FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE04-57
32,000 Acres of City Water Supply Lands to Be Open for Deer
Commissioner Christopher O. Ward of the New York City Department
of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced today that deer hunting
on over 32,000 acres of City water supply lands will be available
in 2004 by bow, gun and muzzleloader.
This year early bow hunting season will run from October 15 to
November 21; regular gun from November 22 to December 14; muzzleloader
from December 15 to December 21; and late bow from December 15
through December 19. These dates are concurrent with the New York
State deer hunting seasons for the watershed region. In Westchester
County , an archery-only area, the season will also be consistent
with New York State regulations running from October 15 to December
“There are more than double the number of acres available
for hunting this year than there were in 1999, the first year of
widespread deer hunting on DEP lands,” said Commissioner
Ward. “We have 70 hunting areas in seven counties, including
the four reservoir hunting areas that were opened for the first
time in 2003. The new areas on the Ashokan, Neversink, Schoharie
and Kensico Reservoirs were very successful, and were some of our
busiest. We were glad to hear from hunters that they appreciate
“Hunting opportunities have increased in other ways, with
expanded scouting times and the introduction of bow-hunting throughout
the watershed. We've been making it as straightforward and enjoyable
for hunters as we can," he said.
This season DEP is introducing a doe harvest incentive to help
control overbrowsing. Overbrowsing by deer can greatly affect forest
health by removing seedling trees and other low-growing vegetation,
and eventually leads to reduced water quality. Details of the harvest
incentive are contained in the 2004 Guide to Deer Hunting that
is sent to each hunter with their DEP Hunting Tag.
Over 8,000 hunters are expected to enjoy City lands this year.
Applicants for a free DEP Hunting Tag must have a free DEP Access
Permit and a New York State hunting license. All New York State
laws and additional DEP conditions apply while on City-owned land.
To apply for a DEP Hunting Tag, hunters should send their name,
Access Permit number and hunting tag request via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications can also be submitted by regular mail. Hunters who
returned their completed 2003 Deer Hunt Surveys by the due date
should have automatically received their 2004 Hunting Tag, provided
their Access Permits are still valid.
Hunting Tag applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served
basis. Applications received after September 31 may not be fulfilled
in time for opening day of early bow season. Applications for DEP
Access Permits and Hunting Tags are available at DEP Land Management
Offices throughout the watershed, DEP offices in Kingston, Queens
and Manhattan, at watershed bait and tackle shops and town halls,
and on DEP’s Web site at www.nyc.gov/watershedrecreation.
The Web site also has the most up-to-date information on hunting
and other water supply recreation opportunities.
Almost 39 percent of hunters returned completed deer hunting
surveys in 2003, making them eligible to automatically receive
DEP Hunting Tags this year. These surveys provide useful feedback
and information that the DEP uses to try to improve its program
from year to year.
Proposed changes to the City’s recreation rules would allow
hunting by handgun in future deer hunting seasons.