The 2013-2014 hunting, fishing and trapping licenses and Deer Management Permits (DMPs) can be purchased beginning Monday, August 12, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens today announced.
“New York has some of the best hunting, trapping and fishing opportunities in the nation, and we encourage people to purchase a license that will allow them to take advantage of all our state has to offer,” said Commissioner Martens. “Governor Cuomo’s NY Open for Hunting and Fishing Initiative is committed to providing outdoor enthusiasts with an abundance of recreational opportunities to enjoy throughout the year. DEC is continually working to develop and manage new programs to enhance the outdoor experience while protecting the state’s natural resources, and purchasing a sporting license is a great way to access a variety of outdoor opportunities.”
The NY Open for Hunting and Fishing Initiative is an effort to improve recreational activities for in-state and out-of-state sportsmen and sportswomen and to boost tourism opportunities throughout the state. Under this initiative, New York is streamlining the purchase of hunting and fishing licensing and reducing license fees, improving fishing access at various sites across the state, stocking as much as 900,000 pounds of fish, expanding fishing clinics and increasing hunting opportunities in various regions. The reduced fees become effective February 1, 2014.
Licenses and permits can be purchased at one of DEC’s 1,500 license sales outlets statewide. Sporting licenses can also be ordered by telephone or by visiting the DEC website (www.dec.ny.gov). The 2013-2014 sporting licenses are valid beginning October 1, 2013. The new Hunting & Trapping and Freshwater Fishing regulation guides are available at all license issuing outlets as well as from the DEC website.
To further encourage fishing in New York State, Governor Cuomo signed legislation last year expanding the opportunity for free fishing clinics. The Free Fishing Days program began in 1991 to give all people an opportunity to sample the incredible fishing New York State has to offer. New York’s sport fishing industry generates an estimated $1.8 billion in economic activity annually, supporting nearly 17,000 jobs.
DEC’s Automated Licensing System (DECALS) is a computerized system for issuing sporting licenses and tracking license sales and revenues. DECALS may also be used for donations to the Habitat Access Stamp Program, Venison Donation Coalition, Conservation Fund and the Trail Maintenance Program. The DECALS Call Center at (1-866-933-2257) is accessible from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday from August 12 to October 12 for questions regarding license purchases. Regular Call Center weekday hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. will resume on October 14.
License buyers should have the following items ready when applying: complete name and address information, customer ID number if you have it, proof of residency information (driver’s license number or non-driver’s ID number with a valid NYS address to qualify for a resident license), and, if purchasing by phone or internet, a credit card and card expiration date. Hunting license purchases require individuals to provide proof of a hunting education certification or a copy of a previous license, if this information is not already contained in their DECALS file.
Sales of all sporting licenses are deposited into the Conservation Fund, which is used to manage New York’s fish and wildlife populations and protect and manage wildlife habitat.
Important updates for 2013-2014
- Youth Firearms Deer Season will occur over Columbus Day weekend, October 12-14, 2013. For more information, visit http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/46245.html.
- New legislation allows the use of rifles for big game hunting in Ontario and Wayne counties, until October 1, 2015. See Rifle, Shotgun, and Bow Areas on DEC’s website (http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/35010.html) for other counties where rifles can be used.
- The Deer Management Focus Area will continue in central Tompkins County to assist communities in the Ithaca area with the burden of overabundant deer populations (http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/82382.html).
- Mandatory antler restrictions (3 points on one side minimum) remain in effect in WMUs 3A, 3C, 3H, 3J, 3K, 4G, 4O, 4P, 4R, 4S, and 4W during all seasons for all hunters 17 years and older (http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/27663.html).
Additional details are listed in the 2013-2014 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide, which is available at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37136.html or at any license sales agent.
The Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide has been restructured for 2013 to make it easier for anglers to find the information they need. Special regulations now follow immediately after the statewide fishing regulations in the front of the guide, and information for major resources (e.g., Great Lakes) can now be found immediately after the regional regulations for the DEC region(s) where they are located.
Deer Management Permits
With an exceptionally mild winter in 2011/12 and below average winter conditions in most of the state again in 2012/13, deer populations have grown despite generally increasing antlerless harvests the past few years. Accordingly, DEC will be issuing approximately 18 percent more Deer Management Permits (DMPs; tags for antlerless deer) this year. DEC issues DMPs to control antlerless harvest and move the deer population closer toward objective levels in each Wildlife Management Unit (WMU).
DMPs will be available at all license issuing outlets and can also be obtained by phone, internet or mail, from August 12 through close of business October 1, 2013. DMPs are issued through a random selection process at the point of sale, and customers who are selected for DMPs will receive their permits immediately. For planning purposes, review the 2013 chances of selection for DMPs in each WMU at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/30409.html. Charts of the chances of selection are also available at License Issuing Agent locations, or on the DMP Hotline at 1-866-472-4332. Chances of getting a DMP remain the same throughout the application period – hunters do not need to rush to apply for a DMP on the first day of sale.
If a significant number of DMPs are still available in a WMU after October 1, leftover DMP sales will commence on November 1, and continue on a first-come/first-serve basis until the end of the hunting season or until all DMPs have been issued in the WMU. Additionally, Bonus DMPs will be available in the bowhunting-only WMUs 3S, 4J, and 8C and in WMUs 1C. For information about Bonus DMPs, see http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/10001.html.
An outline on how DMP targets are set and permits are issued is available on DEC’s website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/47743.html. Hunters are reminded that DMPs are only valid for antlerless deer in the WMU specified on the permit. To learn more about what to expect for deer hunting throughout the state this fall, see Deer Hunting Season Forecasts at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37304.html.
Be a Mentor to a New Hunter, Trapper or Angler
The Youth Firearms Deer Hunt was a success in 2012 and will continue to provide opportunities for adult hunters to share their expertise and pass on important traditions to young hunters. DEC also provides special hunting opportunities for junior hunters by offering youth hunts for waterfowl, wild turkey, and pheasants. Learn more about opportunities for junior hunters and trappers at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/52495.html or find details and a permission form in the 2013-2014 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide.
Anglers are encouraged to grow the sport of fishing, by taking someone new fishing in 2013. Recent legislation now allows angler groups to conduct an unlimited number of free sportfishing clinics and no longer require direct DEC involvement. The requirement for a fishing license is waived for participants in these events. For more information, go to http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89811.html.
Fish the Great Lakes
Fishing in New York’s Great Lakes and tributaries is better than it ever has been and the new I FISH NY Guide to Great Lakes Fishing will provide all the information an angler needs to fish these phenomenal resources. A copy of the guide is available on the DEC website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/fish_marine_pdf/glfishing.pdf or may be requested by emailing DEC at email@example.com with “Great Lakes Fishing Map” in the subject line. Copies are also available at all DEC regional offices.
Support the Conservation Fund or the Venison Donation Program
DEC encourages all outdoor enthusiasts to consider purchasing a Habitat/Access Stamp and/or a Trail Supporter Patch. These stamps and patches support DEC’s efforts to conserve habitat and increase public access for fishing and wildlife-related recreation and maintain non-motorized trails. Buying a $5 stamp or patch or donating directly to the Conservation Fund is a way to help conserve New York’s rich wildlife heritage and enhance outdoor recreation in the state.
Additionally, anyone – not just hunters and anglers – can help feed the hungry by contributing to the Venison Donation Program at all license issuing outlets. Individuals should inform the license sales agent if they are interested in making a donation of $1 or more to support the program. Since 1999, the Venison Donation Coalition has paid for the processing of more than 330 tons of highly nutritious venison, the equivalent of 2.8 million meals served. For more information about the Venison Donation Coalition program, visit DEC’s website.
Participate in Citizen Science to Benefit Wildlife Management
Each year, thousands of hunters, trappers and anglers help DEC monitor wildlife populations by recording their wildlife observations while afield. Information on how to participate in the Cooperator Ruffed Grouse Hunting Log, Bowhunter Sighting Log, Winter Wild Turkey Flock Survey and other citizen science programs is available at http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/1155.html.
The latest updates on New York’s fish and wildlife can be easily accessed on the Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources E-mail News, a free online e-mail list that visitors can subscribe to at http://www.dec.ny.gov/about/65855.html.
Logo courtesy New York Department of Environmental Conservation