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October 21, 2003

Contact: Ian Michaels (718) 595-6600

New York City Department Of Environmental Protection To Open New 1,556-Acre Deer Hunting Area Near The Ashokan Reservoir

Commissioner Christopher O. Ward of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced today that 1,556 acres on the north side of the Ashokan Reservoir in the Town of Olive will be opened for the first time for deer hunting this fall. The new “Ashokan North Unit” will be available for bow, regular and muzzleloader deer hunting to hunters with valid DEP Hunting Tags.

“Hunting opportunities on City water supply lands have steadily increased over the past few years from just over 13,000 acres in 1999 to more than 31,000 acres this year. Over 5,000 acres of hunting area are available on City lands in Ulster County alone,” said Commissioner Ward. He noted that the popularity of past hunting seasons and the City’s commitments under the 1997 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with watershed towns have played an important role in increasing hunting opportunities.

“Hunters have been responsible visitors to City water supply lands and that encourages us to open new areas,” Ward said. In the MOA, New York City committed to open newly-acquired lands for limited recreation and to review currently-owned City lands, primarily located near reservoirs, for their potential recreation use.

Limited first-come, first-served parking will be available for hunters at the Ashokan North Unit only at specific City gates. These are indicated on the DEP map for the hunting area. Orange stickers that read “Hunting by Permit” on existing DEP signs identify the hunting area boundaries. Walking access to the interior of the property is excellent due to the presence of several woods roads. Hunting activities in the area will be carefully monitored, and DEP staff are available to address any problems.

Bow hunting, first introduced on an experimental basis last season, will be allowed this year on all water supply hunting areas, including the Ashokan North Unit, in addition to regular gun and muzzleloader hunting for deer. In 2002, three hunting areas were open for bow hunting to a limited number of hunters who were selected in a random lottery. This season, bow hunting will be permitted on all water supply hunting areas for hunters with valid DEP Hunting Tags.

DEP Hunting Tags are required in order to hunt on City water supply hunting areas. These are available to all eligible DEP Access Permit holders. Applications are available on the DEP’s Web site at along with hunting conditions and maps of the 2003 hunting areas. Applications are also at many bait and tackle shops and town halls in the watershed; DEP Offices in Queens, Manhattan and Kingston; and DEP Land Management Offices in Ashokan, Downsville, Grahamsville, Mahopac and Gilboa.

Maps of the hunting areas will be mailed with the 2003 hunting tags starting in late September and continuing through the hunting season. Hunters who completed and returned their 2002 Deer Hunt Survey by the January 22, 2002 due-date and have valid Access Permits will receive their hunting materials this year automatically. Last year the DEP issued 4,216 Hunting Tags.

Hunting seasons on water supply lands are consistent with New York State regulations for the region. Early bow season runs from October 15 to November 16 and late season from December 10 through December 14. Regular gun season begins November 17 and ends December 9. Muzzleloading goes from December 10 to December 16. In Westchester County, an archery-only area, the season starts November 1 and ends December 31.


More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600