NY BHA April Newsletter

Update from Chapter Chair

Well, May is almost here, and despite the excitement of earthquakes and a solar eclipse, I can’t wait for it to finally arrive! There is no better time to be in the woods than an early morning in May listening to the cacophony of song birds, and, if you are lucky, the sound of a distant gobble! Spending your mornings chasing gobblers, your afternoons fishing or foraging all while the woods green up is a great way to transition from winter. I again want to encourage you all to please tag and follow us on social media, join us at Pint Nights and conservation stewardship events, let your legislators hear from you about proposed bills impacting hunters and anglers, and make sure your BHA membership is current! Good luck out there in the turkey woods and trout streams!

Greg Whalin - NY BHA Chapter Chair 

Chapter News

North American Rendezvous Online Auction is Live!

The North American Rendezvous online auction is live! Thanks to the generosity of NY BHA’s own Brandon Dale and Brant McDuff, there is a great combo trip up for auction!  Join Brandon Dale with Carp in The Park NYC to fly fish for carp in Central Park and Brant MacDuff with Immortal Animals to get a personal tour of the dioramas in the American Museum of Natural History! Explore a glimpse of New York City most people never get! Go there now to win this trip and check out the other great items and trips, the auction runs until April 30th at 10 pm EST. More information HERE

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Public Land Packout - Three Rivers WMA

An amazing group of volunteers gathered to help cleanup the Three Rivers WMA as part of a stewardship agreement we have with DEC for the property. The crew of volunteers removed close to 50 bags of trash, a big screen tv, and 1 toilet. Amazing work cleaning up our public lands!

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Upcoming Events

Turkey Season Opener! - New York, May 1

It is almost time for spring thunder! Hope all you turkey hunters are getting in your last minute scouting and calling practice in. If you don’t yet have your tags, don’t forget to get them, especially you folks on Long Island who will be having your first spring turkey season. Learn more on the DEC website.

Turkey Hunting Seasons - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation


North American Rendezvous - Minneapolis, MN, April 18th - 20th

BHA’s annual Rendezvous is coming to the Midwest this year. There is still time to get tickets to attend and hang out with the largest gathering of public land advocates. There is plenty of fun to be had with lots of panels, exhibitors/vendors, the Wild Game Cookoff, Struttin and Cluckin competition, Meateater Trivia and much much more!  Learn more and get your tickets at link below.

BHA North American Rendezvous 2024


Amawalk / Muscoot River Tree Planting - Muscoot River, Katonah, April 27 @ 10:30 am

Join NY BHA, NYC TU, and NY HOC for the Amawalk / Muscoot River Arbor Day Tree Planting Saturday, April 27 from 10:30am to 2pm. We plan to plant another 200-plus trees on the banks of the Muscoot River to help prevent erosion. Following the planting, there will be plenty of opportunity to fish what is proving to be a great wild-trout stream! Details and RSVP at link below.

Amawalk / Muscoot River Arbor Day Tree Planting - RSVP Here


Central NY Spring Pint Night - Homer Center for the Arts, Homer, May 30 @ 5:30pm

Gather in a beautiful, historic arts center for the Annual Central NY Spring Pint Night sponsored by Sporting Lead-Free and onX! Come with a dish to share and bring friends to play conservation themed trivia. Details and RSVP at link below.

Annual Central NY Spring Pint Night - Potluck & Trivia - RSVP Here


NY Huntstock - Vernon Center, July 19 - 21

NY BHA will be attending the first ever NY Huntstock event taking place this summer! This event is sure to be a blast and we would love to see you swing by our table if you make it to the event! More details can be found at the Huntstock website below.

Huntstock NY - Learn More

Legislative / Policy Update


Legislative Updates

With the legislature back in session in Albany for 2024, it’s a good time to contact your elected officials on important issues. The following are a few bills of interest. 


Back Tags - With the upcoming modernization to to hunting licenses this year, the requirement for back tags becomes even more necessary to be removed. We encourage all members to write to your legislators to encourage them to pass bills to remove the requirements for hunters to wear back tags. The relevant bill is S8644.


New York wildlife crossing act - A bill that directs the Department of Transportation to identify sites along all highways, thruways and parkways in the state where wildlife crossings are most needed to increase public safety and improve habitat connectivity and create a priority list of wildlife opportunity areas where federal grant monies may be available to implement the top five projects identified. We are in favor of this proposed bill and encourage you to reach out to your elected officials to get this one over the finish line. The relevant bills are S4198 and A4243.


Crossbows - Crossbow requirements in NY are currently extremely restrictive and as written reduce access for hunting. We encourage our members to write your legislators to show your support for a bill to remove many of the strange restrictions on crossbows in the state. The relevant bills are S3191 and A2940


Lead ammo ban on all public lands - Both the Assembly and the Senate have bills proposing banning all lead ammunition only on public lands. This nearly passed last year (passed Assembly and died in Senate) and this is going to be back this year. While we are very much in favor of hunters voluntarily switching to non-toxic ammunition, we feel that these bills are likely to be ineffective and unfairly target only public land hunters. Reach out to your elected officials! The relevant bills are S4976 and A2084


Other - A few other bills we would like for you to take action on by contacting your elected officials:

  • Hunting dogs cannot be deemed running at large - S5498 / A2224
  • Constitutional right to hunt and fish - S870 / A3348
  • Ban leg gripping traps - A110 / S1619


We will keep track of these and other proposed bills that we feel NY BHA members should pay attention to on the BHA website at the NY BHA 2024 Legislative Tracker


DEC Updates


Unit/Recreation Management Plans and Proposals - DEC regularly seeks public input as they work to manage our public lands. While they will regularly receive input from other groups, often hunters and anglers are fairly silent.  It directly benefits the hunting and angling communities for you to take a look at these plans and voice your feedback directly to DEC.   They do listen to your input and in the past, our voices have resulted in wins for hunters and anglers. Current plans open for feedback include:


Region 8

All Regions


NY BHA 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.

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 New York BHA on Facebook

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

Contact the Chapter Board by email: [email protected]

Thank our sponsors: New York BHA Corporate Sponsors

Join us at an upcoming event: NY BHA Events

Signup to be a volunteer: NY BHA Volunteer


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

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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