New York Sporting Licenses on Sale Monday, August 16th

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New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Pete Grannis announced that the 2010-2011 hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses and Deer Management Permits (DMPs) may be purchased beginning Monday, Aug. 16, 2010.

Licenses and permits can be purchased at one of DEC's 1,500 license sales outlets statewide. Sporting licenses can also be ordered by mail or by telephone and via the internet at www.dec.ny.gov (look for the "Purchase a Sporting License" link on the home page). Sporting licenses are valid beginning Oct. 1 - Sept. 30, 2011.

DEC Automated Licensing System

The Department of Environmental Conservation Automated Licensing System (DECALS) is New York State's program for issuing sporting licenses and tracking license sales and revenues. For questions regarding license purchases, please call the DECALS Call Center at (1-866-933-2257). Hours of operation for the Call Center are 7 a.m. - 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday from Aug. 16 - Oct. 16, 2010. Regular weekday hours of 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. will resume on Oct. 18, 2010.

License buyers should have the following items ready when applying: complete name and address information, customer ID number if you have it, 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 or internet, 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.

Sales of all sporting licenses are deposited into the Conservation Fund which is used for the management of New York's fish and wildlife populations and for protection and management of wildlife habitat.

New Regulations for 2010-2011

Hunters and trappers should be aware of several new regulations in effect for 2010-2011. Air guns may now be used for hunting small game. Pheasant hunting areas and seasons have been modified. The Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) containment area has been decommissioned, and hunters in that area are no longer required to have their deer checked for CWD. Several trapping regulation changes have been made, including elimination of the requirement of furbearer possession tags and pelt sealing for beaver. More details for each of these changes are available in the 2010-2011 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide (www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37136.html).

Deer Management Permits

DEC issues Deer Management Permits (DMPs), often called "doe tags," to move the population closer toward objective levels in each Wildlife Management Unit (a map of WMU boundaries across the state can be found at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/8302.html). The target DMP allocation for 2010 varies by unit, but outside of the Adirondack Park and the Tug Hill Plateau, only WMUs 3A, 4L, 4U, 4Z and 5T will be closed for DMPs in 2010. Applicants are reminded that DMPs are only valid for antlerless deer in the WMU specified on the permit.

DMPs will be available at all license issuing outlets and by phone, internet or mail, from Aug.16, 2010 through close of business Oct. 1, 2010. DMPs are issued through a random selection process at the point of sale, and customers who are selected for DMPs will receive their permits immediately. Chances of selection in each WMU are available at License Issuing Agent locations, at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/30409.html, or you may call the DMP Hotline at 1-866-472-4332. Chances of getting a DMP remain the same throughout the application period, so hunters do not need to rush to apply for a DMP on the first day of sale.

If a significant number of DMPs are still available in a WMU after Oct. 1, leftover DMP sales will commence on Nov. 1 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. Additionally, bonus DMPs will be available in the bowhunting-only WMUs 3S, 4J, and 8C and in Suffolk County (WMU 1C). For information about bonus DMPs see www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/10001.html.

Be a Mentor to a New Hunter or Trapper

Adult hunters and trappers are encouraged to pass along their traditions and become a mentor for a junior hunter or trapper. The junior hunter and trapper mentoring program allows 14- and 15-year-olds to hunt big game with a firearm while accompanied and supervised by an experienced adult hunter. It also allows unlicensed youth less than 12 to accompany and assist a licensed trapper who is at least 18 years of age and has at least three years of trapping experience. More details about these opportunities are available in this year's Hunting and Trapping Laws and Regulations Guide and at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/46245.html.

Contribute Via Habitat Stamps, Trail Supporter Patch, or donation directly to support the Conservation Fund or the Venison Donation Program

DEC encourages all outdoor enthusiasts to consider purchasing a Habitat/Access Stamp and/or a Trail Supporter Patch. These stamps and patches help support the DEC's efforts to conserve habitat and increase public access for fish and wildlife-related recreation and maintain non-motorized trails. Buying a $5 stamp or patch or donating directly to the Conservation Fund is a way to help conserve New York's fabulous wildlife heritage and enhance outdoor recreation in New York State.

Additionally, anyone - not just hunters and anglers - can help feed the hungry by contributing to the Venison Donation Program at all license issuing outlets. Individuals should inform the license sales agent that they want to make a donation of $1 or more to support the program. For more information about the Venison Donation Coalition, go to www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/8351.html.