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Hunting on Water Supply Lands

DEP allows deer, bear, turkey and small game hunting on designated City Water Supply lands and as provided by New York State regulations. DEP is no longer issuing Hunting Tags for hunting on City Water Supply Lands. Hunters must possess the appropriate, valid New York State hunting license and a valid Access Permit to hunt on designated hunting areas on City Water Supply Lands. DEP Access Permits are not required on Public Access Areas.

Hunting on Water Supply lands begins each fall on September 1, the first day of squirrel hunting season, and ends at the close of spring turkey season on May 31. All applicable New York State hunting regulations and laws are in effect on Water Supply hunting areas, including weapons restrictions, species restrictions and hunting seasons for the allowed game. Designated hunting areas are available for bow, shotgun, rifle, and handgun and muzzleloader hunting where permitted by New York State regulations. Other restrictions may exist on Water Supply hunting areas. Hunters are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the List of Recreation Areas and Use Designations which may include special hunting conditions, recreation area maps, and call the local DEP office for the area of interest to obtain more information.

See the List of Recreation Areas and Use Designations for areas available for hunting.

Hunters, please note: The Road Seven Recreation Unit located in The Schoharie County town Of Gilboa will be closed to hunting until further notice, due to construction activity.

Any additions or changes to this list, as well as maps of individual hunting areas, will be posted here. Further information on hunting areas can be obtained by calling the DEP Operations Office nearest the hunting area of interest. Hunters are responsible for keeping themselves informed of hunting area status.

Quality Deer Management (QDM) in the Towns of Kent and Putnam Valley

Many hunters are probably familiar with Quality Deer Management (QDM) from hunting magazines and other sources. QDM is the idea that a deer herd is healthiest if young bucks are allowed to grow into bigger, mature bucks, and does and bucks are in about a one-to-one balance. QDM focuses on bringing deer populations down to levels that the landscape can support long-term through the harvest of does , while improving the composition and health of herds by promoting larger, stronger bucks who will pass on their genetic material to future generations. In our area, buck-to-doe ratios may be as high as 1:50. In DEP Hunt Surveys for the past few years, hunters have regularly reported seeing as many as seven or eight does per buck. The overbrowsing of vegetation by too many deer, including the seedlings that are our future forest, is evident across the watershed and threatens the very habitat that deer need to survive.

To create bigger bucks, better herds and healthier forests, some QDM measures to promote the harvest of does and restrict the harvest of immature bucks are in effect on four hunting areas in the towns of Kent and Putnam Valley in Putnam County. These are:

  • Richardsville Unit - Hunting Overview Map # 89
  • West Branch Headwaters Unit – Hunting Overview Map # 88
  • Knapp Road Unit – Hunting Overview Map # 87
  • Boyds Corner North Unit – Hunting Overview Map #90

On these hunting areas the following conditions apply to all hunters over 17 years of age and will be enforced:

  • Only does may be harvested on the following days – no bucks may be taken on these days:
    • The first two days of bow season;
    • The first two days of regular gun season;
    • The first two days of muzzleloader season.
  • On all other days of the legal hunting season, bucks may be harvested to meet these requirements:
    • Antler spread of at least 15 inches in width and /or,
    • Minimum of three points on a side greater than one inch long, excluding brow tines.
  • Hunters are encouraged to harvest does over bucks throughout the season. If you harvest a doe on any City hunting area, you can enter the lottery drawing to win a great prize from DEP.

This project is in partnership with the Kent Rod and Gun Club and with the support of the Putnam County Sportsmen’s Federation and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The members of the Kent Rod and Gun Club also unanimously decided to practice QDM on their own lands. DEP will monitor how this program affects forest health and the local deer population and forest health with the assistance of the Club.

Help create a future of bigger bucks, healthy deer, and vigorous forests by following these conditions in the QDM areas this year and encouraging other hunters to do the same!

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