Hunting enthusiasts in New York state could soon start registering for licenses to engage in their favorite outdoor activity.
The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) confirmed that it would now allow hunting enthusiasts to place applications from June 1, 2020.
Changes to New York’s DECALS
The news is coming fresh off the DEC’s incorporation of a new licensing system, dubbed the Department of Environmental Conservation Automated License System (DECALS).
As the DEC explained, the new DECALS will include a dedicated website for the sales of licenses. They have also purchased new printers to work with the licensing and issuing processes, as the current printers should go out of commission by the end of the month.
Prospective hunters will be able to apply for licenses as the Department’s dedicated website. However, the press release also explained that the situation with the coronavirus pandemic might hamper the Department’s ability to deliver printers to licensing agents. So, it’s still unclear how many agents will be able to sell licenses this month.
It’s also unclear when hunters will be allowed to go out to engage in their favorite activity. New York remains the global epicenter of the coronavirus, with more infected cases than any other country on the planet.
However, the state has begun gradually reopening, in line with guidelines from Governor Andrew Cuomo. Several upstate businesses across New York will reopen on Friday. Still, however, several regions – including the Buffalo area, New York City and its suburbs – will remain closed.
The Governor has laid out seven benchmarks for regions to meet before they can be eligible for the state’s reopening plan. They include a sustained decline in hospitalizations, reductions in deaths, improved testing, an increase in hospital bed availability, and more.
A region will also need to have less than two new daily hospitalizations per 100,000 citizens. With statewide numbers showing declining increases, there is hope that more areas can reopen sooner.
Hunting Takes Off in Michigan
New York isn’t the only state where licensing for hunting appears to be taking shape. Last week, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources opened applications for prospective participants in the bear and elk hunting series.
As the Department announced in a series of YouTube videos, the bear hunting season will vary for people. Usually, it depends on whether a prospective participant lives on the Upper or Lower Peninsula. The Department goes on to explain that it would be selecting participants using a preference point drawing system.
It confirmed that it would announce drawing results on July 6, while the first hunting season should begin in early September.
However, Michigan appears to be further ahead of New York when it comes to allowing hunting amid the pandemic. Last Friday, the Natural Resources Department opened hunter education courses for residents.
According to reports, eligible students will be able to get temporary hunting safety licenses online. This is even without taking physical field day classes – which aren’t possible for the time being.
They can use the certificates to purchase hunting licenses in the state.
Chief Gary Hagler of the DNR Law Enforcement Division, said, “Safety is our number one priority. We want to do what we can to ensure future hunters have the opportunity to enjoy spring hunting and Michigan’s natural resources.”
The state’s certificates will run from now till December 31. However, successful applicants will have to take the field day classes as soon as the government gives the all-clear.