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OUTDOORS: Hunting seasons begin in earnest

Photo contributed

Youth pheasant hunters, dogs and their handlers, and other volunteers enjoyed a great day in Durham this past Saturday.

October 4, 2019 01:00 pm Updated: October 4, 2019 01:11 pm

DEC recently announced approximately 30,000 adult pheasants will be released in 2019 on lands open to public hunting for the fall pheasant hunting season. Sadly, no birds from DEC will be released in Greene County. 

DEC went on to say, “All release sites for pheasants provided by state-funded programs are open to public hunting. Pheasants will be released on state-owned lands prior to and during the fall hunting season and at a number of sites on New York City Watershed lands thanks to a partnership with New York City Department of Environmental Protection.

Pheasant hunting opportunities have also been augmented by private landowners who have opened their land to public hunting. DEC is grateful for their help in providing high quality hunting experiences for New York’s hunters.”

Pheasant hunting began in our area on Tuesday, October 1, as did seasons for cottontail rabbit, ruffed grouse, and woodcock. However, youth in our county got in some pre-season pheasant hunting on the opener of the 2019 Youth Pheasant Season. 

On a beautiful Saturday morning on September 28, Russ Burton, coordinator of the annual event, had a great turnout of youth hunters. Russ rallied a number of dog handlers and their bird dogs, plus other volunteers who made the hunt in Durham a resounding success. Thanks go to Russ and all the volunteers who made it happen.

While many small game seasons opened October 1st, don’t make the mistake and assume fall turkey season opens along with them. While October 1st may be opening day for turkey in the Northern Zone, (NZ) the Southern Zone (SZ) turkey season doesn’t start until October 19.

As for ducks, today, October 5, is the season opener in the NZ. There have been changes this year and the SZ waterfowl season no longer opens the same day as the NZ. The SZ duck season will open one half hour before sunrise on Saturday, October 19. Both seasons have an extended first half compared to recent years.

On the big game front, early bowhunting for deer opened in the NZ on September 27 and for deer and bear on October 1st in the SZ.

*Before going afield, be sure to consult DEC’s website or a hard copy of the NY Hunting and Trapping 2019-2020 Official Guide to Laws & Regulations for rules specific to the area you plan to hunt. 

The following is a message from DEC about hunter safety:   

DEC Encourages Hunter Safety

While statistics show that hunting in New York is safer than ever, mistakes are made every year. DEC believes every hunting-related shooting incident is preventable, and Commissioner Seggos is encouraging hunters to use common sense this season and to remember what they were taught in their DEC Hunters Education Course.

Firearms Safety:

Point your gun in a safe direction.

Treat every gun as if it were loaded.

Be sure of your target and beyond.

Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.

DEC also encourages hunters to wear blaze orange or blaze pink. Wearing orange or pink prevents other hunters from mistaking a person for an animal, or shooting in a hunter’s direction. Hunters who wear hunter orange are seven times less likely to be shot. For more information on these and other important hunting safety tips, please visit DEC’s website.
Happy Hunting, Fishing, & Trapping until next time.

News and Notes

Last Chance for Your Voice to be Heard re the Future of Striped Bass Fishing in NY;

Comment Period Ends October 7: 

The deadline for submitting comments about impending changes to striped bass regulations is fast approaching. There are a variety of ways you can submit your comments up until the October 7, 2019 deadline. 

They can be mailed to: 

Max Appelman, FMP Coordinator, Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, 1050 North Highland Street, Suite 200A-N, Arlington, VA 22201. 

Emailed to (subject: Striped Bass Draft Addendum VI).

Called in by phone to (703) 842-0740, or Faxed to (703) 842-0741. 

You can view ASMFC’s Atlantic Striped Bass Addendum on their website at

Turkey Shoot at Kalicoontie Rod & Gun Club on October 7 

The Kalicoontie Rod & Gun Club is hosting a “Turkey” Shoot on October 7 at 10 a.m. at their club at 333 Schneider Road in Livingston. Prizes include turkeys, hams, pork loins, and many other items. Events include 12 and 20 gauge bird shot, a standing slug shoot, .22 rifle, center fire rifle and handgun shoots. 

Individual event entry fee of $3 includes 12 and 20 gauge birdshot and .22 rimfire ammo. Bring your own firearms, and bring your own ammo for all other calibers/gauges. For more information call Scott at 845-757-2552 or Joe at 518-537-3997. Scott and Joe advised, “no turkeys will be harmed at this event!” They said only the frozen kind will be awarded to successful competitors.

Remember to report poaching violations by calling 1-844-DEC-ECOS. 

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*If you have a fishing or hunting report, photo, or event you would like to be considered for publication, you can send it to: