The state Department of Environmental Conservation is accepting harvest permit applications for three local Wildlife Management Areas throughout Region 8 . The three locations are the Oak Orchard, Tonawanda and John White WMAs. Permits can be picked up between 8 am and 4 pm Monday through Friday at the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge Office, 1101 Casey Road in Basom or by calling the DEC at 585-948-5182. Permit applications will be accepted through November 30.
Harvest seasons in these three WMAs are more restrictive than the general seasons for western New York. Trapping of muskrats and mink on these public lands will take place from December 3 to February 15 and is limited to 25 traps at water sites. Beaver trap dates followed the state season from November 10 to April 7. Upland capture in the John White WMA does not begin until November 1. Upland harvesting in the Oak Orchard and Tonawanda WMA follows state seasons.
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Trappers who obtain a permit will be required to report their catch and harvest efforts in each area for all species. More information regarding permits for these three WMAs can be found on the catch letter that is included with the permit application, and more information on harvest seasons, regulations, and hunter rights can be found on dec. ny.gov/outdoor/9209.html.
Hunter safety is important
After setting a record in 2021 for the lowest hunting-related shooting incidents at nine, the Empire State hunters would like to prove that it was no fluke. DEC encourages all hunters to use common sense and remember what they learned in the required hunter education courses required to obtain a New York hunting license.
Accidents happen every year that could have been prevented. Basic principles of firearm safety include always pointing the gun in a safe direction; treat each gun as if it were loaded; be sure of your goal and beyond; and keep your finger off the trigger until you have identified your target and are ready to fire.
Remember that the use of bright orange or pink is a requirement for any big game hunting with firearms. DEC also emphasizes that small game hunters keep pace with the guide of the orange or pink flames. Hunters who wear bright orange or pink are seven times less likely to be involved in a firefight. In addition to the hunting fraternity, dog owners are encouraged to dress their dogs in bright orange or pink or another bright color.
Big Ohio walleye contests near deadlines
The October 12 deadline to participate in the Lake Erie Fall Brawl and Lake Erie Walleye Slam is fast approaching. Both events will take place from October 15 to November 27 and will offer hundreds of thousands in prizes. For pike-perch fans, it is well worth the trip.
The entry fee for Fall Brawl is $35. The top spot overall for the largest walleye is a Ranger 622 FS Pro boat with a 400 Mercury outboard. Second place is a Ranger 621 FS Pro boat with a 350 Mercury in the rear. There are weigh stations in Maumee, Sandusky and Madison. New for 2022 is a separate kayak division. Visit lakeeriefallbrawl.com for more information.
The Walleye Slam is also $35 per person, but there is only one weigh station in Sheffield Lake, Ohio. First place is a 2022 Warrior V238 boat valued at $175,000. Second place is $55,000 cash. For more information, check out walleyeslam.com.