New York

Lawmaker introduces revised ‘blaze’ bill

By Neil Chaffie Contributing Writer Albany — A Canandaigua assemblyman is proposing legislation that would require deer hunters to wear blaze orange clothing while afield during the big game season. Brian Kolb (R-C-I, 129th District) said the measure would apply to anyone carrying a rifle, shotgun, revolver or pistol in pursuit of a deer or bear. The hunter would be…

Saturday in South a solid start: DEC

By Steve Piatt Editor Albany — Deer hunters in the Southern Zone may have enjoyed their first-ever Saturday opener, but they may have enjoyed the weather even more. A crisp morning and relatively mild afternoon made for comfortable hunting conditions, and DEC officials reported a fairly successful opening three days of the season, although data at this point is limited….

Open space plan review

By Paula Piatt Associate Editor Albany – A revision to the New York’s Open Space Conservation Plan would guarantee the state’s ability to make those quick decisions sometimes necessary to save lands for the sportsmen and women of the Empire State. Included in the 500-page plan is the creation of a generic priority project category that would allow the state…

Saltwater reg proposal impacts several species

Staff report Albany — Sweeping changes to the state’s recreational and commercial saltwater fishing regulations will impact several species, including Atlantic cod, haddock, winter flounder, black sea bass and scup. The proposed changes — a public comment period runs through Dec. 30 — are designed to bring New York’s saltwater regulations in compliance with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s…

Special Events

Dec. 17: Independent Fur Harvesters of Central New York Annual Raw Fur Auction, Pompey Rod & Gun Club, Swift Road, Pompey, 8 a.m. For more information contact Karl Curtis at (315) 682-3344 (evenings). Season Dates Dec. 3: Canvasback season opens (Southeastern Zone) Dec. 4: Regular deer and bear season closes (Northern Zone) Dec. 5: Late muzzleloader deer season opens (portions…

Big bucks are out there

By Steve Piatt Editor Rochester, N.Y. — As the Southern Tier regular deer season kicks off Nov. 19, it’s almost a sure thing that sometime, somewhere, a big buck will be bagged by a hunter. Make that a real big buck. In many ways, it’s simple math. There are 450,000 deer hunters across the state, and an estimated 150,000 deer…

Broome bear a big bow kill

By Steve Piatt Editor Nineveh, N.Y. — Kim Knapp Moravcik thought her hunting day had come to a rainy ending on Oct. 22. Then her friend, David Hubbard, looked out the window of her home and saw a bear feeding in a corn field across the road. A big bear. A short time later, her bowhunting fortunes had changed dramatically,…

Broome bear a big bow kill

By Steve Piatt Editor Nineveh, N.Y. — Kim Knapp Moravcik thought her hunting day had come to a rainy ending on Oct. 22. Then her friend, David Hubbard, looked out the window of her home and saw a bear feeding in a corn field across the road. A big bear. A short time later, her bowhunting fortunes had changed dramatically,…

Brookie mark unchanged

Staff report Ray Brook, N.Y. — New York’s state record brook trout didn’t climb to the 5-pound mark as some DEC officials anticipated this fall. But, says one DEC fisheries biologist, that doesn’t mean 5-pound brookies weren’t caught. “A lot of guys just don’t want to give away a lake or their secret spot, so rather than submit a catch…

CWD checks top 800

By Steve Piatt Editor Rome, N.Y. — DEC officials are pleased with the cooperation of successful deer hunters who have been taking their whitetails to a mandatory CWD testing facility within the established containment area. They’re even happier that, after more than 800 whitetails tested, no additional cases of Chronic Wasting Disease have been discovered. “We had about 800 tests…

High fuel prices sting the sporting economy

Staff Report Albany — High gas prices, at one time well over $3 per gallon, have affected virtually every aspect of the U.S. economy. So it’s no surprise that the ripple effect has hit New York sportsmen as well. It’s difficult to gauge the overall impact of the soaring gas prices, which at presstime had rolled back to the $2.65-$2.75-a-gallon…

Special Events

Nov. 5: Red Hook WTU NY Chapter WOMEN ONLY morning pheasant hunt. Dogs and handlers provided. For more info call Guy Tucker, 845-532-6048. Education/Seminars Nov. 4: Hunter Ed Course, Stuyvesant Rod & Gun Club, Middle Village (Queens); pre-register in person; call 718-366-6387 for info and directions. Nov. 4: Hunter Ed Course, Franklinville Conservation Club (Cattaraugus County); pre-register call 716-444-7177 or…

Virus hits federal hatchery

Deborah Weisberg Contributing Writer Warren, Pa. — Federal and state wildlife officials will decide by the middle of this month what to do with almost one million trout at the Allegheny National Fish Hatchery near Warren infected with a virus that either kills fish or makes them carriers. The bulk of the fish are lake trout that were targeted for…

Barnhart: Document is important to sportsmen

By Steve Piatt Editor Albany — It’s not the kind of document you’ll find in a hunting camp, or something you’ll plunge into as you sit by the fire on a cold winter night. Make no mistake, the draft Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy will never be considered light reading. Still, while the cumbersome document won’t make anyone’s bestseller list, it’s…

Season of change in Southern Zone

By Steve Piatt Editor Albany — If there’s any question that this Southern Zone deer season will be different than years past, all you have to do is look at a calendar. Opening Day this year falls on a Saturday (Nov. 19), as the Monday opener has been shelved in favor of what DEC officials are confident will become a…

Northern Zone deer: Long, varied season

By Steve Piatt Editor Elizabethtown, N.Y. — Deer hunters in New York’s Northern Zone can, with apologies to the folks at Burger King, pretty much have it their way. Looking for some high-density deer populations in farmland-type settings? Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties are your best bets. How about a back-country excursion into the remote Adirondacks wilderness in search of…

Saltwater license on the horizon for N.Y.?

By Morgan Lyle Contributing Writer Washington, D.C. — For untold generations, the only requirement for saltwater fishing in New York waters has been the willingness to get up early and to endure the wind and the waves. But if a proposal by the Bush administration goes through, New York’s saltwater anglers will soon be required to obtain a fishing license,…

Crossbow talk resumes; coalition joins the fray

By Steve Piatt Editor Buffalo, N.Y. — Only time will tell whether New York hunters ever take crossbows into the field. Until then, the debate over crossbow use won’t likely go away. While crossbow advocates point to other states that have launched crossbow hunting seasons in various forms, opponents continue to gear up for a battle that seems almost certain…

Lake Ontario tributary angler survey begins

Albany — An angler creel survey on Lake Ontario’s popular tributaries this fall will help DEC manage the fishery for the future. DEC officials said the survey will be used to gather information on population trends, habitat preferences, angler effort, and other aspects of the fishery. The creel survey will be conducted on 28 tributary streams, ranging from Twelvemile Creek…

The GOP task force is still listening

By Paula Piattt Associate Editor Ilion, N.Y. — Members of the New York State Assembly’s Republican Hunting and Fishing Task Force are continuing their tour around the state, looking for input from business, sportsmen and tourism officials. The group, led by Chairman William Barclay, R-Pulaski, has been meeting with group representatives throughout the state, asking for their input on hunting…

Small game kicks off

By Steve Piatt Editor Albany — Their numbers may be shrinking, and so, too, may be the species they pursue, but the fact remains that thousands of hunters will take to the woods next month as the small game season kicks into high gear across New York State. In fact, hunters in some portions of the state have already done…

Rifle sales could jump

By Steve Piatt Editor New Hartford, N.Y. — Deer hunters in several Southern Tier counties will be allowed to tote rifles into the deer woods this fall, but for some, there may be a problem. They don’t own one. Gun dealers in those affected counties, however, are hoping the new law sparks a wave of rifle sales. “We’re hoping to…