It is the season to get out there! Most game is in season and the water is still open! If you opened this newsletter and have read this far down then you are likely the exact person we want to help us launch the NY Chapter to the next level. Do you have a particular project or event in mind? Below is a brief description of some of the types of volunteers we are looking for but even if you have a one off event or idea you want to work on that is great too. Please fill out the form below or email me directly at [email protected].
Get out there and enjoy your public lands and waters!
Tight lines and shoot true!
Brian Bird NYBHA Chapter Chair
Chapter News from October
DMP’s Do you Doe? - Frank DeSantis Jr. NY BHA Board Member and Treasurer
In addition to bow and muzzleloader either sex and antlerless tags, over 660,000 deer management permits are available for hunters to harvest antlerless deer in New York. Filling antlerless tags are a great way to put some organic meat in the freezer and to support ecosystem function by ensuring deer populations remain in balance with available habitat. Additionally they are a great way to introduce new hunters to deer hunting and provide a community benefit through decreasing crop damage and vehicle collisions. Unfortunately, according to NYSDEC, 84% of deer hunters did not harvest an antlerless deer last season and we all know we often see many more does than bucks while deer hunting. We encourage all hunters to use antlerless tags allotted to them if the opportunity arises. If you do not need the meat, many processors will take the deer and process it, at no cost to the hunter, for donation to local food banks. So while you are out there enjoying your public lands during a deer hunt this fall, fill those antlerless tags and don't forget to report all your harvests!
Reminder: Spawning Fish
The next couple of months brown and brook trout will move into smaller tributaries, or “feeder” streams to spawn. Trout spawn is an area called a redd, and while they vary in size, they are typically 3-4 feet long and a few feet wide, and a different color than the stream bed around it. The redd serves as a nest for trout eggs and can be found in broken water that produces oxygen to help the eggs hatch healthy. It’s very important to mind the redds as wading or disturbing them will undoubtedly kill the eggs and next generation of trout. If you see trout hanging out, let them be. They are most likely sitting on their redd and should not be targeted.
Habitat Improvement - Tree planting with NY BHA and SLU DU
NY BHA teamed up with the St. Lawrence University chapter of Ducks Unlimited to do habitat work planting nearly 1500 trees to reestablish a wetland near West Turin, NY.
Legislative / Policy Update
Unit/Recreation Management Plans - 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:
- Keuka Highlands UMP and Keuka Lowlands UMP - comments open until further notice
- Great Divide Unit Management Plan (formerly Erwin UMP and Great Divide UMP) - comments open until further notice
While the legislative session has wrapped in Albany, it is still worth keeping an eye on the following bills and letting your elected officials hear from you.
Lead ammo ban on all public lands - Both the Assembly and the Senate have bills proposing banning all lead ammunition only on public lands. The bill passed in the Assembly and the relevant bill in the Senate is S4976. While we are in 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!
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.
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
- Ban leg gripping traps - A110 / S1619
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: BHA Events
Signup to be a volunteer: NY BHA Volunteer