Contact: Nick Lewis, Mid-Atlantic States Coordinator
Why it Matters: The New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) serves as the lead regulatory agency for wildlife in the Empire State, working in conjunction with the sportsmen’s community to conserve wildlife species. The recent actions by the DEC reaffirm the longstanding principle that hunters are the original conservationists. With the 2021-2022 hunting season approaching, the DEC’s efforts to expand existing opportunities for hunters and trappers reinforces their continued commitment to promoting and advancing policies that celebrate our nation’s time-honored sporting traditions.
The New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently reissued the proposed regulation changes for fisher and marten trapping and closed the comment period on deer and bear hunting. The proposed regulation changes for fisher and marten trapping are made possible due to the DEC’s successful management, in conjunction with resounding support for this program amongst trappers and the sportsmen’s community. Under the proposed regulations, New York trappers would no longer need a special permit for fisher trapping, and marten trappers would not need to submit sealed carcasses to the state – compliments to the strong participation in these programs from the sportsmen’s community over the last five years.
Additionally, the DEC closed the comment period on proposed changes to deer and bear hunting regulations which, if adopted, would expand hunter access through extended hunting hours, new archery and firearms seasons in specified units, and expanded antlerless deer harvest opportunities. With hunting participation on a generally declining trend over the past few decades, these efforts by the DEC capitalize on the public’s recent increased interest to get outdoors in pursuit of game. By expanding legal shooting hours, hunters in certain zones could see an additional five days of hunting time over the course of the deer season.
The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation’s (CSF) Nick Lewis, Mid-Atlantic States Coordinator, submitted written testimony to the DEC in support of these proposed changes prior to the comment periods closing. CSF was encouraged by the DEC’s recognition that as wildlife conditions change, so should the regulations. In New York and across the nation, the sportsmen’s community works in tandem with the respective state fish and wildlife agencies towards the conservation of fish and wildlife and their habitats, and towards the facilitation of hunting, fishing, recreational shooting, and trapping opportunities
CSF commends the DEC for moving forward in the process with these amendments, and will continue to provide updates as they become available.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?