Nice to hear from you again. Quick question, How is the bear hunting in NY? It's a straight shot for me down the Mass Pike to the Thru-way in NY. I've been thinking of trying New York for Deer or Bear. Is the northern tier the way to go?
I hunt NY bear in the Northern Zone (ADK Mts) exclusively. There is a good number of bears and lots and lots of state/public land. The hunting is not easy. No baiting, no dogs. You have to do your homework, put your time in and figger an area out. Find out what the bears are eating and when.
Now the bear zones in the southern tier of NY are expanding and a good number of bears are being taken in the catskills and in the Western part of the state.
As far as deer hunting the Northern zone is great. It is big woods hunting. The densitys are low compaired to the southern zone where it is mostly agricultural lands and lots of deer. Proub with the southern zone can be access.
It is not a bad trip for you and can really increase your hunting season. The NY DEC Game year is fron Oct 1 to Oct 1st. In the Northern zone you can start hunting bear in mid Sept (if you did not shoot one the fall before). The last 4 days in Sept you can start Bow hunting for deer with any leftover tags you have. Oct 1 starts bow, 2nd week in Oct is Muzzloader then the third Sat start Rifle untill the first Sun in Dec.
In the southern zone (Long island has their own seasons) Mid Oct starts Bow. The Sat before Turkey day starts gun (mostly shotgun/ML and handgun) but some southern zones allow rifle hunting also? Mid Dec the gun season ends and there is a week of Bow and ML.
Up North I hunt the Central/North ADK's in the Tupper Lake/Cranberry Lake areas. That would be a real shag for you. I would focus on the Southern and Southwestern areas of the Northern Zone. Maybe the Speculator or even the Indian Lake areas????