Stephen W. Litwhiler (315) 785-2252
Thursday, September 11, 2003
DUCK SEASON OPENING REGULATIONS FOR THREE WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREAS
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Region 6 Director Sandra L. LeBarron advises duck hunters that there are special regulations to be aware of on three popular state wildlife management areas (WMA). These areas are in the Northeastern Waterfowl Hunting Zone which offers "youth-only" duck hunting on September 20-21 and opens for all duck hunters on Saturday, October 4, 2003.
"Waterfowl populations appear to be good this year," according to LeBarron. "In order to ensure a safe and enjoyable hunting experience and protection of the waterfowl resource, the DEC wildlife managers have placed limits on numbers of hunters on the areas and the hunting hours."
At the Perch River WMA in Jefferson County, located about seven miles north of Watertown off state Route 12, the check station will open on October 4 at 7 a.m. Up to 200 waterfowl hunters will be allowed on the area. Shooting hours that day will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and hunters must check out by 4 p.m. On all other days of the duck season, shooting hours are sunrise to noon, and hunters must check out by 2 p.m. The first weekend, duck hunters must check in and out at the check station to get their daily permit. On all other days, including the youth hunt days, hunters must first register in person at the registration booth before entering the area to hunt waterfowl.
At the Upper and Lower Lakes WMA in St. Lawrence County, located 2 miles west of Canton off state Route 68, duck hunters must first obtain a permanent permit from either the Watertown DEC office or the Potsdam DEC office. Hunters may enter the WMA any time on October 4, but may not shoot before 9 a.m. and shooting must end by 4 p.m. on opening day. Hunters must leave the area by 5 p.m. On all other days of the duck season, including the youth hunt days, hunters may shoot from one-half hour before sunrise, to sunset, but they must leave the marsh by one-half hour after sunset.
The Wilson Hill WMA in St. Lawrence County is located on the St. Lawrence River about half way between Waddington and Massena on state Route 37 and Route 131. The check station will be open on October 4 to the first 150 hunters one hour before shooting time, which is one-half hour before sunrise. Shooting stops at noon and hunters must check out by 1 p.m. During the Youth Waterfowl days and the remainder of the duck season, this WMA is open for waterfowl hunting only on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Hunters are required to get daily permits and/or register each day they hunt the WMA.
On the three wildlife management areas, duck hunters, while afield, are restricted to 25 shells, which must be non-toxic shot. There are several types of non-toxic shot available, which include steel, tin, bismuth-tin, tungsten-iron, tungsten-polymer, tungsten-matrix, tungsten-nickel-iron, and tungsten-iron-nickel-tin.
LeBarron reminds hunters that the Northeastern Zone Youth Waterfowl Hunt days are Saturday and Sunday, September 20 and 21. On these days, young hunters (12 to 15 years of age) possessing a '02-'03 Junior hunting license may hunt ducks, coots, mergansers, and Canada geese when accompanied by a licensed adult hunter who has registered in the Harvest Information Program (HIP) and has a current federal duck stamp. The Northeastern Zone regular duck season opener will be Saturday, October 4. The first part of the regular season ends Saturday, November 15. The second part opens Thursday, November 27 and ends Saturday, December 13.
The daily bag limit in effect for both the youth and regular seasons remains at 6 ducks and may include no more than 4 mallards of which 2 may be hens, 2 wood ducks, 1 black duck, 1 pintail, 1 canvasback, 2 redheads, 3 scaup, 4 scoters and no harlequin ducks. The pintail season closes November 2 in the Northeastern Zone. Also, note that after the early goose season closes on September 25, Canada geese cannot be harvested during the Northeastern Zone regular season until October 25.
To view a complete listing of waterfowl seasons and hunting regulations in New York State, visit the DEC website at www.dec.state.ny.us.
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