October 2016 Outdoor Discovery Newsletter

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
DEC Delivers - Information to keep you connected and informed from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
Share or view as a web page || Update preferences or unsubscribe


hunter in camo

Family Fall Fishing Festival

A family fishing

Hempstead, Nassau County
Enjoy a family-oriented fishing festival on Saturday, October 15 from 10 AM to 4 PM at Hempstead Lake State Park. No fishing license is required for this event, hosted by NYSDEC and NYS Parks. Festival activities include fly-fishing instruction and casting practice with loaner rods, free bait and fish-cleaning services. Children can "cast" for pumpkins, then decorate their "catch" with the supplies provided. More than 1,000 fish are stocked for this event. The festival also features exhibits from local fishing clubs, face painting and a magic show. Admission is $6 for everyone over the age of 12.

Try St. Lawrence County for Fall Turkey

A turkey

From October 1st to 14th, try fall hunting for turkey at Fish Creek Wildlife Management Area and Beaver Creek State Forest; both are in St. Lawrence County. These two properties offer thousands of acres of good turkey habitat. Turkey are plentiful in New York State and one of our most popular game birds. Nothing beats the challenge of bagging one of these big, wary birds. Whether you're a veteran or novice turkey hunter, check DEC's Hunting and Turkey Hunting webpages. There you'll find all latest information on licensing, bag limits and special turkey hunting rules and safety practices. Good hunting!

Lark in the Park

Lark in the Park banner

Explore the beauty and history of the Catskills this fall at the annual Lark in the Park. Events include hiking, paddling and biking, among others, and will take place between October 1 and October 10. Check the Lark in the Park website for all events.

Hiking at Texas Hollow State Forest

Texas Hollow State Forest

Schuyler County
There's no better way to see New York's landscape than by hiking, and for a more rustic experience, hikers should visit Texas Hollow State Forest. Dense pine and hardwood forest offer multi-use trails and challenging upland terrain. A portion of the Finger Lakes Trail, which is also a segment of North Country National Scenic Trail, passes through the forest. The Bog Loop Trail takes hikers about 3/4-mile through wetlands. Although there are no facilities for viewing wildlife on Texas Hollow's 937 acres, hikers still are likely to see a variety of animals and birds. Because of this state forest's diverse ecological habitat, it has been designated a Critical Environmental Area.

Watchable Wildlife at Marine Park

Marine Park

Kings County:
Marine Park, Brooklyn's largest park, offers excellent birding opportunities. In particular, Gerritsen Creek provides natural habitat for a variety a birds. It comprises acres of grassland and salt marsh, designated Forever Wild. Observation is easier from viewing platforms and along the Salt Marsh Nature Trail. The first half of this mile-long trail follows the shore of Gerritsen Beach. From the trail's boardwalk and platforms, birders can see the winged creatures for which the park is famous--herons, egrets, ducks, geese, myrtle warblers, canvasbacks and grasshopper sparrows. The trail's second leg winds through a prairie of tall grass, where cottontail rabbits and ring-necked pheasants can sometimes be spotted. This site has some accessible features, including hiking trails and a nature center.

Ranger and ECO Reports

Pigeon Lake Wilderness Lost hiker:On September 8, rangers responded to a call for a 56-year-old woman lost in the Cascade Lake area. She became turned around on a trail and was unprepared to continue. Dispatch established text conversation with the woman and deployed two DEC Forest Rangers to find her. The Town of Webb Police assisted by checking the trailhead to ensure her vehicle was there and she was still lost. Forest Rangers hiked around Cascade Lake with negative results. At 12:21 a.m. Forest Rangers were able to establish voice communication. They located the woman by Chain Lake Pond and assisted her out to the trailhead. The incident concluded at 2:36 a.m.

Attempted Sale of Bald Eagle Parts:On August 13, ECO Andrew McCormick received a phone call reporting a deceased juvenile bald eagle found on a Binghamton sidewalk. ECO McCormick and ECO Anthony Rigoli retrieved the carcass. The eagle appeared to have been electrocuted on a power line. However, ECO Rigoli observed that its feet had been removed. Later that day, a business advised ECO McCormick that a person had come into a bait shop in Binghamton and attempted to sell the foot of a bald eagle. The business owner knew the possession of the eagle's foot is illegal and declined to buy it. ECOs located the subject, who was arrested and charged with offering bald eagle parts for sale and the unlawful possession of additional protected wildlife parts.

Nature Notes

In late summer and early fall, flocks of wild turkey begin to spend more and more time in woodlands feeding on fruits, seeds, nuts, and acorns.

DEC's Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife App

app promo

Looking for an outdoor adventure close to home this spring? Download DEC's Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife App. Using the app's advanced GPS features, you will be able to identify and locate New York State's many hunting, fishing and wildlife watching sites.

Upcoming DEC Events

Hunting Season Openings

Education Center Events


Conservationist Magazine

October 2016 Conservationist cover

Don’t miss the October issue of Conservationist magazine! In it, you’ll celebrate the beauty of the season with gorgeous photos of New York’s spectacular autumn display. You’ll also learn what goes bump in the night, captured on trail cams. Hike to a newly restored fire tower, or visit the Seneca Art & Culture Center at Ganondagan. Go in the field with a hunter and his dogs, and read about challenges facing the next generation of hunters.

There's all this and much more in the October Conservationist. Don't miss the next issue! Subscribe online or call 1-800-678-6399.

October 2016 DEC Outdoor Discovery Newsletter © New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

View our archive of past issues