NY BHA May Newsletter

Update from Chapter Chair

Taking a break from the turkey woods to put together this newsletter. My season is off to a great start with a nice public land gobbler taken on opening morning hunting a local state forest.  Hope everyone else is seeing luck out there whether your pursuits roost in a tree or swim under water. We have some great upcoming events and a new podcast to announce in this month's newsletter.  We have also started work on a statewide gathering for all NY BHA members for later this summer! I again want to encourage you all to please tag and follow us on social media (let us see your turkey, trout, striper photos!), 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

Conservation Cooperative Podcast

Image_5-9-24_at_2.31 PM.jpegA new podcast from the New England and New York Chapters of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers! Conservation Cooperative’s unique format is short, engaging, and informative. Each episode will elevate your knowledge of conservation issues in the Northeast and make you a more effective advocate for our public lands, waters, and wildlife. Our first episode looks at an issue that the New England Chapter of BHA has been grappling with for a few years, the rapid development of recreation trails and their encroachment on wild places. We’ll explore some of the factors that are driving trail development in the state of Vermont and how it impacts the conservation of our wildlands and wildlife. Conservation Cooperative will be released monthly and will be available on all major podcast platforms beginning next week. Stay tuned for details!


Arbor Day Tree Planting - Amawalk / Muscoot River, Katona NY

amawalkthumbnail.jpgNY BHA, NYC Trout Unlimited and Hunters of Color partnered to clear invasive plants and plant over 50 trees along the banks of the Muscoot River this past Arbor Day.   As part of this conservation project, the teams also erected two deer exclosures to protect the new planting and allow for easier monitoring over time of their efforts!  


Erie County Envirothon - Elma NY
wny8.jpgOn April 27th, NY BHA was proud to sponsor the Erie County Envirothon, an outdoor-oriented, hands-on, natural science competition for high school students. Students use teamwork to complete a series of challenges in the subjects of wildlife, forestry, aquatics, soils and a current issue topic.  BHA volunteers helped administer tests and spoke with students about the role hunters and anglers play in conservation, while also educating them about BHA’s mission to keep public lands in public hands for future generations.

Upcoming Events


Turkey Hunting 101 - Filson Store, NYC, May 15 @ 6:30pm

A panel of seasoned turkey hunters will cover everything from the basics of turkey hunting and conservation history, ethical shot practices, and post-hunt protocols. Learn about essential gear, scouting techniques, and safety measures while delving into regulations and transportation logistics pertinent to city dwellers.  Hunters of Color is partnering with NY BHA in hosting an evening filled with valuable insights, expert tips, and camaraderie among fellow urban hunting enthusiasts.  Details and RSVP at link below.

NY Chapter: Turkey Hunting 101 at Filson NYC - 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


Western NY Allen Lake Trail Project - Allen Lake, Belfast, June 1 @ 9am

Join NY BHA as we partner with NYSDEC to begin work on creating a trail around Allen Lake, near Belfast NY.  NYSDEC is starting the construction of a trail around this lake to increase the opportunities for folks to use this property. RSVP now to join us in helping all enjoy this piece of public land and water. Details and RSVP at link below.

Western NY Allen Lake Trail Project - RSVP Here


Western NY BHA Bow Tuning and Bonfire Social, East Aurora, June 22 @ 5pm

Come join your fellow BHA community for an evening of fun and friends. We'll be gathering in East Aurora for an evening of good old fashioned fun. We'll have dogs and burgers on the grill, fling some arrows, share some stories, and then have a bonfire a-crackling. Bring your bow and we will work to get you on paper and tuned up. Camping will be available on site.  Come get to know your fellow BHA members, learn to tune your bow, and find out more about what we have on tap this year. Details and RSVP at link below.

Western NY BHA Bow Tuning and Bonfire Social - RSVP Here


NY onX Pint Night with NYSDEC in Albany June 26th @ 6:00pm

Join us Wednesday June 26th at 6pm at the Common Roots Brewing Company, Albany Outpost to chat with BHA folks and the NYSDEC Bureau Chief of Fisheries, Steve Hurst. He will be giving an informal talk about the latest plan for brook trout ponds in the Adirondacks.  Be one of the first 20 people to sign up or renew your BHA membership and you will get free beer and our partners at OnX Hunt will give you a free one-year Premium Membership.Details and RSVP at link below.

NY onX Pint Night with NYSDEC in Albany - 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


Rally in the Valley - Ellicottville Brewing Company, Little Valley, August 16 - 18

Plans are well underway for our annual weekend gathering for all NY BHA members. This year it is happening in western New York, starting on Friday August 16th. This is going to be a blast with good people, great food, lots of opportunities to learn new skills (cooking, fly casting, butchering, and much much more). We will have several sponsors present and lots of auction and raffle items from guided trips to awesome outdoor gear! Be sure to block the dates on your calendar and be on the lookout for an upcoming email announcing the event and opening up RSVPs!  We’re proud to announce that this year’s Keynote Speaker is Professor Krysten Schuler of Cornell University’s Wildlife Health Lab. You may remember Professor Schuler from episode 474 of The Meateater Podcast. Save the date and see you there!!

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 (Rally in the Valley)
  • 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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