Outdoor Journal: DEC said there is no concern over Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease outbreak


OUTDOOR JOURNAL – In a press release from DEC last week, it said many hunters are aware that several counties in New York are experiencing an outbreak of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease this year, and some are concerned that the deer population cannot handle additional hunting harvest. Some hunters have inquired about the need for changes to the hunting season, including curtailing the use of Deer Management Permits in the affected areas.

The DEC said that it appreciates this concern, but the current EHD outbreak does not justify such actions.

The good news is that this outbreak should be ending soon. The midges die with the first hard frost, which in southeastern New York occurs in early- to mid-October. The DEC encourages all hunters to submit reports of EHD-suspected deer that they find throughout the early hunting season through DEC’s online EHD reporting form, to participate in the bowhunter sighting log and to report all deer that you harvest.


On Sept. 25 while driving through Tonawanda Wildlife Management Area patrolling for end-of-season goose hunters, Lieutenant Nathan Ver Haque observed a hunter in his car just before sunset. The ECO pulled in to check in with the hunter, who claimed to be hunting squirrels, not geese.

At the same time, Lieutenant Ver Haque noticed the hunter attempting to close the trunk of his car and observed a foot sticking out that appeared larger than a squirrel’s foot. Upon further inspection, the officer determined the foot to be that of a racoon, and raccoon hunting did not open until Oct. 25. Another EOC arrived on scene shortly after this discovery and issued the man a ticket for hunting raccoons out of season. So observe the proper hunting dates so that you don’t collect a ticket while out.

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Now that we are not going to Florida in 2023, where I would go fishing everyday, I will miss it.

But I got a call from my friend Don Vanderwerker of Palatine Bridge, asking if I would like to go on a turkey hunt again this year. I said. “Yes, you bet.” Last October, I joined him, along with my friend Steve Zahurak of Schenectady, to go hunting with Don’s dog Sadie. I found out quickly that I wasn’t dressed for the cold weather and had to sit in the truck until my friend came back.

But this year, I will be ready with my heated vest and hand warmers. Don will set me down and he and his dog will chase the turkeys towards me. 

Contact Ed Noonan at [email protected] with any of your successful hunts, where and how.


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