Rod, Gun and Game: This year’s New York state sportsman licenses are sporting new rules
There are more than 1,500 license sales outlets statewide, including most village and town clerks’ offices, but the easiest and fastest way to take care of business is online, with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s automatic licensing system. Many sportsmen said that this system is fairly simple and provides the option of re-reading rules, identifying high and low chance deer management units zones and much more.
First-time online license-buyers will need to provide their full name, address, driver’s license number (for proof of residency), a valid NYS address and a credit card with an expiration date listed. To purchase a license complete with DMP permits, study the section on the DMU permits website before beginning the license and permit process at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/30409.html.
While you are on the website, check out the NYS map and boundaries to make sure you understand which wildlife management unit your hunting area is located in. Take note of the high-medium-low rating for that DMU.
In areas rated high, more than two out of three applicants will receive a deer management permit. In areas rated medium, there is between a one in three and two in three chance, while low ratings receive less than a one in three chance. In areas where deer populations are threatened by hard winters, over-harvest or an increasing coyote population that can prey on young fawn deer, only applicants with “preference points” have a chance of receiving a DMP.
The DMP-issuing system is organized for population management by wildlife biologist professionals. Once statistical numbers are determined, DMP receivers are chosen at random by a computer. You can also order your new sporting licenses by calling 1-866-933-2257.
One of the new hunting rule changes coming into law is a new Oct. 1 start for the big game bow hunting season in the Southern Zone and a concurrent opener for whitetail deer and black bear on opening day of the Southern Zone firearms big game season on Nov. 17. Thanks to opposition that resulted from objections by the New York Bowhunter Club group and impending legislation headed by Assemblyman Robert Sweeney, hunting opportunities for young people in New York state will not include the special big game youth firearms weekend that was originally intended to be held at the beginning of October.
This year’s hunting season also offers a popular change for Lake Erie walleye anglers. The daily walleye limit will go from five to six fish per day, equal to limits that exist in other Lake Erie border states or provinces.
For a complete listing of all the new hunting regulations, check out 2012 – 2013 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37136.html. For a listing of all the new fishing regulations, review the 2012 – 13 Fishing Regulations Guide at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/fishing.html.
Lake Erie fishing report
Anglers everywhere are talking about the great fishing offered in the waters down the international line between Sturgeon Point and Buffalo.
Anglers catch walleye limits of 3 – 10-pound fish on a daily basis when wind and weather allow access to 60 – 65 foot depths.
Bison City Rod & Gun anglers have continued to report daily limits of smaller walleye, which measure 15 – 21 inches. Size three Colorado blade or size two Turtle blade worm harnesses, or 3 1/2-inch clown-colored Renosky stickbaits trolled or drifted near the bottom, are king of the hill for catching walleye in the far eastern basin of Lake Erie near Buffalo.
The fish are chasing emerald shiner and smelt baitfish in open water and near reef drop-offs. Early-morning trollers working Seneca Shoal, Myers Reef and Waverly Shoal score well. Call the Canadian authorities at 888-226-7277 before each fishing trip that takes you into Ontario waters or either the upper or lower Niagara River, or you may be subject to a large fine.
Anglers are favoring 65 – 95 foot depths with lures run 55 – 65 feet down, just above the thermocline, at Dunkirk and Barcelona. Some anglers use four – six colors of leadcore line with 3 ounces of clip-on weight, while others use 10-color of lead core line (6 feet of depth per color) at a 2 mph trolling speed. Captain Fred Forsythe reported good mixed bag catches of brown trout, steelhead, lake trout and walleye all in the same day, on several recent trips.
Anglers fishing at Barcelona and Dunkirk deep run both leadcore line and downriggers or Dipsy® divers to present their lure or spinner/worm offerings. Stickbaits are hot off the boards and leadcore, while 4-inch purple, black or pink spoons are hot off the downriggers. Modified Chatterstick Renosky or Z-man® lures in rainbow smelt or clown color are catching lots of walleye and trout from the deeper waters, though these same lures also work well off Sturgeon Point.
The smallmouth bass are starting to gather into their fall feeding schools and are not hard to find, in 25 – 50 feet of water all the way from Buffalo to the Pennsylvania line.
Aug. 18: Gun raffle, Evans Rod & Gun, 1 – 5 p.m., American Legion Post 928, 7353 Erie Road, Derby. For more information or to purchase tickets, call Jerry at 698-3008.
Aug. 18: New York state bowhunter education, Bison City Rod & Gun, 511 Ohio St., Buffalo. Pre-register with Butch at 627-9861.
Aug. 18 – 26: 36th annual Greater Niagara fall classic fish derby, “Fish Odyssey.” Includes salmon, trout, bass, carp and walleye. For more information, call 1-877-325-5787 or visit www.fishodyssey.net.
Aug. 21 – 22: NYS hunter education, Sheridan Park Volunteer Fire District No. 4, 738 Sheridan Drive, Tonawanda. Preregister by calling Butch at 627-9861.
Aug. 23 – 26: 2012 Bassmaster Elite Series Ramada Championship at Oneida Lake. On-water demonstrations will be held. Visit www.bassmaster.com/attend-2012-oneida-championship.
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