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Hooks and Antlers: Early fall offers sporting bounty

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Early autumn can potentially be a feast for area sportsmen and women.

Among the many hunting and fishing opportunities in the coming days are bowhunting for deer, hunting pheasants on area Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs), angling for Chinook salmon and Coho salmon on the Salmon River, and hunting waterfowl in the Northeast Zone.

Early Bowhunting Deer

The Early Bowhunting Season for the Northern Zone opens on Thursday, and hunters are reminded that a current 2011-12 big game license and bowhunting privileges are required when hunting prior to Oct. 1. Bowhunters in the Southern Zone have an additional two weeks of hunting this year as the Early Bowhunting Season there opens on Oct. 1 instead of the traditional Oct. 15.

Deer hunting hours extend from sunrise to sunset. Immediately upon a kill and before dragging a deer, hunters must completely fill in both sides of the appropriate tag and cut out or mark the date of the take. The tag does not have to be attached to the carcass until the hunter reaches camp or vehicle.

Pheasant Stockings

For the opening of pheasant season on Oct. 1, DEC will be stocking mature pheasants on public-accessible lands across the state. Six WMAs in Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties are slated to receive birds. Those WMAs are Perch River in Brownville, Ashland in Cape Vincent, French Creek in Clayton, Upper and Lower Lakes in Canton, Wilson Hill in Louisville, and Fish Creek in Macomb.

Pheasant-hunting hours extend from sunrise to sunset. Across the Northern Zone, the daily limit is two birds of either sex.

Salmon River Derby

As part of the celebration at the 13th annual Salmon River Festival in Pulaski, the second annual Salmon River Fishing Derby will take place Friday-Sunday, Oct. 5-7.

The derby’s grand prize for the largest salmon caught during the three-day event is 100 percent payout of entry fees. In addition, thousands of dollars in prizes will be awarded for additional categories and daily catches.

The derby is a major fundraiser for the Salmon River International Sportfishing Museum, which will be open daily during the event. The NYS DEC Salmon River Fish Hatchery on County Route 22 in Altmar will also be open during the three-day event. Visitors will find family-friendly attractions, entertainment, vendors and food at South Park in Pulaski.

For more information, contact Vernon Chamberlain at 298-2213 or visit the derby web-site at www.salmonriverderby.com.

Waterfowl Season

The first portion of Waterfowl Season in Northeast Zone opens on Saturday, Oct. 6 and concludes on Sunday, Oct. 14. The daily limit is six ducks. That limit includes all species of mergansers, and may include no harlequin ducks and no more than four mallards (no more than two of which may be hens), one black duck, three wood ducks, two pintail, two redheads, two scaup, one canvasback, four scoters, or two hooded mergansers.

A non-toxic shot is required, and shooting hours extend from a half hour before sunrise to sunset. After a 12-day break, the second portion of waterfowl season opens on Saturday, Oct. 27 and runs through Sunday, Dec. 16.

DMP Application Deadline

The deadline for Deer Management Permit (DMP) application is Oct. 1 at the close of business. If permits are still available after Oct. 1, the remaining DMPs may be available on a first-come, first-served basis around Nov. 1. These permits will only be available in person at license-issuing agents.

CALENDAR

Tuesday: Early Canada Goose Season Closes in Northeast Goose Hunting Area.

Thursday: Early Bowhunting Season Opens in Northern Zone.

Saturday: SLC Federation-sponsored Youth Pheasant Hunt at Rensselaer Falls (375-8980).

Saturday-Sunday: Youth Pheasant Hunt Weekend in Northern New York.

Saturday-Sunday: West Potsdam Fire Department’s Annual Gun Show (268-0190).

Sunday: RVGD Club-sponsored Soldier Hunt at Basswood Lodge (393-5318).

Sunday: Frog Season Closes in NYS.

Oct. 1: New License Year Begins in NYS.

Oct. 1: Last Day to Apply for Deer Management Permits.

Oct. 1: Seasons Open for Cottontail Rabbits, Snowshoe Hares, and Pheasants in Northern Zone.

Oct. 1: Fall Turkey Season Opens in Northern Zone.

Oct. 1: Early Bowhunting Season Opens in Southern Zone.

Oct. 2: Waterfowl ID Course at Dulles State Office Building (Pre-register at 785-2533).

Oct. 5-6: Hunter Education Course at Carthage R&G Club (Pre-register at 493-3576).

Oct. 5-7: Salmon River Fishing Derby in Pulaski (298-2213).

Oct. 6-8: Columbus Day Weekend Youth Deer Hunt in Northern and Southern Zones.

Oct. 6-14: First Portion of Waterfowl Season Open in Northeast Zone.

Oct. 13: RVGDC-sponsored Ladies Pheasant Hunt at Rensselaer Falls (393-5318).

Oct. 27: Regular Canada Goose Season Opens in Northeast Goose Hunting Area.

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