Forecasts are for good duck and goose flights, but fewer papers will be flying this waterfowl season.
Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge officials have set up a system to reduce paper use when applying for hunts and when reporting harvests. Hunts begin Oct. 1 as usual, but this year all applications will be processed with forms downloaded from the Internet and daily hunting permits will be replaced with brochure/permits hunters will carry while afield throughout the season.
Two brochures ("Deer Hunting," and "Small Game and Other Migratory Bird Hunting") will be available at all five information kiosks around the refuge and at the refuge office on Casey Road in the hamlet of Basom in Genesee County. Hunters also may obtain the brochures by mail.
Waterfowl hunters entering lottery drawings for blinds and youths applying for the 35th Annual Young Waterfowler's Training Program will no longer submit a post card for entry.
Youth training program
Kids ages 12-17 can apply for this Young Waterfowler's program if they do not reach age 18 by the day of the hunt.
The program begins with a Waterfowl Identification Certification Class from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Afternoon sessions include decoys and calls, ballistics, clothing and gear, hunter ethics and safety, a retriever demo and trap shoot.
Preferences will be given to first-time applicants for this free program, but all youths may apply. Selected applicants will be notified by mail.
The orientation prepares hunters for the youth-only hunt day, Oct. 25.
Starting this season, forms for drawings and the training program can be requested by mail or by phone for those without computer access. On line, hunters can request applications via e-mail at email@example.com or download a PDF file from fws.gov/forms/3-2355.pdf.
To request forms through the mail, write to: Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, 1101 Casey Road, Basom, NY 14013 or call the Casey Road office at (585) 948-5445.