New York BHA Chapter Update - Winter 2023

From the Chair

Chapter Chair Brian Bird conducting a deer processing demonstration.

Hello everyone!  As the ice fishing season was a bit lackluster in my area this year, I am looking forward to Spring and getting after some brook trout andchasing turkeys and taking a bunch of folks with me to do it!  We have some really great events and plans for 2023. To start, we will be increasing our communications with NY members so watch your inbox each month and follow us on social media to keep up with the latest happenings. As a reminder, check your fishing license. It is valid for one year from when it was purchased, unlike hunting licenses. Get out there and enjoy your public lands and water!

Brian Bird

NYBHA Chapter Chair 



New York Chapter Plan for 2023

All BHA chapters are required to create a chapter plan for the upcoming year. As such, the NY Chapter Board has just completed the plan for 2023, and we would like to share that plan with all of you. At a high level, our goals for the year fall into the following buckets.


  1. More events - We not only want to start having more Pint Nights across the state, but we also are planning a NY Rendezvous in the Adirondacks in early September for all NY members.
  2. More opportunities for volunteering - We are looking for more volunteers to help us with chapter operations as well as for public lands cleanups and habitat work.   We are also assembling a robust network of mentors to help support new hunters!  If you are interested in helping out with any of this, please do let us know!
  3. Collaboration with other hunting/fishing/conservation agencies and organizations - We are continuing to build stronger relationships with DEC as well as other non-profit conservation groups.  This gives us more of a voice at the table to protect our public lands, and it allows us to have stronger allies in our work!
  4. Legislative and policy work - We will track legislative and policy initiatives that impact hunters and anglers to keep you informed so that you are able to voice your feedback to our elected and appointed officials.  We will also be digging deeper into larger policy issues like stream access issues and wanton waste laws.


Call for Volunteers

We need your help!  We are looking for volunteers to help with the following efforts.


  • Regional Event Coordinators - Want to help us plan gatherings for your fellow NY BHA members?   We need help with local Pint Nights as well as our upcoming NY Rendezvous
  • Policy and Legislative work - Our Policy team and newly forming Legislative team needs passionate folks to jump in and help us do the important work to protect our public lands and access for hunters and anglers!
  • Mentorship work - We want to build a list of folks in the state who are open to being mentors for new hunters and anglers.  We have opportunities and need for folks who can give a little all the way up to folks who want to really invest a lot.   Everything from answering questions to being a one on one coach to participating on our larger weekend long hunt camps for new hunters.
  • Conservation work - We are working with DEC to have more opportunities for events to do quality habitat work on our public lands.  Want to roll your sleeves up and help, we would love to have you!


If you are interested in volunteering a bit of your time and talents, please let us know by filling out and submitting this form.



Legislative / Policy Update

We are tracking a few issues that we want to make sure you are paying attention to.  

Proposed lead ammo ban on public lands - Both the State Senate and the Assembly have proposed bills banning lead ammunition on all public lands.  While BHA shares the goal of transitioning away from lead ammunition for hunting, our experiences in other states show that high-percentage compliance in that transition is best achieved through hunter education.  We encourage you to reach out to your elected officials to let them know your thoughts on this.  The relevant bills are A2084 and S4976

Proposed ban on leg gripping traps - Both the Senate and Assembly have proposed bills that would amend trapping laws to prohibit the use of certain traps used in legal trapping.  We believe that regulatory changes such as this belong in the realm of science-based management under the responsibility of the DEC and not in the legislative body.   We encourage you to reach out to your elected officials to let them know your thoughts on this.  The relevant bills are A110 and S1619.

Back tags, hunting rights, crossbows and dogs - A few other bills to keep your eye on:

  • Remove the requirements for back tags - S367 / A1486
  • Hunting dogs cannot be deemed running at large - A2224
  • Remove restrictions on crossbow size/weight - S2250 / A4372
  • Constitutional right to hunt and fish - S870 / A3348

Unit Management Plans - DEC has two unit management plans open right now for public comment in DEC Region 8.  We encourage members to take a look at those plans and let DEC know what you think during the open comment period.  You can see the plans and more details on the DEC web site by following this link:  DEC Unit Management Plans Open for Comment


Chapter News 

2nd Annual Mentored Crossbow Hunt a Success

NY BHA partnered with NY Hunters of Color and NY Nature Conservancy for the second annual mentored crossbow hunt.  During a three day deer-campstyle hunt that took place this past December, ten new hunters were taught shooting, tracking, and butchering skills. They also learned about deer biology from Matt Ross of the NDA and Stacy Preusser of NY DEC. We are always looking for more mentors for programs like this, so if you are interested, please let us know!


Deer Processing Demonstration 

NY BHA in partnership with the National Deer Association, Slate River Farms, and the Cornell Cooperative extension of Saratoga County presented a demonstration of processing a deer, from skinning to various delicious cuts for the table.


BHA AFI Leadership Development Waterfowl Camp

The BHA Armed Forces Initiative along with NY BHA and New England BHA hosted a Leadership Training Development Waterfowl Camp.  The event, which took place in the Great Marsh in Massachusetts, included leadership training, conservation talks, and mentored waterfowl hunting.


The Shotgun Conservationist Pint Night in Brooklyn

BHA members gathered for a Pint Night in Brooklyn to swap hunting/fishing stories, hang out, and celebrate a book release by BHA member and speaker Brant MacDuff.   The theme of the evening ended up being about the upcoming turkey season.  Brant read an excerpt about turkey hunting from his upcoming book “The Shotgun Conservationist” and a few members won raffle prizes that included turkey calls from NY BHA sponsor Quaker Boy.

NY BHA elects new board member Bill Delaney

The NY BHA board elected a new board member to replace outgoing member Virginia Glazier (thanks for all your time and effort Virginia).  We want to welcome Bill Delaney to the board!  Bill has been a regular volunteer and contributor to our REC team and has already put the wheels in motion for an upcoming event this summer in the Buffalo area.



Upcoming Events

WNY Sport Show - Hamburg Fairgrounds, March 10-12th

Stop by our booth at the WNY Sport Show at the Hamburg fairgrounds, March 10-12. If you’d like to volunteer to help out at the booth, please contact either Ted Krueger, [email protected] or Bill Delaney [email protected]


Duck Box Pint Night - Town Tavern in Averill, March 14th

Join us for the first New York BHA Armed Forces (AFI) Initiative at a combination Pint Night/Conservation Project!  The newly formed NY BHAAFI and NY Chapter of BHA are teaming up for this event to meet and greet as well as some hands-on conservation. Those attending can assemble a wood duck box that will be placed in a suitable location to support the species. Although there is no charge for the building materials, donations will be accepted.  The event will be at the Towne Tavern in Averill, NY on March 14.  Click the link below to RSVP!

Duck Box Pint Night - RSVP Here


Duck Box Build and Brews - Filson Flagship Store in NYC, March 31st

Join NY BHA and Hunters of Color (HOC) at the Filson Store in NYC to build duck boxes and enjoy a pint. If you've ever been curious about waterfowl hunting, wildlife conservation, or wanted to just build something, this event is for you! This is a free, inclusive event. Click the link below to RSVP!

Duck Box Build + Brews - Backcountry Hunters and Anglers


Spring Fling Pint Night - Westkill Supply in Kingston, April 1st

Shake off the cabin fever! Come see your old hunting and fishing buddies – or make new ones – at New York BHA’s Spring Fling Pint Nite at the new West Kill Supply in Kingston, NY. Fish the Trout Season opener on the local and fabled Esopus Creek, and then come wet your whistle with us later that evening. Bring your stories of that lunker who broke off your line just before you got ‘em to the net or last fall’s big buck who missed your arrow by just a step and of course, an appetite for good beer. Click the link below to RSVP!

New York Spring Fling Pint Night - Backcountry Hunters and Anglers


NY Rendezvous - The Hungry Trout, September 8-10th

The NY BHA Team is planning a great weekend event at the perfect location: The Hungry Trout, a four season adventure resort in the Adirondack Mountains.  Join your fellow NY BHA members for a weekend of activities, food, storytelling and some great opportunities to win some awesome raffles.  More details to come, so save the date!


How to Connect with Us

Here are a few ways you can keep in touch with the New York BHA chapter:

Stay up to date with events and blogs from New York on our BHA web page at New York Backcountry Hunters & Anglers.  

Join our Facebook group at NY Chapter of BHA on Facebook

Follow us on Instagram New York BHA (@newyorkbha).

Check out our LinkTree at: New York BHA Linktree

Contact the Chapter Board by email: [email protected]

Join us at an upcoming event: BHA Events


Last but not least, make sure your BHA membership is current and give the gift of BHA to a friend or family member!

About Chris Borgatti

BHA Eastern Policy & Conservation Manager

See other posts related to New York news