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A message from the Commissioner


On behalf of myself and DEC staff across the state, I welcome you to New York’s great outdoors this fall. We have a lot to offer! New York has world class hunting and trapping opportunities and I encourage you to go afield as often as you can to enjoy our bountiful natural resources.

Wildlife recreation contributes significantly to local economies:

• People spend $3.5 billion in New York annually on fish and wildlife recreation.

• More than 4 million outdoors lovers devote over 18 million days to fish and wildlife recreation, mostly in rural areas where economic growth is slowest.

• Each of New York’s more than 500,000 hunters spends over $1,000 per year hunting in the fields and forests of the state.

Our job at DEC is to ensure that wildlife populations are secure, abundant, and in balance with the needs of both people and the environment. To that end, our professional staff works hard to understand wildlife ecology, and provide recreational opportunities that are both enjoyable and based on sound biological information.

It is my pleasure to highlight several new hunting opportunities available this fall. Governor Cuomo signed legislation allowing 12- and 13-year-olds to hunt big game with a bow when accompanied by an adult. We all understand the importance of passing our rich outdoor traditions down to the next generation, and there is no better way to do it than by introducing a young girl or boy to hunting.

I am also pleased to announce that New Yorkers will, for the first time, be able to hunt for big game with a crossbow during both the regular firearms and late muzzleloading seasons. Be sure to carefully read this guide to comply with all of the legal requirements for crossbow hunting.

Finally, this year DEC will adopt a new five-year deer management plan. The plan will be a strategic blueprint to improve deer hunting and deer management, and focus on enhancing your deer hunting experience. Be sure to follow “Field Notes,” the fish and wildlife e-newsletter available either by e-mail subscription or at our website, for updates on changes to deer hunting regulations.

Best wishes for a successful hunt each time you go afield, and as always, keep safe!

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Joe Martens, Commissioner


A message from the Director of Fish, Wildlife & Marine Resources


Welcome to another year of hunting and trapping and thanks for your continued support and interest in New York’s great wildlife resources.

On June 13, 2011, the Division released its first ever five-year Deer Management Plan. The plan builds on 20 public meetings the Division held statewide, and was augmented by a mail survey of deer hunters to assess their opinions about a suite of deer hunting related issues. The development and release of this plan was important for a number of reasons. First, it is intended to help us focus our efforts where we believe they best meet the biological and social aspects of deer management during a time of staffing and fiscal constraints. The deer plan comes on the heels of the well-received Pheasant Management Plan released in 2010, and precedes similar management plans we will be developing for black bear and furbearers, as well as for key fisheries and endangered species. All these plans are intended to focus management efforts where they can accomplish the most important and urgent conservation. The plans are also important because they provide us with a structured and formal opportunity to solicit and incorporate the interests of sportsmen in our planning efforts. Once released, they provide stakeholders with an understanding of our intended management efforts over the ensuing five years. This provides greater predictability and accountability for what the Division is already doing, and for what we intend on undertaking in the upcoming years.

How can you stay in touch? If you don’t already subscribe to Field Notes, our bi-weekly electronic newsletter, I encourage you to do so. It’s our way of letting you know what is happening in the Division, and will let you know when we have the next plan available for your review.

Have a great season afield!

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Patricia Riexinger, Director


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