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If You Care About Young Wildlife, Leave them There

In the spring and summer, you may come across young wildlife that appear to be abandoned. In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, New Yorkers are spending more time at home than normal and seeing more young birds and other wildlife as a result. While some are learning survival from one or both parents, others normally receive little or no parental care. Often, wild animal parents stay away from their young when people are near.

The young are left hidden in a safe place and the parent may be nearby. Because of their behavior, the most common species to be mistakenly "rescued" by humans are young fawns, cottontail rabbits, and fledgling birds. When people attempt to handle or raise wildlife, these well-meaning acts of kindness tend to have the opposite result. Many of the animals soon die despite their best efforts.

DEC also reminds people that young wildlife are not pets. Keeping wildlife in captivity is both illegal and harmful to the animal. Wild animals are not well-suited for life in captivity and may carry diseases that can be transferred to humans. However, when you encounter a young wild animal that is obviously injured or orphaned, call a wildlife rehabilitator. All wildlife rehabilitators are trained volunteers licensed by DEC.

Turkey Hunters: We Need Your Help Tracking Ruffed Grouse this Spring!

Turkey hunters in pursuit of that wary gobbler in the spring are ideally suited for monitoring ruffed grouse during the breeding season. The characteristic sound of a drumming male grouse is as much a part of the spring woods as yelping hens and gobbling toms. The Ruffed Grouse Drumming Survey provides a harvest-independent index of grouse distribution and abundance during the critical breeding season in the spring. With two weeks left in the spring turkey season, there is still time to record your observations of drumming grouse. Print or download a survey form from DEC's website.Thanks for your help!

Featured Recipe: Wild Turkey A La King

Wild game is a fantastic source of nutrition fresh from the forests and fields. As we see shortages of conventional meat in the stores, there's no better time to try out wild turkey! This upland game bird is a great source of lean, flavorful protein that is easy to prepare. Since wild turkeys use their muscles more than domestic turkeys, a "low and slow" cooking method is preferred to tenderize the meat. Try out our featured recipe below for wild turkey "a la king."


  • 1 1/2 lbs. wild turkey meat

  • 2 cups boiling water

  • 1 tbsp. powdered chicken bouillon base

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 6 tbsp. butter

  • 2 celery ribs, diced

  • 2 carrots, diced

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced

  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme

  • 1/4 tsp. salt

  • 1/4 tsp. course ground black pepper

  • 1/3 cup flour

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 2 tbsp. white cooking wine

  • 1/2 cup frozen sweet baby peas

  • cooked rice

  • fresh chopped parsley for garnish (optional)


  • Cook wild turkey in a Crock-pot or other slow cooker on low with one cup water for 8-10 hrs. Pull cooked turkey apart into shreds, removing any bones, and set aside.

  • In a small sauce pan, add boiled water and add bouillon base and bay leaf. Once bouillon is dissolved, set aside.

  • In a large frying pan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add onion, celery, carrot and mushrooms. Season with thyme, salt, pepper, and saute until tender.

  • Gently stir in flour to the vegetables.

  • Remove bay leaf from the stock and add the stock to the pan with the vegetables.

  • Add white wine and heavy cream and stir until sauce is thickened.

  • Add salt and pepper to taste.

  • Fold in peas and turkey into thickened sauce and heat thoroughly.

  • Serve over cooked rice and garnish with parsley if desired.


Turkey hunters are asked to report Ruffed Grouse sightings

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