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Cornell Deer Hunting 
 
Cornell Earn-a-Buck (EAB) Deer Hunting Program
 
News and Updates for 2014

The EAB hunting application will be available here by late August.

Gary Goff, manager of the Arnot Forest EAB deer hunting program is retiring this spring. New management for the Arnot EAB will be announced this summer.

Please note that the Cornell EAB Twitter account has been closed. Deer harvest updates will be posted periodically at the deer check station throughout the hunting season.

Notes

Zone changes: Your EAB permit will now be valid for Campus EAB lands and Arnot Forest lands in Cayuta, NY. Please note that the Campus EAB and Arnot Forest EAB are two completely different programs, each with their own specific rules and regulations (see below). Moreover, EAB eligibility does NOT transfer between the two programs. For example, if you are buck eligible in the Campus EAB program, it does not mean you are buck eligible on Arnot Forest EAB lands.

How to get antlerless deer tags: For hunting in the Campus EAB program, DEC's Deer Management Focus Area (DMFA) program is back again for the 2013/14 season (click here for details). DMFA provides for a late January antlerless deer season and downloadable antlerless deer tags with a 2 deer/day limit. Most, but not all, of Campus EAB lands fall within the DMFA. Zone F1 east of Hanshaw Road and Zone F2 fall outside of the DMFA.

For hunting in the Arnot Forest EAB program, hunters must apply for at least one DEC antlerless Deer Management Permit (DMP) for Region 7R and use it BEFORE being eligible to use DEC Deer Management Assistance Permits (DMAP), if available from Arnot staff. Please note that the Arnot Forest falls outside the DMFA zone. Thus, DMFA permits may NOT be used at the Arnot Forest.

In sum, Cornell EAB hunters must be familiar with the following 3 DEC permits: 1) DMFA, 2) DMP, and DMAP.  Information for each of these permits is available at the NYSDEC website. These DEC permits do not give a hunter permission to hunt on Cornell lands. To hunt Cornell lands, you need to apply for a Cornell University hunting permit.

 

Important Contacts

Campus EAB

Jay Boulanger (boulanger@cornell.edu) manages the Campus Lands EAB hunting program. Jay may only be contacted via email, but please note that hunting-related questions may not receive a response if the information is already contained in this webpage or associated links.

If hunters witness illegal or unsanctioned behavior, contact Cornell Police at (607) 255-1111. Illegal activity may also be reported to DEC Environmental Conservation Officer Osman Eisenberg at (607) 564-9458.

Local butcher: Tim & Beth Ceurter at 568 State Route 79, Richford, NY 13835. Phone: (607) 657-8007. $65/deer.

Nearest Venison Donation Coalition butchers: 1) Jon's Custom Meats, Moravia, NY 315-497-0849 and 2) Mountainside Outdoor Supply, Homer, NY 607-749-5714.

Arnot Forest EAB

Management contact for the Arnot Forest EAB deer hunting program and is pending. For DMAP Permits, if available, contact Don Schaufler via email (dps4@cornell.edu) or phone (607-589-6076).

If hunters witness illegal or unsanctioned behavior, contact Cornell Police at (607) 255-1111. Illegal activity may also be reported to DEC Environmental Conservation Officer Toni Dragotta at (607) 331-7458.

Nearest Venison Donation Coalition butchers: 1) Cooley's Butcher Bay, Alpine, NY (607) 594-3479 and 2) Ron Shutter, Alpine, NY 607-594-2547.

 

Introduction

NY State is blessed with a healthy and productive deer herd. White-tailed deer are revered by sportsmen and non-hunters for a variety of reasons. Through the 1900’s, NY’s deer herd rebounded from perhaps 20,000 to over 1,000,000. This remarkable recovery is due to wise management and improved habitat conditions. The total statewide deer harvest has more than doubled over the past 20 years. Unfortunately, in some parts of the state, the deer population has created health and economic concerns. Visit the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) website for more information: http://www.dec.ny.gov/.

DEC Bureau of Wildlife is responsible for maintaining deer population levels compatible with the carrying capacity of the habitat and human interests. Historically, management has been primarily focused on optimizing the reproductive capacity of the state’s deer herd through hunting regulations that restrict the harvest of does, while permitting more liberal harvest of bucks. Consequently, the sex ratio is skewed in favor of does and relatively few bucks live past 1.5 years of age.

Prime deer habitat in the Southern Tier, consisting of agriculture and forest/brush cover, supports population densities greater than 40 deer per square mile in some locations. Hunting, as under current regulations, may soon no longer be adequate to control deer populations as hunter numbers decrease and more land becomes inaccessible to hunting. In other northeastern states with similar histories, the explosive growth of the deer herd has resulted in unstable deer herds and significant damage to habitat and forest health.

 

Situation on Cornell University lands

Increasing interactions between deer and various properties on and around Cornell University lands have resulted in the need to implement and evaluate a deer research and management program to reduce negative impacts. Discussions and actions regarding deer damage management reflect the University's goal to maintain the integrity of Cornell lands, while being cognizant of related neighborhood impacts. The project will be implemented in an effective and cost-efficient manner, for the primary purposes of supporting the research, teaching, and outreach functions of Cornell University. A critical component of this research is implementation of a deer hunting system that will reduce the overall deer population while maintaining these opportunities for future generations of hunters. As in most areas of the state, hunting is still the most effective manner by which to control deer populations. Hunting has been, and continues to be, compatible with the philosophy of multiple-use management on Cornell lands. 

For this project, Cornell lands have been divided into two zones: a core campus area and outlying areas adjacent to the core campus (map). The primary objective for the core campus zone (1,103 acres) is to reduce deer damage to unique plant collections or research plots, and minimize safety risks associated with deer. We plan to monitor complaints about deer damage to plants, reported deer-vehicle accidents, and deer abundance. The goal is to reduce deer associated complaints using fertility control research, fencing, and repellents. The outlying areas comprise a zone of almost 4,000 acres that contains agricultural fields, woodlots, and natural areas (map). Limited hunting has been allowed on most of these properties for decades. The primary objective for these areas is to reduce deer damage to agricultural fields and natural areas through the use of controlled hunting on areas with safe shooting zones that meet state discharge regulations. The focus will be to increase the harvest of female deer and lower the reproductive potential and herd size near campus in areas that can be safely hunted. Close to campus, archery hunting will be the primary approach. Where practical, shotgun and muzzleloader hunting will be permitted based on input from the Cornell University Police and land managers. Temporary electric and other fencing designs will also be used to protect research plots during the growing season.

The 2008 big game season was the first year we implemented these new hunting regulations, modeled after programs initiated in New Jersey and Wisconsin. EAB has been implemented at Cornell University's Arnot Forest since 1999. Similar to Quality Deer Management, the goal of EAB is to improve the quality of the deer herd, improve the quality of the habitat, and improve the quality of the hunting experience. Through EAB we will strive to balance the sex ratio and allow a higher proportion of bucks to reach maturity (e.g., >2.5 years of age).

 

General Cornell University Deer Hunting Program Rules and Regulations

This section pertains to all Cornell deer hunting programs (Cornell EAB, Arnot Forest EAB, and Plantations Natural Areas).

All hunters are expected to follow all Cornell University Lands Hunting Program Rules and Regulations, and to conduct themselves in a safe and ethical manner. Hunters that meet these criteria will remain eligible for annual renewals.

In addition to these general Cornell University Deer Hunting Program Rules and Regulations, all hunting activities must be conducted in accordance with the conditions stated on the approved permit and for program and hunting zone specific rules and regulations.

Permits & Licenses

A Cornell University issued permit is required to legally hunt on University-owned lands. Hunters must possess a valid NYSDEC big game license before applying for a Cornell University Hunting Permit.

The Cornell University Hunting Permit is specific to the hunter, and may not be used by or assigned to any other individual. The permit must be presented upon demand to any Cornell official or Law Enforcement officer. The University reserves the right to revoke this permit at any time.

Online permit applications will be accepted in mid to late August through October 15. Applications will not be accepted after this date. To apply, hunters must agree to a Cornell University Police criminal background check.

Interested hunters must choose to participate in only one Cornell deer hunting program.

Hunters shall comply with all state and local laws and ordinances governing hunting activities.

Access

Note that many sites remain open to the public during hunting seasons. Please be aware of hiking trails and be courteous to other users.

Hunters must visibly wear their respective Cornell hunting program identification tag (supplied with permit) on their person, and display their parking permit in their vehicle dashboard at all times while hunting.

Use of vehicles on University owned lands is prohibited. Hunters must hike into and out of all hunting areas from designated parking areas. Hunters who possess a NYSDEC Non-Ambulatory Hunter Permit should refer to program websites for exceptions.

To keep on good terms with our neighbors, do not enter a neighbor’s property to track deer without their permission.  

Hunters are required to wear a “hunter’s orange” hat and/or vest at all times while deer hunting during firearms seasons in zones where firearms are permitted. Archery only areas are exempt from this rule.

Hunting Activities

Only white-tailed deer may be hunted unless otherwise posted in site-specific regulations.

It is the hunter’s responsibility to know the hunting seasons and legal hunting implements for New York State and for each Cornell hunting program and zone. Only archery equipment will be allowed in archery-only areas during the firearm seasons.

A hunter may be accompanied by no more than one non-hunter (e.g., spouse, child, friend, etc.). The non-hunter 1) must stay with the hunter at all times, 2) may not carry a weapon, and 3) may not trade roles with the hunter while in the field. The hunter agrees to take full responsibility for a child, to keep the child within sight and reach, and to directly supervise the child at all times.

Tree stands and ground blinds are allowed. All tree stands and ground blinds must be legibly marked with owner's first and last name and phone number. Any tree stand or ground blind that pierces the bark on a tree is PROHIBITTED. No permanent tree stands or screw-in tree steps may be used. Cornell is not responsible for stolen tree stands or ground blinds. Small tree limbs (< 1 inch diameter) may be trimmed to set up the tree stand or ground blind, but not for clearing shooting lanes. Only commercial ground blinds may be used. To preserve Cornell lands, hunters may not collect and use surrounding wood, brush, or vegetation to further blend in their commercial blind. Hunters may install temporary tree stands and ground blinds two weeks before archery season and must remove them no later than one week following the conclusion of the hunting season.

No fires, camping, or littering.

Use of drugs and alcohol will not be tolerated. 

 

Specific Campus EAB Lands Rules and Regulations 

Antlerless deer permits: We encourage hunters to apply for a DEC Deer Management Focus Area (DMFA) permit (here), which allows hunters to hunt in late January and take additional antlerless deer on most of Cornell's EAB lands near campus. The DMFA permit alone does not give a hunter permission to hunt on Cornell lands. To hunt Cornell lands, you need to apply for a Cornell University hunting permit. 

Signing in to hunt: Signing in to hunt is first-come, first-served and the number of hunters allowed in each zone is limited.  For each hunt, sign in and out at the deer check station located on Stevenson Road (between Dodge and Turkey Hill Roads; map). We also have a northern sign-in/sign-out station for the convenience of hunters.  For simplicity, the northern sign-in station is for all hunting zones north of Rt. 13: F1, F2, F11, A12, A13, and A14. This sign-in station is located on Warren Drive, just off of Cherry Road in Lansing (map). Note that the northern sign-in station has poor lighting and few writing utensils. Thus, hunters should plan on using flashlights and their own pens or pencils.  All harvested deer must still be checked in at the Stevenson Road deer check station. Sign-in may begin 2 1/2 hours before sunrise. Please close sliding door at check station behind you.  If you are the last person to sign out at the end of the day for your hunting zone (e.g., A4), remove sheet from clipboard and place in lock box.     

Deer sightings: If deer were seen while hunting, record number and type daily on the hunter sighting form and place in lock box. Do not fill out form if no deer were seen.

Checking in your deer: Check in all harvested deer at the deer check station within 24 hours. You may field dress your deer while in the field, before bringing the deer to the check station to be weighed. When unstaffed, take photo with camera and fill out a deer harvest report (instructions). Remove one side of the lower jaw with the tools provided at the check station (instructions). Label provided envelope with name, date and deer tag number. Insert jaw into envelope and place in refrigerator. If a hunter wishes to preserve their deer for taxidermy, they should email Jay Boulanger to make arrangements for aging. 

Becoming EAB eligible: Document the harvest of one antlerless deer BEFORE gaining the privilege to take one legal, antlered deer. Harvest records for antlerless deer are cumulative from season to season. A hunter's previous deer take will carry over to future deer seasons. For example, if a hunter harvests one female deer and one button buck in 2010, that hunter would be "double" buck eligible on opening day of deer season in 2012. We keep records of each hunter's deer harvest history.

Samples: We want blood and liver samples (click here for instructions) from your deer for disease testing. Please note that samples are voluntary. We do not need samples from Arnot Forest hunters.

Radio-collared deer: Hunters may harvest radio-collared deer. Hunters must check the ear tag date to make sure the deer is fit for consumption. In the unlikely event that a collared deer may not be consumed, the hunter may dispose of the deer and use another DMFA tag. If a hunter has any questions regarding the status of a collared deer (e.g., date illegible), please email Jay Boulanger. Hunters must leave intact radio collar and one ear tag (if available) at the deer check station. Do not cut through the leather to remove the collar from your deer.

Hunting implements: Any big game hunting legal implement may be used in Zones F1, F2, F3, F4, F5, F9, and F11 during their respective seasons. Shotguns and handguns are prohibited in Zones M1 and M2. Only archery equipment will be allowed in archery-only areas during the archery deer season. Archery equipment may be used in archery-only areas during the regular firearms and muzzleloader/later archery seasons. Archery-only zones are closed to all other types of hunting (e.g., turkey, small game, waterfowl, etc.). Crossbows are not legal at this time; state legislation pending.

Deer drives: Hunters may not drive deer in any archery zone or during archery season. However, hunters are permitted to still hunt in these areas. The only exception to this rule would be if a zone was completely full with a hunting party and all agree to participate in a deer drive. In firearms zones, hunters may conduct deer drives during the firearms, muzzleloader, and January deer hunting seasons. 

Small game: Outside of the deer seasons, only Zones F1, F3, F4, F5, F9, and F11 will be open for other types of hunting. Only the following types of "non-deer" hunting are sanctioned: spring turkey, waterfowl, small game, and furbearers. Trapping is generally not permitted unless there is a nuisance issue with beavers on Cornell lands. Hunting of unprotected species (e.g., woodchucks) may only occur outside of the deer hunting seasons. Small game hunting is free from the sign in/sign out procedure, but hunters must wear their EAB ID tags. Exceptions: Zones F1 and F5 include blue shaded areas that are closed to all hunting outside of the deer seasons. Hunters who only wish to hunt small game may now apply for a special Cornell Small Game Permit which will be valid for both Campus and Arnot lands. See below for specific Arnot small game rules. Cornell Small Game Permit applications are available here.

Nonambulatory hunters: The Campus EAB hunting program has made a portion of Zone F1 and all of Zone F5 accessible to nonambulatory hunters by allowing limited use of motor vehicles and ATVs. Nonambulatory hunters are those that are unable to walk (e.g., paralysis) who also possess a NYSDEC Non-Ambulatory Hunter Permit. For more information or permission, email Jay Boulanger. 

Campus EAB maps and parking information: Click here for a broad map depicting the location of all EAB hunting zones near campus. The following zones are available for hunting during the 2013/14 season:

Archery only: A1 - A2 - A3 - A4 - A5 - A6 - A7 - A8 - A9 - A10 - A11 - A12 - A13 - A14 

Archery & Muzzleloader only: M1 - M2

Any legal hunting implement: F1 - F2 - F3 - F4 - F5 - F6 - F7 - F9 - F11

Red shading on each map depict the NYS 500 foot weapon discharge restriction. Hunters may travel within these zones, but may not discharge a weapon in these areas. In several cases, the 500 foot restriction has been relaxed as depicted in the maps. Most of the above maps depict suggested parking options. However, hunters may also park next to the road as long as the wheels are off the driven portion of the road. Check maps carefully, as some hunting areas such as A11, F9 and M1 have mandatory parking areas. 

Campus EAB Special Zone Restrictions

Zone F1 east of Hanshaw Road and Zone F2 fall outside of the DMFA. Thus, DMFA antlerless deer tags are not valid in these areas, nor is hunting the late January season allowed.

Zones F6 and F7 are located at the Reynolds Game Farm on NYSDEC lands. Only archery equipment may be used in these zones through November 30 of each year; firearms or other legal implements may be used beginning December 1. Zones F6 and F7 are closed to all other types of hunting. Hunters are prohibited from tampering with DEC boundaries and gates and should be aware that DEC staff maintain operations throughout the deer seasons. Pre-season scouting may commence 2 weeks before the start of the archery season. Hunters may not park at the Reynolds Game Farm parking lot or in the driveways off of Dodge Road.

Zone A11 falls within the Village of Lansing and is subject to additional rules. Crossbows are prohibited in A11. Archery hunters in A11 must have their arrows (e.g., fletching or shaft) labeled with their name using permanent markings.  Also, deer may not be bled or slaughtered on adjacent residential properties that fall outside of Cornell lands.  Parking is restricted to the one area depicted in the map.

Zones A12 and A13, also known as the Cornell Ponds off of Warren Road and north of the airport, are now open. However, access for pre-season scouting may not begin before September 15 each year. Access to these hunting areas is restricted by a locked gate. Interested hunters should email Jay Boulanger for the lock combination.

Zone A14 is for weekend (Saturday and Sunday) scouting and hunting only.

Zones M1 and M2 may not be hunted with shotguns or handguns, but muzzleloaders are allowed. Should you wish to hunt on non-Cornell properties within Zone M1, you need to email the appropriate landowner/s beforehand, for each time you hunt. Contacting the landowners is unessessary if you stay on Cornell lands within M1. Private land boundaries that may be hunted within M1 are marked with conservation easement signs. See M1 map for email contact information. Finally, note that the parking area for M1 is under video surveillance.

 

Specific Arnot Forest EAB Rules and Regulations

Situation at the Arnot Forest
The Arnot Forest (4,075 acres) is owned by Cornell University and managed by Cornell’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Click here for a general link to learn more about the Arnot Forest and here for more information on Arnot Forest hunting. As part of NY’s Land Grant Education Institution, DNR is responsible for fulfilling the mission of conducting research, teaching, and delivering extension programs on issues of importance to the citizens of NYS. Forest management is a significant issue as nearly two-thirds of NY’s land is covered by forests. The DNR uses the Arnot Forest as a research base and demonstration forest from which to develop innovative programs for the citizens of the state.

One of the primary management goals at the Arnot is the production and harvest of high-quality, high-value sawtimber. Unfortunately, similar to the situation across much of NY’s Southern Tier, the deer population at the Arnot has been too high to allow sufficient natural regeneration despite proper sawtimber management. In an effort to resolve this problem and gain valuable experience that may be applied elsewhere in the state, we have recently initiated studies designed to assess the impact deer are having on tree regeneration at the Forest. A critical component of this research is implementation of a deer hunting system that will reduce the overall deer population. As in most areas of the state, sport hunting is still the most effective manner by which to control deer populations. Sport hunting has been, and continues to be, totally compatible with the philosophy of multiple-use management at the Forest.

Click here for Arnot Forest map information.

Document the harvest of two female deer before gaining the privilege to take one legal, antlered deer. Harvest records are cumulative from season to season.

We remind hunters that Campus EAB and Arnot Forest EAB are two completely different programs, each with their own specific rules and regulations. EAB eligibility does NOT transfer between the two programs. For example, if you are buck eligible in the Campus EAB program, it does not mean you are buck eligible on Arnot Forest EAB lands.

Although it is legal to hunt deer with rifles in Schuyler County, only shotguns, muzzleloader, pistols, and bows are legal to use during deer seasons at the Arnot Forest.

The Arnot forest is outside of the DMFA, so those permits may not be used. Instead, Deer Management Assistance Permits (DMAPs) are used. During firearms season DMAP permits must be returned to check station daily, unless you intend to hunt consecutive days.

With the exception of neighboring landowners, all hunters must sign in and out daily at the South Gate check station and access Arnot lands only via the south gate.

North Gate will be closed throughout the archery and firearms deer season. You may not park outside the North Gate, all hunters must park within the Arnot.

All harvested deer must be checked at the South Gate Check Station. When unstaffed, complete form and take photo with camera at the station. Follow posted instructions.

Access to state land across Arnot land is denied. If your goal is to hunt state land, use state access.

Any tagged deer (e.g., radio-collared or ear-tagged) may be harvested.

Special rules for Arnot lands east of Schuyler County Rt. 13:

a. hunters may park along Decker Hill Rd, no parking allowed along County Route 13.

b. some of the land is archery only, some is off limits due to 500-ft. no-hunting zone surrounding private homes, as indicated by signs

c. hunters must sign in at the check station and all deer harvested must be checked through the check station. Because these lands are separated by a road, female deer will NOT count towards buck eligibility. However, if a hunter is already buck eligible, they may harvest a buck on these lands and it will reduce buck eligibility accordingly.

Small game: Hunters who only wish to hunt small game may now apply for a special Cornell Small Game Permit. The Cornell Small Game Permit is good for both Campus and Arnot EAB lands. Note that the Cornell Small Game Permit is valid during any small game season at the Arnot Forest; see the Campus EAB small game section above for specific rules on Campus EAB lands. You may apply for a Cornell Small Game Permit here. Trapping is prohibited.

 

Failure to comply with any of the above rules will result in a warning or immediate termination of hunting privileges. Blatant disregard for Deer Hunting Rules and Regulations will result in permanent loss of hunting privileges on Cornell University lands. Permitted hunters agree to waive and release Cornell University of any and all claims for bodily injury while on this land. In addition, the hunter will be responsible for any and all damage done to the property should this occur and agrees to hold and save Cornell University harmless from claims of third persons which may arise from hunting activities on University property. It is also agreed to, that the hunter will reimburse the University for any costs, including attorney fees, which it may incur in connection with any action arising from his hunting activities on the university property.