New State DEC commissioner Joe Martens announced recently the tentative schedule for many of New York 2011-2012 migratory game bird seasons, allowing sportsmen and sportswomen to plan outdoor activities well in advance. Tentative season dates for ducks, geese, woodcock, snipe and rails can now be found on the DEC website.
Each year, the DEC announces the tentative schedule to help give hunters an opportunity to begin planning their trips for a safe and successful season. Commissioner Martens said, "We remind hunters to check the final dates, usually issued in late summer before going afield."
The final season dates, bag limits and other regulations for 2011-2012 migratory game bird hunting seasons in New York will be posted on the DEC website and announced by a statewide news release once they are approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Hunters should confirm the final season dates before going afield.
The tentative season dates were developed by a team of DEC staff representing all regions of New York, taking into consideration anticipated federal regulations for the coming year and recommendations from Waterfowl Hunter Task Forces established by the DEC for each hunting zone. The DEC has used a task force approach since 1997 and it has been very helpful for setting seasons where hunter preferences are diverse.
Tentative dates for the Lake Champlain Zone will be determined by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board following public meetings likely to be held in August in Whitehall and Burlington, Vt. The DEC encourages New York waterfowl hunters who frequent the Champlain Zone to attend one of these meetings and details will be announced later this summer. Comments and suggestions about the Lake Champlain Zone may also be submitted to any DEC season-setting team member.
The DEC also announced a minor change to the boundaries of two of New York's five waterfowl hunting zones. A portion of the boundary line between the Northeastern Zone and Southeastern Zone will be modified from Saratoga Springs through Washington County to the Vermont State Line to allow season dates to better reflect hunting conditions typically found in that area. Descriptions of New York waterfowl hunting zones can be found on the DEC website and are listed in the DEC's Waterfowl Hunting Seasons and Regulations brochure.
Copies of the 2011-2012 migratory game bird hunting regulations brochure will be available on the DEC website in late August and by mid-September wherever hunting licenses are sold. But the tentative dates currently for the Western Zone for the Special Youth Weekend are Oct. 13 and 14. Regular duck season in the Western Zone will begin Oct. 27 and run through Dec. 7 with the late season running from Dec. 29 until Jan. 13. Goose season begins with a Sept. 1 start date and running through Sept. 25 for the early season. Then it is Oct. 27 through Dec. 11 for the regular season, with the late season Dec. 29-Jan. 15 and the spring season running from Feb. 23 through March 10.
Again these are tentative dates with the final dates coming out sometime in August.