New York BHA Chapter Update – Fall 2020

From the Chair:

What a year this has been! I hope this finds everyone in good health. Like most the New York chapter has been figuring out how to navigate in the new climate we now live in. The last in-person event was the Public Grouse film showing in Syracuse. The event was well attended, and we had a lot more planned until Covid 19 hit. Since then we have added two teams: Our Regional Events Coordinator Team, who recently hosted a Virtual Learn to Hunt series and plans to host more in the near future, and our Communications Team, who has been hard at work keeping us informed via social media and now this newsletter!

I would like to thank everyone for your support in helping pass the Great American Outdoors Act! New York had both Senators and 25 of 26 reps sign onto the bill. The GAOA is truly a landmark historical piece of legislation, and you can thank yourselves for getting it over the finish line. Now as we move into election season NY BHA asks that when you go to the polls, you Vote Public Lands & Waters! 

Hunting season is already upon us. Where the heck did summer go? I hope everyone has a safe and successful season afield, no matter the quarry you pursue. Please feel free to contact me at [email protected]

– Glen Stratton, NY BHA Chairman



September was Public Lands Month! NY BHA volunteers shared their story on why they joined BHA

My name is Ken Berg. I am a volunteer with NYBHA and the communications team. I’m originally from Norway, and grew up spending a lot of time outdoors. Norway has a very strong public use policy for all lands, including privately owned, and a lot of public lands. I am also a fashionably late hunter, as some of my fellows like to call it. As so many of us, my life over the last 20 years was driven by the stress and pressure of career, travel for work and raising a family, and I lost touch with the outdoors. About 5 years ago I was going through some personal challenges, and I came to realize that I was not “in balance”. I had a deep and profound gap in my overall health due to lack of time outdoors, being disconnected and not having the ability to recharge. So I took to trail-running in the State and National Parks and Forests that are available, and eventually felt a deep urge and connection to start hunting. It’s been a complete transformation for me, making me balanced and strong, and a better father and husband. And I’ve come to believe that we ALL need to find this balance between this urban and constantly connected life to a disconnected life where you are just out there in nature. And with that, I wanted to take part and make a difference where I can, to ensure that we keep having the opportunities we have, make them even better, and ensure that they stay for generations to come. Because I believe in my heart that it is absolutely vital to a balanced life! That is why I joined BHA, and got involved as a volunteer!

Look at our Instagram page, and #whybha to see other volunteers and hear their motivation to be a part of this organization and community.


Chapter News

  • 2020 Public Land Packout NY BHA members Gary Maerz and Ted Krueger hosted Public Land Packouts in Region 1 on Long Island and Region 6 near West Winfield. Check them out! 
  • Muster In The Mountain Planning Kickoff The NY chapter has begun planning for the 2021 Muster in the Mountains (MITM) event! This will be the major BHA event in the Eastern US next year. MITM will be held at Westkill Brewing in the heart of the Catskill Mountains, and will include special guest speakers, archery contests, a Hike To Hunt on surrounding public lands, fly fishing seminar, youth activities, great food and drink, and much more! Stay tuned for more information. 
  • Backcountry Bugling Classic The NY chapter participated in the Elk bugling contest at the regional and national level! With late notice, we were able to put together a group of eight contestants from the Northeast region (NY, PA, New England chapters) to compete. Coming out of the NY chapter was Ted Krueger. Ted moved on to compete in the regional round and unfortunately lost but put forth a valiant effort! The contest was a fun way to engage with fellow members in a friendly competition, and we look forward to more in the future! 



Photo of the Month 

NY_Photo_of_the_Month_Oct_2020.jpgRuffed grouse hunting on New York's North Country public lands. Walking in for the flush when your dog is on point is always an adrenaline rush. (Photo by Diane Stefani)


State News

  • NY Hunting License Sales Up Sales for NYS big-game hunting and trapping licenses, as well as Deer Management Permits were nearly triple prior years’ sales on opening day, more than double on the second day, and nearly double the first two weeks. Read more here: DEC Reports Record License Sales In NY 
  • NY Bond Act Delayed Unfortunately, the NY Bond act has been delayed due to budget circumstances caused by the COVID pandemic. We are hopeful that there will be a future for the bond act. More details can be found here: Restore Mother Nature Bond Act | Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
  • EHD Outbreak Please report any deer that may have been affected by Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) to the NYSDEC this season. EHD is a viral disease in deer, and has been confirmed in portions of Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Ulster, and Westchester counties. For more information visit: DEC Asks Bowhunters to Report Deer that May Have Died from EHD
  • DEC Proposes Holiday Deer Hunt Please submit comments to NYSDEC by November 8th in regards to the proposed late deer season. Read more at: DEC Proposes Potential Future "Holiday" Deer Hunt for New York's Southern Zone
  • Many hunting seasons are in full swing in NY!  Here are some dates to keep in mind
    • October 17: Southern Zone Fall Turkey Season
    • October 17: Northern Zone Deer Early Muzzleloader Season
    • October 24: Northern Zone Deer Regular Deer Season
    • October 17: Pheasant Season Opens in most of Regions 7, 8, 9
    • Duck Opener: It’s complicated! Check DEC website for details



Feature Story of the Month

NY BHA Engages New Hunters with Virtual Learn-To-Hunt Series 

The NY chapter’s Regional Volunteer Coordinators and Communications Team members collaborated for a Virtual Learn To Hunt Series throughout the month of September. Panelists and participants met via ZOOM, and others tuned in live on the New York Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Facebook page to engage in a wide range of topics. 

New, seasoned, and prospective hunters joined in for conversations on how to get started, getting into the woods, scouting and locating animals, getting the shot, and getting game home safely. Over the course of four weeks, participants heard the diverse perspectives of BHA members from around the state. Important topics like mapping, safety, field dressing, and more led to fun discussions, and the teams had a great time to boot!

To view all four sessions of the series, visit the New York Chapter playlist on the BHA Youtube Channel, and stay tuned on the NYBHA Facebook and Instagram for additional sessions in the months to come! 


NYBHA Sponsor Shoutouts 


Email [email protected] for information to become a sponsor of New York BHA. 

About New York BHA

The New York Chapter is focused on bringing BHA's proven approach to conserving wild places and outdoor heritage to the Empire State. Join us to conserve our wilds!

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