DEC may create 7-day harvest report window

Albany – Hunters who harvest a deer, bear or turkey would have
seven days – instead of the current 48 hours – to report their kill
under regulations proposed by the DEC.

The regulations change is designed to make it easier for hunters
in remote areas and deer camps to report their harvests within the
required time frame.

“Every year we get comments from hunters who hunt out of camps
or in remote areas where there’s poor cell phone coverage; they
have to leave camp and drive 10-15 miles to report their harvest,”
DEC wildlife biologist Jeremy Hurst said. “It’s an inconvenience
for some hunters because of their camp situation, and we think this
might make things more accommodating for those hunters.”

DEC officials, too, are hoping the change could increase the
reporting rate among successful hunters. Statewide, less than half
(about 46 percent) of successful deer hunters report their kill,
even though it’s required by law.

Comments on the proposal will be accepted through Oct. 4.

Hurst said the reporting rates vary by region and by game and
tag type. Bear harvest reports generally run about 75-80 percent in
the Adirondacks and are also high in the two Southern Zone ranges –
southeastern (Catskills) and west-central (Allegany range).
Reporting rates on Deer Management Permits are typically the lowest
percentage, he said.

He added that the regulations change won’t impact how DEC
calculates its game harvests, which for deer includes field and
meat processor checks as well as the harvest reports.

In some cases, Hurst says, hunters are stopping short of
reporting their harvest because they’re past the 48-hour
requirement. “We want to make it easier for hunters to comply with
the regulations, and we think this will help,” he said.

Harvest reports can be made by telephone at 1-866-426-3778 or
online through DEC’s website at www.dec.ny.gov .

DEC has already lifted the requirement that trappers report
their beaver harvest.

Comments on the proposal can be sent to: Gordon R. Batcheller,
NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754 or by e-mail to
WildlifeRegs@gw.dec.state.ny.us. Comments should include the
subject line: Proposed Rulemaking Part 2, Section 2.30 – Migratory
Game Birds and Part 180, Section 180.10 – Game Harvest
Reporting.

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