OUTDOOR JOURNAL – New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos reminded outdoor enthusiasts in a press release that many furbearer trapping seasons begin on Tuesday. Approximately 10,000 New Yorkers participate in this trapping tradition, going afield for more than a dozen species of furbearing animals and often partnering with DEC biologists to provide valuable scientific information.
“Trapping is an important component of New York’s outdoor heritage,” Seggos said in the press release. “Our furbearer population are abundant, and furbearer hunting and trapping provide many benefits, including reducing property damage from nuisance wildlife and providing a sustainable source of food, fur, and income to harvesters and others in the industry.”
With 16 species of furbearers living in New York, furbearer hunting and trapping opportunities are abundant. Coyote hunting season began Oct. 1 across most of the state, and hunting seasons for other furbearers such as bobcat, raccoon, and fox will begin Tuesday. Season dates and zone boundaries for all furbearers can be found on DEC’s website and in the Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide.
Before venturing afield, trappers are advised to note changes to special permit requirements for marten trapping seasons.
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Trapping season dates vary by species and geography, with raccoon, fox, and bobcat opening Tuesday, and beaver, mink, and muskrat opening on Nov. 1 in Northern New York and Nov. 10 across the Southern Zone.
Trappers should check the regulations guide or the DEC website for opening dates in their area.
All harvested marten, fisher, otter, and bobcat need to be sealed/have a tag affixed by a DEC representative within 10 days after the close of the season in the wildlife management unit where the animal was taken. When having the pelt sealed, harvesters must turn in a completed Furbearer Possession Tag. Furbearer Possession Tags can be downloaded from the DEC website. Harvesters should contact their regional wildlife office to make pelt sealing arrangements prior to visiting.
Some safety reminders:
- 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
Wearing blaze orange or pink is required for hunting big game with firearms. Hunters wearing blaze orange are seven times less likely to be shot. It’s not a bad idea, either, for hounds men to dress their dogs in blaze orange or pink or another bright color.
New York offers vast waterfowl hunting opportunities with more than 30 species of waterfowl, five waterfowl zones, and nine Canada goose zones that cover a wide range of habitats.
Duck season is open in the Northern Zone, Lake Champlain and Western and Southeast zones. It will open Nov. 19 in the Long Island Zone.
For more waterfowl hunting season dates and bag limits, visit the DEC’s waterfowl seasons page.
Contact Ed at [email protected] with your hunting stories.