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DEC Asks Public To Report Moose Sightings

DEC is asking the public to report moose sightings as part of ongoing efforts to monitor moose distribution in New York. Most of New York’s moose live in the Adirondacks, but we also have moose in portions of eastern New York along the border with Vermont and Massachusetts. Occasionally, moose are seen in southeastern New York and the Catskills -- these are generally single animals that have dispersed from other areas in New York, Connecticut or Massachusetts. In 2019, the public reported 447 moose observations to DEC.

Moose are the largest land mammal in the state. Bulls weigh from 600 to 1,200 pounds and stand up to six feet tall at the shoulder. Cows weigh anywhere from 500 to 800 pounds. Moose are primarily browsers, feeding on the leaves, twigs and buds of hardwood and softwood trees and shrubs. An adult moose eats 40 to 60 pounds of browse every day. Favored plant species include willows, birches, maples, balsam fir, viburnums, aspen, and mountain ash. In the summer, when most moose sightings occur, moose feed heavily on aquatic plants in ponds and wetlands, wading into the water and reaching beneath the surface for plants.

Many moose sightings also occur along roadways. Drive cautiously at dusk and dawn as moose can be hard to spot due to their dark color. If you see a moose, do not block traffic and remember to respect wildlife by keeping quiet and viewing from a distance. Please report your moose observations using DEC's online form, and share your moose encounters with us by emailing photos to wildlife@dec.ny.gov.

Winners Announced for 2nd Annual NY State 3D Archery Tournament

For the second year in a row, DEC hosted a school-based New York State NASP®/IBO (International Bowhunting Organization) 3D Challenge. IBO partnered with NASP for their 3D challenge to give students an additional opportunity to compete. In a 3D tournament, bullseyes are replaced by foam replicas of game animals at distances of 10-15 meters.

The dates for this school-based virtual tournament were originally 2/18/20-3/29/20, though not all registered schools were able to compete due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There were 110 students competing from seven schools in this year’s state NASP®/IBO 3D Challenge. Scoring for the 3D Challenge is very similar to the state bullseye tournament, where each competitor in the state tournament could achieve a maximum score of 300 points, and students compete in one of three divisions: High School, grades 9-12; Middle School, grades 6-8; and Elementary School, grades 4-5.

The top overall winner was sixth grader Grace Groves from Arkport Central School with a score of 261. The top overall male winner was seventh grader Peyton Keller from Hinsdale Central School with a score of 258. Second place female winner was Christy Childs, and second place male winner was Robert Childs, both from Hindsale Central School. Third place female was Aimee Decarr, and third place male was Deklyn Brown, both from Mohawk Valley Christian Academy. Prizes were awarded to the top three overall male and females. The top archers will receive a custom designed Genesis bow. For a complete list of results, please visit the tournament website.

The New York State NASP®/IBO 3D Challenge is offered only to students who participated in the NASP archery program during in-school classes taught by certified NASP® teachers. For more information on how schools can become involved in NASP® and to view DEC's photo gallery, visit DEC's website.

2020 New York NASP® State Tournament Winners Announced

The 12th annual New York National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP®) state tournament was hosted by DEC from March 13th through May 8th. The annual statewide tournament was originally scheduled for March 20th, at the State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, however it was switched to a school-based tournament as a safer alternative in the wake of the pandemic. The 2020 live state tournament had the most archers registered to compete than any previous tournament, with 675 students from 39 schools across New York. With the quick turnaround of a school-based tournament, 135 students from six different schools were able to participate.

DEC has previously hosted school-based state tournaments when live tournaments were not possible. Mimicking the rules and regulations from a live tournament, the 135 students competed from their home schools in one of three divisions: High School, grades 9-12; Middle School, grades 6-8; and Elementary School, grades 4-5. Each competitor in the state tournament could achieve a maximum score of 300 points. Both overall top winners were from St. Joseph by the Sea High School in Richmond County: the overall top male archer for the second year in a row was Daniel Pearson with a score of 296 and the top female archer in the tournament was Rachel Roccanova with a score of 285. Daniel and Rachel each received a trophy and a NY Champion Genesis bow. Awards were also given out in each of the three divisions for first through 10th places.

The first-place team in the high school division was St. Joseph by the Sea High School in Richmond County. The first-place team in the middle school division was Norwich City School District in Chenango County. For the full list of results, please visit the tournament website.

The New York State NASP® Tournament is offered only to students who participated in the NASP archery program during in-school classes taught by certified NASP® teachers. For more information on how schools can become involved in NASP®, and to view DEC's photo gallery, visit DEC's website. To learn more about the National Archery in the Schools Program, visit their website.

Living With Bears: How To Avoid Conflict

DEC has recently observed a rise in reports of bear activity, notably incidents involving bird feeders, garbage, and barbecue grills. By following a simple practice, you can learn to live responsibly in bear country. Remove the attractant, and you’ll remove the bear.

As bears approach breeding season in June, yearling (one-year old) bears disperse to find their own space and adult male bears increase their movements in search of mates. Inevitably some of these bears, particularly yearlings, wander through places they would not normally be, like suburban or urban neighborhoods. Most bears will pass through quietly and quickly if given the chance. However, food sources of human origin such as bird feeders and garbage can attract bears and increase the potential of human-bear conflicts.

Once a bear has consumed food from human sources, it often seeks out similar opportunities and may become increasingly problematic, which is bad for people and the bear. Bears that frequent developed areas are more likely to be hit by vehicles, illegally killed by people who perceive them as a threat, or euthanized for dangerous behavior. You can prevent conflicts and save a bear’s life by removing bear attractants near your home or camp. Take down bird feeders, store garbage containers and pet/livestock feed securely indoors, clean residue and empty grease traps from grills, and ask your neighbors to do the same. If everyone takes steps to live responsibly with bears, a bear passing through will quickly make its way to more suitable habitat and find natural forage opportunities.

For more information, visit our webpage on reducing bear-human conflicts.

Photo: Damage from a bear that learned to associate food with human dwellings.





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