Connect with us

Bowhunting News

DEC Adopts Changes for State Deer Hunting Regulations

Published

on

New Rules Include Longer Bow Seasons, Mandatory Antler Restrictions in More Areas and Other Deer Hunting Changes

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has adopted rules affecting deer and bear hunting in New York, to implement certain aspects of the state’s Five-Year Deer Management Plan, Commissioner Joe Martens announced.

“With these changes, DEC has started implementing several strategies of the recently adopted Management Plan for White-tailed Deer,” Commissioner Martens said. “Though the management plan addresses much more than deer hunting, these changes emphasize the value of hunting as a tradition for New Yorkers and as the primary tool for deer management.”

The adopted changes include:

1. Beginning the Southern Zone bowhunting season and the regular season in Westchester County (bowhunting only) on October 1 and establishing a late bowhunting season concurrent with the late muzzleloader season in the Northern Zone. These changes will increase opportunities by several weeks for most New York bowhunters.

2. Adjusting the Northern Zone season dates by opening the Northern Zone regular season for 44 days, beginning on the 2nd Saturday after Columbus Day. This is a slight change from the original proposal to begin the regular season on the 4th Saturday in October. Some hunters were concerned that the original proposal would extend the season too late into December. The adopted season structure results in fewer years when the regular season will extend later than it has in the past.

3. Allowing Deer Management Permits (DMPs, “doe tags”) to be used in all seasons in the Northern Zone. This change will simplify regulations and increase hunter opportunity and choice. No management impact is expected since DEC determines the total number of DMPs issued in each area of the state based on current deer population conditions and hunting activity.

4. Expanding mandatory antler restrictions (3 points on one side minimum) into Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) 3A, 4G, 4O, 4P, 4R, 4S, and 4W, as called for in the Deer Management Plan. DEC is working to develop a systematic and objective process to guide future decisions regarding antler restrictions or other buck harvest strategies to best satisfy the desires of New York deer hunters and stakeholders.

5. Opening all of Suffolk County for the special January firearms season, subject to local discharge ordinances. This change will simplify options for hunters, should local municipalities change ordinances to allow discharge of bows or firearms.

6. Establishing a Deer Management Focus Area in central Tompkins County to intensify use of hunting to assist communities in the Ithaca area with the burden of overabundant deer populations. The focus area program is established to reduce total deer populations within the focus area by providing more time and more tags to hunters who can gain access to huntable land. DEC plans to evaluate this new approach over the next several years and, depending on the results, will consider designation of other locations as deer management focus areas. More information about the focus area program, including registration forms will be available on the DEC website in September.

7. Adjusting bear hunting seasons to remain concurrent with deer seasons. DEC believes retaining a consistent season structure for big game hunting is currently preferable, though future bear management may necessitate deviation from this approach.

The full text of the adopted regulations is available on the NYS DEC website. DEC’s Deer Management Plan (www.dec.ny.gov/docs/wildlife_pdf/deerplan2012.pdf) was the foundation for these regulation changes. Over the coming year, DEC will be initiating other aspects of the plan to address ecological impacts of deer and continue improving deer management capacity for the benefit of all New Yorkers.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Bowhunting News

How to Shoot a Compound Bow Properly – Ultimate Guide

Published

on

Shooting a compound bow might seem as simple as picking up the bow, drawing the string with an arrow, and releasing it. If that’s how you think it works, then you’re dead wrong. It takes a world of knowledge and practice to learn how to properly shoot a compound bow. Luckily for you, we’re going to teach you how to do it with this compound bow shooting tutorial.

Preparing the Bow

Your compound bow should use high-quality strings that aren’t worn or heavily used. Your bow should be in good shape and properly maintained. You should be aware of how much draw pressure your bow can handle. If possible, use a compound bow that you’ve used before and that you’re familiar with, or use a compound bow that an expert archer has provided. Ideally, you should learn how to shoot a compound bow from someone who has a lot of experience shooting such a bow successfully.

Stance

You should face the target at about a 45-degree angle. Your feet should be parallel to one another and about 17-25 inches apart. Your toes should be directly facing the target. If you use such a stance you’ll have a much easier time drawing your bow and you’ll have a better chance of hitting your target dead-on.

Grip

Use a firm but relaxed grip with your bow-holding hand. If your grip is too tight on the bow then you won’t have as much accuracy on your shot. Try using a wrist sling if you are unable to master the art of a firm yet comfortable grip. Don’t be ashamed because the main point is accuracy and whatever you can do to attain the perfect shot is fine. Never, and I repeat NEVER, shoot with an open hand. You don’t ever want to grab the bow with your drawing hand during a shot – this is undoubtedly the worst mistake you can make when shooting a compound bow because it can lead to fatal errors.

Anchor

When you draw the string, you should be locking your string hand against the side of your face. This is what’s known as the “anchor” position. The string and your hand will be on the right side of your face, and vice versa if you are left-handed. You can achieve the highest level of archery accuracy by anchoring the string at the corner of your mouth – or under your chin.

Draw

You should extend your bow arm directly toward your target with the string gripped firmly between your fingers… or by using a mechanical release device, if you prefer. Point the bow at the target and pull the string smoothly and firmly. Extend the bow all the way, pull the string back to its maximum point of a full draw, and resist the urge to move the compound bow forward. Make sure that you use a bow that is suited for you because a bow with a draw that is too heavy will destroy your accuracy.

Aim

If you’re using a bow that is equipped with a sight then aiming will be easier, but it still won’t be perfect. Bow sights are good for average shooters, especially if a laser sight is involved. The key to natural aiming is practice. The best archers usually aim slightly above the target (depending on wind conditions) so they can aim while still looking directly at the target.

Release

Your release can determine whether or not your shot hits the mark. You need a smooth release, and you need to relax all of your fingers completely before you release the string for the shot. Even the slightest amount of finger tension can disrupt your aim. If you have a mechanical release aid the shot will be easier because all you have to do is draw, aim, and pull the release trigger for the compound bow. This type of mechanism can fail you, however… if you slap the trigger then the arrow will go astray.

Follow-Through

Just as in golf, the follow-through is extremely important in archery. Why? The arrow has already been released, right? You need to keep aiming until your arrow hits the target. The follow-through is largely a mental thing. You need to see your arrow hitting the target while you are steadily holding your bow. Never lower your bow after the arrow has been released. Stay in formation and hold your position until the arrow hits the target.

Practice

If you want to become an expert at shooting a compound bow then you need to practice. The saying “practice makes perfect” isn’t really true. You need to invoke the saying of “perfect practice makes perfect” because practicing something the wrong way will get you nowhere. When your target of choice is out of season then you shouldn’t lay back and watch TV until it’s time to hunt again. Set up targets and keep a compound bow in your hands as much as you can.

Conclusion

After reading this article there’s no excuse for becoming an expert compound bow shooter. From choosing the right equipment to shooting correctly there is an equation to correctly shooting a compound bow. Do you have any tips on shooting a compound bow? If so, we’d love to hear from you in the Comments section below.

Continue Reading

Bowhunting News

NYS DEC Misses the Mark with New Regulations

Published

on

New changes are heading our way for the 2015 deer season in New York. For those of us hunting in Westchester County and a few other WMUs that have historically had an overpopulation of deer we now have a newly created 2-week long antlerless-only season – the only problem is that it’s the first 2-weeks of bow season.

For some, that’s not an issue, but to others, it just crushed their chances of killing that buck they’ve been patterning since the season ended in 2014. Why? Because those first 2-weeks also happen to be the last few days you can catch a buck on its summer pattern.

The DEC says that management goals are not being met in these WMUs which is why we need the antlerless-only season. Well, I can tell you changing the first two weeks to antlerless-only is going to have a minimal impact, if any, on the antlerless harvest. The guys that want to shoot bucks will be spending their time in NJ or CT and the rest of us, well, we kill does all season long so it’s business as usual for us.

If the DEC really wanted to increase the antlerless harvest we could have looked to our neighbors over in CT and simply extended the hunting season for another month by starting in September, extending into January or both.

We also are still a 2-buck state (1 Regular Season buck tag, 1 Either Sex archery tag). If we dropped one of the tags, like most of the ‘big-buck’ states, and became a 1-buck state I think you’d also see the antlerless harvest go up…not to mention we’d probably have a few more decent bucks running around.

Time will tell how these new regulations end up working, but I think we already know, this isn’t going to work.

Continue Reading

Bowhunting News

NYS DEC Misses the Mark with New Regulations

Published

on

First meeting of 2014 for the WCBA

The Westchester County Bowhunters Association will hold its winter meeting on January 21,2014 at 7:00 p.m. at the Teatown Lake Reservation Ossining, NY.

One of the hot topics for discussion I’m sure will be the plans that Teatown has for using sharpshooters to cull 75 deer from the reservation property. Why Teatown isn’t using a free resource like Westchester County’s own bowhunters and is choosing to use taxpayer money to hire sharp shooters is beyond me. Hopefully, we get some answers on this Tuesday night.

About the WCBA: Since 1979, the Westchester County Bowhunters Association has worked at expanding the knowledge of local non-hunters in order that they understand the importance of sound wildlife conservation, and by that we mean effectively controlling Westchester County’s deer populations through Bow hunting.

Continue Reading

Trending