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DEC seeks input on hunting issues

The Department of Environmental Conservation is inviting public input on three issues up until Friday. They are:

• Modify regulations to allow junior hunters to take black bear as well as deer with a firearm during the Youth Firearms Deer Hunt on Columbus Day weekend.

• Make early muzzleloader deer season this year valid only for antlered deer in Wildlife Management Units 6F and 6J.

• Rescind the antlerless-only rule implemented in 12 units during portions of the 2015 bow and muzzleloader deer seasons.

The DEC is actively seeking input after regulations imposed last season fueled complaints, particularly in regard to the antlesless-only rule in the 12 units and hunting opportunities lost to areas in the central and western portions of the state.

On August 24, the DEC press office announced a new process that “will incorporate modern technology and gather input directly from a broader cross-section of New Yorkers.”

These pre-proposal ideas are part of the new process.

To read the full content of the three suggested changes, visit dec.ny.gov/outdoor/104785. To submit comments on them, send an email to: wildlife@dec.ny.gov; use as a subject line: Possible deer and bear hunting changes for 2016.

Winter wonderland

Reinstein Woods Environmental Nature Center at 93 Honorline Dr. in Depew invites all to a free Winter Wonderland in the Woods from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday.

No reservations are required for the three hours of presentations and hands-on activities for visitors of all ages. Try you hands and feet at snowshoeing and cross country skiing.

This year’s theme of Undercover Wildlife will be highlighted with presentations on what is hibernating and what goes on under ice cover. Talks on winter and ice rescuing, winter animal signs, wildlife rehabilitation, furs, ice fishing and other interesting outdoors activities will be offered in and outside the center.

The event will go, snow or no. Admission is free but donations to the center are welcome; snacks and hot beverages will be available in the education center. For more details, call 683-5959 or visit reinsteinwoods.org/events.

Trappers snared

DEC Conservation officers in Region 8 arrested and charged two men with violations for setting numerous illegal-sized traps on and adjacent to Seneca Army Depot property. The arrests of James W. Brown and Clint K. Moosman, both of Seneca Falls, stemmed from an incident where an 8-year-old yellow lab dog was allegedly snared and killed in one of these illegally placed traps.

Dennis Money, coordinator of a fundraiser to protect the depot lands for deer, other wildlife and open spaces, noted that this trapper incident “is the tip of the iceberg for what is perhaps happening in the depot itself.”

Fencing around the depot is in poor repair and the Seneca White Deer organization is working to secure depot land areas to retain habitat and protect flora and fauna at the former army facility. For details on this effort, visit senecawhitedeer.org.