The White-tailed deer is very adaptable. It thrives in a variety of habitats. Deer have been known to live 18 years in the wild. They have a high reproductive capacity that likely evolved to offset losses to predators, such as wolves, cougars and humans. When predation and other losses are low and food resources are plentiful, deer populations can double every 2 to 3 years.
New York's black bears are large black creatures of the forest. The largest bear reported from New York weighed approximately 750 pounds. But an average adult male would weigh about 300 pounds and an average adult female would weigh about 170 pounds. Omnivorous black bears eat buds, flowers, leaves, fruits, nuts, stalks or roots of approximately 80 different plants.
Although the color of black bears actually varies widely in other parts of North America, over 99.9% of the black bears in New York are jet black in color.
When bears are not denning they spend most of their lives searching for food. The regionsblack bears typically feed on the seasonal natural foods that are most abundant and nutritious. These foods may differ from location to location, but they generally consist of grasses, berries, and nuts, as well as other vegetation sources that vary seasonally. From 80% to 90% of a black bear's annual diet consists of vegetation, although they will prey on small or injured animals including deer fawns, road-killed animals and insects.
A turkey can and does cover a lot of ground in its daily travels. Wild turkeys can cover up to 3-4 miles per hour while feeding. Their home range varies by season and can range from 400 to 2,000 acres or more.
For optimal reproduction turkeys require good nesting habitat. Wild turkey hens begin to nest before most of the new growth begins in the spring. After the poults hatch, they require good brood habitat for survival and growth. Brood habitat generally consists of grasses and forbes that will encourage the insects that the poults need as a food supply for growth. The ground cover needs to be dense enough to encourage insects, but not so dense as to inhibit the poults' movement. Brood habitat needs to be near or adjacent to brushy and wooded areas that provide escape cover and roosting trees. Orchards or groves of trees spaced widely enough to allow sunlight penetration and allow room for mowing provide ideal brood habitat when the grassy areas are mowed once or twice a year. The trees provide overhead cover making the hens feel more secure.
A state license is required for hunting and trapping. Licenses may be obtained from authorized issuing agents, some of whom are listed on the reverse side. The license year in New York State is October 1 to September 30. The hunting license year in Pennsylvania is July 1 to June 30.
The are a few Wildlife Management Areas like Mongaup Valley Wildlife Management Area, with property in the Towns of Lumberland, Deerpark, Highland, and Forestburgh, which offer opportunities for eagle watching, fishing, hunting, hiking, nature study, and photography. Restricted to all use from December 1 to March 31 to protect the wintering bald eagle population, after April 1 most of the lands are open to the public. Details are listed below.
Wildlife-related recreational opportunities abound on private land. New York State has millions of acres, home to hundreds of wildlife species.
Since 85 percent of the state is privately-owned, many people rely on private landowners for outdoor recreation. Nearly two-thirds of the hunting in New York State is on private lands and more than 90 percent of all hunters will hunt on private lands during the hunting seasons.
Rights-of-way, such as power lines and railroads that cross private property are NOT public lands, and trespassing on these areas without permission from the landowner is illegal. Federal law prohibits hunting and possession of firearms on lands administered by the National Park Service, including the Appalachian Trail. Always ASK permission to hunt on private land, whether or not it is posted. Even landowners who post are likely to say "yes" to people who show their respect for private property by asking first. Most rural landowners are generous people who will gladly help visitors.
Trees and other plants on private land are private property. It is illegal to cut or remove them, or to cut limbs or damage bark (such as from putting up blinds or tree stands, or cutting shooting lanes or trails) without the landowner's permission.
Some landowners use ASK Permission stickers on their signs. These symbols, a product of the State Fish & Wildlife Management Board in cooperation with DEC, express the landowners' willingness to allow access to their property to those people who ASK. The ASK stickers are available free from DEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, N.Y. 12233-4754.
Location: Orange County, NY
Size of Area: 2,213 acres
Geography and Use: upland, wetland, hiking trails, handicapped access, boat access, parking lot, viewing tower, scenic vistas, birdwatching, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hunting, fishing and trapping.
This Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) is located 65 miles northeast of New York City, south of NYS Route 17 and east of NYS Route 209 with major access points from Haven and South Roads.
Location: in the Town of Hancock, Delaware County, NY
Size of Area: __ acres
Geography and Use: Day hiking, wildlife viewing and camping.
General Site Information: NYSDEC, Region 4, (518)357-2234
Location: Sullivan County, NY, 1.5 mi. Southeast of Eldred, (845) 255-5453
Size of Area: 1,064 acres
Geography and Use: Recreational activities are abundant here: hiking, cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing, hunting, camping and mountain biking.
Site Name: Mongaup Valley Bird Conservation Area
State Ownership and Managing Agency: Department of Environmental Conservation
Size of Area: 11,967 acres
Geography and Use: upland, wetland, hiking trails, handicapped access, boat access, parking lot, scenic vistas, birdwatching, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hunting, fishing and trapping.
Bald Eagle Observation Blind (on the left side of the road, just before the Mongaup Falls Reservoir bridge). Inside the blind you will find a map and display describing the New York State Bald Eagle Restoration project, along with other interesting information about bald eagles.
Location: Sullivan County, Towns of Forestburgh, Lumberland; Orange County, Town of Deer Park. Follow Route 97 north from Sparrowbush approximately 3 miles to the confluence of the Mongaup and Delaware Rivers.
General Site Information: The Mongaup Valley Bird Conservation Area includes all of the Mongaup Valley Wildlife Management Area, and consists of a series of reservoirs, the Mongaup River, and creeks flowing through the Mongaup River Valley to the Delaware River. The river corridor is surrounded by relatively undisturbed and forested rolling hills. The area hosts one of the largest Bald Eagle wintering sites in the state, and also supports several active eagle nests. Rare communities include: a perched bog, a flood-plain forest, and a pitch pine-oak-heath woodland. Rare species, other than birds, include Timber Rattlesnake and Spotted Salamander. Vision Statement: Continue current management to conserve the diversity of bird and wildlife species using the area, particularly Bald Eagles. Develop systems for monitoring status of bird species at the site, especially state-listed species.
Lackawaxen, Shohola and Westfall Townships designated their State Game Lands by a number system.
A high mountain swamp surrounded by mixed oaks is located within the 535-acre Buckhorn Natural Area. Reptiles and amphibians are protected by special regulations within the Buckhorn Natural Area.
There is a Pennsylvania State Forest primitive camping area for river users only within the Buckhorn Natural Area of Delaware State Forest near Pond Eddy, NY. There are no facilities at this location and you must get there by water. Free permits are available by calling the National Park Service Barryville Office at (845) 557-0222.
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