Hunting and Trapping Newsletter

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
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Hunting and Trapping Newsletter

BearWise NY LogoDEC Announces Partnership with BearWise Campaign

DEC has become a cooperating member state of BearWise, a multistate campaign focused on educating people on how to live responsibly with black bears. BearWise was developed by state agency bear biologists across the country to ensure that no matter where people live, recreate, or travel that they receive consistent and effective information on how to prevent human-bear conflicts. The campaign promotes and provides information on the “BearWise basics”, simple steps anyone can take at home or when recreating in bear country.

Black bears are most active throughout the spring and summer months, and can be attracted to human-created food sources, especially during dry weather periods when natural food sources are scarce.

The BearWise campaign recommends people take six basic steps to avoid attracting bears to areas around homes or neighborhoods:

The campaign also recommends six bear safety tips when recreating or vacationing in bear country:

  • stay alert and together;
  • leave no trash or food scraps;
  • keep dogs leashed;
  • camp safely;
  • know what to do if you see a bear; and
  • carry bear spray and know how to use it.

DEC’s education and outreach materials have been updated to incorporate information on the BearWise campaign and DEC’s black bear biologists and technicians have begun sharing information on the campaign through their daily interactions with members of the public. For more information on how to live responsibly with black bears and the BearWise campaign visit DEC's webpage or

DEC Announces Successful First-Ever Spring Wild Turkey Hunt on Long Island

Turkey Photographed by John LehmannMay 31st marked the culmination of the first-ever spring wild turkey hunting season on Long Island. DEC took nearly 1,000 reservations for state-managed lands throughout the month-long season, totaling around 2,000 people; no hunting safety incidents being reported. The new hunting opportunity, held from May 1 to 31, is a success story for wildlife conservation in New York. Hunters who harvested a turkey on State-managed properties were required to have the bird checked by DEC staff at the Ridge Hunter Check Station in order to collect biological data. Since it is the first hunt of its kind on Long Island, collecting reliable data is critical to ensure such opportunities are sustainable for years to come.

The first bird harvested on State land during the inaugural season was a 23-pound adult male turkey (tom) with a beard (a cluster of modified feathers that look like hair) measuring 8.5 inches. The largest bird recorded at the check station was a 26-pound tom harvested at DEC's Otis Pike Preserve. Approximately 90 percent of the harvest reports were for toms, with the remaining 10 percent being “jakes” (one-year-old male turkeys). Hunting participation, effort, and harvest are estimated based on post-season surveys of turkey permit holders. Final estimates will be available later this summer. DEC looks forward to many successful future spring turkey seasons on Long Island.

Additional information can be found at the following webpages:

Long Island Public Hunting Areas

Public Hunting Opportunities in Suffolk County, Long Island

Conditions for Use of DEC-Managed Lands in Suffolk County