DEC Expands Bobcat Hunting and Trapping, Extends Snow Geese Harvest Period
Bobcat hunting and trapping opportunities are expanded and the snow geese harvest season is extended under two sets of regulations adopted by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Commissioner Joe Martens has announced.
“Under Governor Cuomo’s NY Open for Hunting and Fishing initiative, New York is working to increase hunting and trapping opportunities for sportsmen and sportswomen,” Commissioner Martens said. With these changes, DEC is implementing strategies of the recently adopted Bobcat Management Plan that will provide sustainable harvest opportunities while maintaining a stable or increasing bobcat population. In addition, I encourage the hunting community to take full advantage of the newly expanded snow geese season in the years ahead.”
BOBCAT HUNTING AND TRAPPING SEASONS
After careful consideration of the public comments received, DEC adopted rules affecting bobcat hunting and trapping in New York to implement certain aspects of the state’s Five-Year Bobcat Management Plan.
The harvest of bobcats will be closely monitored by DEC biologists via activity logs maintained by hunters and trappers, a mandatory pelt sealing program, and hunter and trapper surveys. This will allow for adaptive management where regulations can be modified in the future to keep pace with the changing needs and status of New York’s bobcat populations. Southern/Western New York Harvest Expansion Area
The season in the Harvest Expansion Area will open annually on October 25th. The annual closing date will be the Friday before the opening of the regular Southern Zone deer season.
SPECIAL SNOW GOOSE HARVEST PROGRAM
State regulations to expand the special snow goose harvest program in New York have been amended to allow hunters to take snow geese during a special harvest program from Jan. 16 through April 15 in all of upstate New York. This is in addition to the regular snow goose hunting season, which is expected to run Oct.1 through Jan. 15 annually.
The expanded special season will increase hunter opportunity to harvest snow geese throughout the winter and early spring, when they are most abundant in New York. Snow geese are an arctic breeding goose species that recently reached record high population levels in North America - from approximately 50,000 birds in the 1960s to more than one million birds in recent years.
Wildlife agencies, ecologists and environmental organizations have expressed concern about the impacts that overabundant snow geese are having on arctic ecosystems, coastal wetlands and agricultural crops. In response to those concerns, federal hunting regulations were liberalized in 2008, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) adopted a conservation order allowing states in the Atlantic Flyway to implement special snow goose harvest programs in addition to its regular hunting seasons. Based on guidance from USFWS, DEC decided to have one continuous season beginning this year.
|Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr.||www.niagarafallsreporter.com||
JUN 18, 2013