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Hooks and Antlers Column: Several hunting options open in September

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The Sept. 1 opener of the early goose and gray squirrel seasons kicked off the 2013-14 hunting season, a season that picks up momentum in the coming weeks as opportunities for black bear, ruffed grouse, youth waterfowl, youth pheasant and archery deer emerge on the sportsmen’s September calendar.

Since the new license year begins on Oct. 1, hunters are reminded that they need current 2012-13 hunting privileges in order to hunt before October.

Black Bears

The Early Black Bear Season begins Saturday and runs through Oct. 18, the day before Muzzleloading Season starts across the Northern Zone.

Wildlife Managements Units open for early-bear hunting are 5A, 5C, 5F, 5G, 5H, 5J, 6C, 6F, 6H, 6J, and that portion of 6K east of New York State Route 26. Hunting hours extend from sunrise to sunset.

Hunters who harvest a bear are required to report their take through the DECALS telephone or online system.

Successful hunters will be asked to submit a part of the lower jaw or a small tooth so DEC can determine the age of the bear. A collection packet including a postage-paid return envelope and information explaining collection will be mailed to each hunter who reports a bear.

Ruffed Grouse

The Ruffed Grouse Season opens on Sept. 20, and, like the squirrel season, continues through Feb. 28. Often called “partridge,” ruffed grouse may be hunted from sunrise to sunset. The daily limit is four birds although putting a bird or two in the game bag is a praiseworthy accomplishment.

DEC is seeking grouse hunters to participate in a survey to help monitor ruffed grouse populations. For more information, visit www.dec.ny.gov and search for “grouse hunter log.”

Youth Waterfowl and Pheasant Hunts

DEC offers special September opportunities for junior hunters (ages 12-15) for waterfowl and pheasants. The Youth Waterfowl Hunt is slated for Sept. 21-22 in the Northeast Zone, while the Youth Pheasant Hunt is scheduled for the weekend of Sept. 28-29 in Northern New York.

Junior hunters must be accompanied by an adult hunter. Both the junior and the adult hunters are required to have a small game license for the waterfowl and pheasant hunts and a current HIP registration for the waterfowl hunt.

Adults are not allowed to possess a firearm to harvest an animal while accompanying a junior hunter during the special hunts. Regular-season hunting hours and bag limits are in effect during the youth hunts although the daily bag limit is two for Canada geese.

Deer

The Early Bowhunting Deer Season in all Northern Zone Wildlife Management Units opens on the traditional Sept. 27. That season runs through Oct. 25, the day before the beginning of the Regular Deer Season. Hunting hours extend from sunrise to sunset, and hunters must have valid 2012-13 hunting privileges, which would consist of a bow/muzzleloader either sex tag or a bow/muzzleloader antlerless tag.

Waddington Bass and Walleye Fall Classic

The St. Lawrence River Walleye Association (SLRWA) is presenting the 10th annual Waddington Bass and Walleye Fall Classic on Saturday.

The event is a team competition of one or two people, and the winning team will be determined by the heaviest weight of four fish, two bass (smallmouth or largemouth) and two walleyes.

Participants must pre-register ($50 per team) by 6 p.m. on Thursday. Registration sites are JC River Run Bar & Grill in Waddington, Steve’s Stop and Shop on Route 37 in Louisville, Salon 181 in Massena, and Hosmer’s Marina in Ogdensburg. Anyone signing up on the morning of the event will be assessed an additional $10 fee.

For more information, contact Mike at 705-2181 (work) or at 384-3450 (home), or visit www.stlawrenceriverwalleyeassociation.com.

Outdoors Calendar

Monday: Trap and Skeet Shooting at Lisbon Sportsmen’s Club (Pray Road) at 5:30 p.m.

Monday: Trap Shooting at Moose River F&G Club (Davis Bridge Road) at 4:30 p.m.

Wednesday: Trap Shoot at Black Lake F&G Club at 7 p.m.

Saturday: St. Lawrence River Walleye Association’s Fall Classic.

Saturday: Trapper Education Course at Gouverneur R&G Club (Pre-register at 528-2953).

Sept. 17,18,19: Hunter Education Course at Morley Wesleyan Church Hall (Pre-register at 244-0787 from 6-8 p.m.).

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