, and describes the effectiveness of various management strategies in reducing the impacts of overabundant deer.

“This second edition deer plan marks an important step in CED’s efforts to responsibly manage deer in order to protect the environment and public safety” said Commissioner Basil Seggos. “The plan aligns public values ​​for deer with ecological data to advance management decisions that benefit deer, deer habitats and New Yorkers. “

DEC also provides additional opportunities for hunters and strategically increases antlerless harvesting where needed, while promoting hunters’ choice for male harvesting by encouraging hunters who wish to take older and larger bucks. to let the young males pass voluntarily. DEC encourages deer hunters to use unleaded ammunition to reduce lead exposure in non-target wildlife.

DEC proposes to establish a nine-day season for antlerless deer starting the second Saturday in September with guns and bows. The ministry is also proposing to extend the legal hunting hours to 30 minutes before sunrise and 30 minutes after sunset, while promoting the safety of hunters by proposing a requirement that hunters must wear orange. or neon pink.

DEC also proposed to reinstate harvesting opportunities for deer of both sexes at the start of the muzzleloading period.

In addition to implementing parts of the deer plan, the regulatory proposal includes a change to simplify bear hunting in the Adirondack portion of the North Zone by extending the regular gun season to cover the entire period. of hunting. Currently, the seasonal structure allows bears to be taken with rifles and shotguns for 72 out of 79 days, excluding the seven-day period when bears could only be taken with a load-loading weapon. mouth, crossbow or bow. According to the proposal, hunters could use any tool for the entire 79-day season.

Details of the proposals are available on the DEC website.

DEC is accepting public comments on the proposed regulatory changes until August 8 by sending an email to [email protected]

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