NY BHA May Newsletter



Hey everyone!  May is here and it's time to chase those gobbling turkeys, rising trout, and running stripers!  This Spring has shaped up to a great one weather wise, and my garden is already underway. We have also had some fun events lately with even more to come this month. Be sure to read on for the great events and plans we have for May. Also, if you have an idea for an event contact us at [email protected] or message us on social media. 

Get out there and enjoy your public lands and water!

Brian Bird NYBHA Chapter Chair 



NY Struttin’ and Cluckin’ Competition

Think you are a great turkey caller? Time to prove it! It is time again for our NY Struttin’ and Cluckin’ competition where you will compete against others in the state to win prizes, but more importantly to win accolades from your fellow NY turkey hunters!   Keep an eye on the NY BHA Instagram (@newyorkbha) for more information!  Good luck to all callers both in the competition and also in the turkey woods.

Legislative / Policy Update

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

Lead ammo ban on all public lands - The Assembly has just passed a lead ammunition ban on all state lands which will take effect in 2025.  The bill is now on to the Senate and is currently in committee before it goes to a vote.  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 today to let them know your thoughts on this.  The relevant bill is 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
  • Prohibits leasing public land for gas production - S724

Unit Management Plans - DEC has two unit management plans open right now for public comment in DEC Region 8.  As these plans can directly impact how hunters and anglers are able to access and utilize state forests and WMAs, we encourage you 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

Opportunities for Public Input on Visitor use Management Project in Adirondack High Peaks and Caskills. DEC announced that Otak, Inc., is facilitating the first round of public meetings in the Adirondack High Peaks and Catskills for the Visitor Use Management (VUM) project. Public and stakeholder input will play a key role in helping DEC and Otak develop appropriate sustainable management strategies for the High Peaks and Kaaterskill Clove areas. 

High Peaks Project Area in the Adirondacks: May 9, 2023, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the Harrietstown Town Hall Auditorium, 39 Main Street, Saranac Lake 12983

Kaaterskill Clove Project Area in the Catskills: May 10, 2023, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. at Coppertree Restaurant, Hunter Mountain Base Lodge, 64 Klein Avenue, Hunter 12442

Chapter News from April

Turkey Talk Pint Night - Bronx Brewery in NYC

This Pint Night was sponsored by OnX hunt and featured hunting guide and actor, Fischer Neal. Fischer spoke on what it's like to be a hunting guide based out of NYC!  We had a great turnout and learned a lot!

Let’s Talk Turkey - Zoom Call

We had a Zoom call with Fred Bird formerly of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Cliff Cadet of the NYC Chapter of NWTF and Brian Bird with John Barone of the NY Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. The call was recorded and can be viewed on our Facebook Group page and will be on our YouTube Channel soon.

Amawalk/Muscoot River Tree Planting 

NYBHA, Hunters of Color, and Trout Unlimited joined together to plant hundreds of seedlings on the banks above the Wood St. bridge access point near the Amawalk Outlet of the Muscoot River in Katonah, NY.  We had a great turnout even in some pretty poor weather and met for drinks and conservation conversation after at a local pub.


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

Shotgun Conservationist - Filson in NYC, May 4th @ 6pm

Join NY BHA along with numerous other conservation groups to celebrate the launch of BHA member Brant MacDuff’s new book, “The Shotgun Conservationist: Why Environmentalists Should Love Hunting”.   Brant will be reading excerpts from his book, free beer will be provided from West Kill Brewing, and there will be a lot of great conservation minded folks to meet.  Join us at the Filson Flagship Store in NYC at 6pm on Thursday May 4th.


Central NY Pint Night - Hopshire Farm & Brewing in Freeville, May 23rd @ 6pm

Join the NY BHA and Hunters of Color to share stories and a pint.  This event is open to all BHA members, especially women and BIPOC folks. This is a great opportunity to expand your hunting, fishing, and conservation network. Share turkey season stories, learn new trout fishing tricks, and meet new hunting and fishing friends!  Click the link below to learn more and RSVP!

Central NY Pint Night - RSVP Here!


NY Hike to Hunt - Ellicottville Brewing Company in Little Valley, June 17th, 10am

Join NY BHA for a full day where we will kick off Hike to Hunt.  The event will start with a group hike that will end with a gathering at Ellicottville Brewing Company.  We will have a combined H.I.T. circuit / 3D archery course, food (wild game samples), drink, music and great folks talking about hunting and conservation.  Click the link below to learn more and RSVP!

NY Hike to Hunt 2023 - RSVP Here!


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!

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 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

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 Chris Borgatti

BHA Eastern Policy & Conservation Manager

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