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Entries Tagged as 'wildlife'

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Officers Investigating Bear Attack in Fulton County

August 12th, 2015 · 2 Comments · Adirondack News

NYSDEC LogoOn Tuesday, August 11, at approximately 5 p.m., a 55-year-old man from Troy, NY, was walking his small dog in the Stewart’s Landing area of the Ferris Lake Wild Forest in the Town of Stratford, when the unleashed dog encountered a bear. The bear attacked the dog and then the dog owner after the man tried to separate the animals. He was able to strike the bear on the nose with a stick causing the bear to run away. Both the victim and his dog suffered bites, scratches and puncture wounds. The injuries to the man are not considered life threatening.

Bear - ready to harvestFollowing the attack, the victim walked out to Stewart Landing Road with his dog where a passing motorist picked them up and transported them to the end of the road. A second motorist arrived and helped to contact emergency services. An S&S Volunteer Ambulance Service responded to the scene and transported the victim to a hospital in Utica. The dog was taken to a local veterinarian.

DEC ECO’s, Forest rangers and wildlife staff, with the assistance of trained bear dogs and their handlers, attempted to locate the bear through the night. Based on the extensive search, DEC believes the bear has left the area and poses no continuing threat at this time.

If you encounter a bear, DEC recommends the following tips:

  • Never approach, surround or corner a bear: Bears aggressively defend themselves when they feel threatened.
  • Be especially cautious around cubs as mother bears are very protective.
  • Never run from a bear: stay calm, speak in a loud and calm voice, slowly back away and leave the area.
  • Use noise to scare away bears from your campsite: yell, clap or bang pots immediately upon sighting a bear near your campsite.
  • Do not throw your backpack or food bag at an approaching bear: Doing so will only encourage bears to approach and “bully” people to get food.

To report the feeding of bears or a bear encounter, contact the nearest Regional DEC Office. A list of regional offices can be found on DEC’s website.

More information on encounters with bears.

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DEC Warns Motorists to be Alert for Moose in the Adirondacks

September 19th, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

NYSDEC LogoMotorists should be alert for moose on roadways in the Adirondacks and surrounding areas at this time of year – a peak of moose activity – warns the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

Early fall is the breeding season for moose in northern New York. During this time moose are wandering looking for mates, leading them to areas where they are not typically seen. While this improves the opportunities for people to enjoy sighting of a moose, it also increases the danger of colliding with one on the roadway.

MooseMoose are much larger and taller than deer. Their large body causes greater damage, and, when struck, their height often causes them to impact the windshield of a car or pickup truck, not just the front of the vehicle. Last year ten moose vehicle accidents were reported in New York. However, there has not been a human fatality from an accident with a moose, a record DEC hopes to retain.

Moose are most active at dawn and dusk, which are times of poor visibility. Moose are especially difficult to see at night because of their dark brown to black coloring and their height – which puts their head and much of their body above vehicle headlights.

DEC advises motorists to take the following precautions to prevent moose vehicle collisions:

  • Use extreme caution when driving at dawn or dusk, especially during September and October;
  • Reduce your speed, stay alert, and watch the roadsides;
  • Slow down when approaching moose standing near the roadside, as they may bolt at the last minute when a car comes closer, often running into the road;
  • Moose may travel in pairs or small groups, so if a moose is spotted crossing the road, be alert for others that may follow;
  • Make sure all vehicle occupants wear seatbelts and children are properly restrained in child safety seats;
  • Use flashers or a headlight signal to warn other drivers when moose are spotted near the road;
  • Motorcyclists should be especially alert for moose;
  • If a moose does run in front of your vehicle, brake firmly but do not swerve. Swerving can cause a vehicle-vehicle collision or cause the vehicle to hit a fixed object such as a tree or pole;
  • If a moose is hit and killed by a vehicle, the motorist should not remove the animal unless a permit is obtained from the investigating officer at the scene of the accident.

More information about moose can be found on the DEC website.

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DEC Announces Early Bear Hunting Seasons to Begin

September 5th, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Bear Hunting Seasons Begin September 6 in Portions of Southeastern New York and September 13 in Northern New York

NYSDEC LogoUnder Governor Cuomo’s NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens today announced that the new 2014 early bear hunting seasons open at sunrise on Saturday, September 6, in portions of New York’s southern zone and Saturday, September 13, in the northern zone.

“Early black bear hunting seasons are an important tool for managers to control bear populations, and beginning Saturday, hunters will have a new opportunity to pursue bears in portions of the Catskills and western Hudson Valley,” said Commissioner Martens. “Opening these early seasons demonstrates Governor Cuomo’s commitment to increasing hunting opportunities here in New York State for sportsmen and women.”

Following recommendations in DEC’s recently adopted bear management plan to reduce bear populations in the region, the new early firearms bear season runs from September 6-21 in Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) 3A, 3C, 3H, 3J, 3K, 3M, 3P, 3R, 4P, and 4R. The early bowhunting season for bears will then open in all of the Southern Zone on October 1, followed by the regular firearms season beginning November 15.

Bear in GrassNew this year, DEC has also expanded bear hunting in northern New York to include WMUs 6A, 6G, 6K and 6N. In these newly opened units, bear hunting begins with bowhunting equipment only from September 13 through October 17. In the rest of northern New York (WMUs 5A, 5C, 5F, 5G, 5H, 5J, 6C, 6F, 6H, and 6J), the early firearms season begins Saturday, September 13 and continues until October 17. Muzzleloader season then opens in all northern WMUs on October 18, followed by the regular firearms season for bear on October 25.

During these early seasons, or whenever hunting in warm conditions, bear hunters should be prepared to skin and cool harvested bears as soon as possible to protect the quality of the meat. Hunters may consider skinning and quartering the bear in the field and packing out the meat in game bags.

As part of the NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, New York streamlined the hunting and fishing license structure, made it consistent for resident and non-residents, and reduced license fees. Some hunters and anglers may not be familiar with these license changes, but licensing-issuing agents are prepared to provide assistance and ensure the license buyers secure all the desired permits and privileges. Highlights of the sporting licenses changes are available on DEC’s website.

In addition, the new Hunting & Trapping regulation guides are available at all license issuing outlets, as well as on DEC’s website.

In support of the NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, this year’s budget includes $6 million in NY Works funding to support creating 50 new land and water access projects to connect hunters, anglers, bird watchers and others who enjoy the outdoors to more than 380,000 acres of existing state and easement lands that have not reached their full potential. These 50 new access projects include building new boat launches, installing new hunting blinds and building new trails and parking areas. In addition, the 2014-15 budget includes $4 million to repair the state’s fish hatcheries; and renews and allows expanded use of crossbows for hunting in New York State.

DEC regulates black bear hunting to manage populations toward levels that are acceptable to the public. Information about black bear hunting in New York, including season dates and regulations, is available on DEC’s website. Additionally, DEC’s booklet Hunting the Black Bear in New York (PDF) (937 KB), includes tips on bear hunting and proper care of harvested bears.

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