New York Hunting Licenses Now Available

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New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Pete Grannis announced that 2007-08 hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses and Deer Management Permits (DMPs) may now be purchased.

Licenses and permits can be purchased at any of DEC's 1,600 license sales outlets statewide. They can also be purchased via the internet or ordered by mail and by phone. All sporting licenses are valid beginning October 1, 2007, through September 30, 2008. Prices for New York State residents range from as little as $5 for a Junior Small Game Hunting license to $76 for a Conservation Legacy license that allows a full range of hunting and fishing privileges.

"New York State is committed to helping provide outdoor enthusiasts with numerous recreational opportunities to enjoy the beauty of our state throughout the year," Commissioner Grannis said. "Hunting and fishing opportunities in New York are among the best in the Northeast. As DEC kicks off another license year, we will continue to help meet the needs of sportsmen and sportswomen by making improvements to better serve the public and protect our natural resources."

DEC's Automated Licensing System (DECALS) is the state's program for issuing sporting licenses and tracking license sales and revenues. DECALS may also be used for donations to the Habitat Stamp Program, Venison Donation Coalition, and the Trail Maintenance Program. DEC continues to improve and enhance DECALS to better meet the needs of sportsmen and women. Beginning August 13, 2007, individuals will be able to purchase 2007-08 sporting licenses and permits through DECALS at all license issuing outlets across the State, including during the 2007 New York State Fair in Syracuse. Applicants who have previously purchased a license through DECALS, may apply for their 2007-08 license electronically via DEC's website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/ (look for the "Purchase a Sporting License" button on the home page). Applications may also be downloaded from the website and submitted by mail to the address listed on the application. For questions regarding license purchases, please call our DECALS Call Center at (1-866-933-2257). Hours of operation for the Call Center are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday from August 13 to October 13, 2007. Regular weekday hours of 8 am to 5 pm will resume on October 14, 2007.

License buyers should have the following items ready when applying: complete name and address information, proof of residency information (driver's license number or non-driver's ID number to qualify for a resident license), and, if purchasing by phone, credit card and card expiration date. Hunting license purchases require individuals to provide proof of hunting education certification or a copy of a previous license, or this information must already be contained in their DECALS file.

Deer Management Permits (DMPs), for antlerless deer only, will be available at all license issuing outlets and by phone, internet or mail, from August 13, 2007, through midnight October 1, 2007. DMPs are issued by an instant lottery selection process at the point of sale, therefore customers who are selected for DMPs will receive their permits immediately. The probabilities for DMP selection in each Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) are determined by the number of applications expected for each WMU and the number of DMPs the DEC must issue to effectively manage the deer herd. An applicant's chances of selection are also affected by the customer's residency, number of preference points, land ownership, or disabled veteran's status. Chances of selection in each WMU are listed in this year's Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide, available at License Issuing Agent locations, and at www.dec.ny.gov/permits/30409.html Chances of getting a DMP remain the same throughout the application period from August 13 through October 1, 2007, so hunters do not need to rush to apply for a DMP on the first day of sale. Applicants are reminded that DMPs are only valid for use in the WMU specified on the permit.

DEC plans to issue approximately 466,200 DMPs this year in WMUs with harvest objectives, about 40% more than last year's target DMP issuance. The boost in DMP targets for 2007 reflects increases in deer abundance in many parts of the state and intent to manage deer populations toward levels suggested by a Citizen Task Force for each WMU.

If a significant number of DMPs are still available in a WMU after October 1, 2007, leftover DMP sales will commence on November 1, 2007, and will continue on a first-come/first-serve basis until the end of the hunting season or until all DMPs have been issued in the WMU. Hunters who were accustomed to applying for leftover DMPs in archery-only units 4J and 8C should be advised that these units will not be open during the first-come/first-serve application period this year, but Bonus DMPs will still be available in these units. For information about Bonus DMPs in WMUs 1C, 3S, 4J and 8C see www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/10001.html .

Hunters are reminded that Governor Eliot Spitzer signed a new law that allows big game hunters to use rifles in three Southern Tier counties beginning this year. The legislation, which allows rifle use for big game hunting in Chemung, Steuben and Yates Counties, is similar to legislation enacted in 2005 for 10 counties in Central New York and the Southern Tier. However, the new law expires in one year and is subject to renewal in 2008 by state lawmakers.

DEC encourages all outdoor enthusiasts to consider purchasing a Habitat/Access Stamp when they purchase their license. The Habitat/Access Stamp is an optional stamp that is available to people who want to support the DEC's efforts to conserve habitat and increase public access for fish and wildlife related recreation. This year's stamp features a line drawing of a white-tailed deer. Buying a $5 habitat stamp is the perfect way for young or old, angler or hunter, birder or photographer to help conserve New York's fabulous wildlife heritage. If you purchase a Habitat/Access Stamp you will also receive a collectable limited edition Habitat/Access lapel pin by mail. More information is available at www.dec.ny.gov/permits/329.html .

Help feed the hungry by contributing to the Venison Donation Program at all license issuing outlets. You don't have to be a hunter or angler to help. Individuals should inform the license sales agent that they want to make a donation of one dollar or more to support the Venison Donation Program. For more information about the Venison Donation Coalition, go to www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/8351.html .

For specific boundaries of the WMUs mentioned in this announcement and for all current hunting, fishing and trapping regulations, access the DEC website http://www.dec.ny.gov/ Season dates for 2007-2008 can be found on the Big Game Season Maps. To calculate future season dates by using the formulas taken from laws and regulations, search "Big Game Hunting Seasons" on the DEC website.