Cornell Campus Earn-a-Buck (EAB)
Deer Hunting Program
News and Updates for 2013:
Hunters may apply for Cornell hunting permits here in mid-August.
1) See Jay Boulanger in a new PBS Nature documentary, The Private Life of Deer. Click here to watch the entire episode online.
2) For up-to-the-minute updates and deer harvest photos, follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/CornellDeer
3) We want blood and liver samples (click here for instructions) from all deer and deer heads from antlerless deer (click here for instructions) for disease testing. Please note that samples are voluntary.
Contacts of interest:
Jay Boulanger, Deer Program Coordinator, is no longer accepting phone calls or text messages from hunters; Jay may only be contacted via email (email@example.com). However, please note that hunters may not receive a response if their questions are already answered in this webpage.
If hunters witness illegal or unsanctioned behavior, contact Cornell Police immediately at (607) 255-1111.
DEC Environmental Conservation Officer: Osman Eisenberg (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.
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 with 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 NE 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 (3,865 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.
Earn-a-Buck Program on Cornell University campus lands
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).
Hunters may choose to participate in only one of three major Cornell deer hunting programs. For example, hunters may sign up for Campus EAB, but not Arnot or Plantations Natural Areas hunting programs. The three major hunting programs available for 2012-2013 include Campus EAB, Arnot Forest, and Plantations Natural Areas, with each program requiring their own specialized permit and ID tag.
We thank our hunters for participating in the Cornell Campus Earn-a-Buck (EAB) hunting program during the last few years. We are pleased to announce that EAB hunting has been renewed for another five years. To date, we have stabilized the deer population on campus, but we have not met reduction goals and Cornell lands continue to be impacted by deer overpopulation. While we have reduced the number of female deer and fawns on campus, the number of bucks has increased significantly. Thus, we have relaxed EAB regulations in 2012 to increase harvest of male deer.
Campus EAB Maps and Parking Information:
Click here for a map depicting all EAB hunting zones.
Bow: A1 - A2 - A3 - A4 - A5 - A6 - A7 - A8 - A9 - A10 - A11 - A12 - A13 Bow/Gun: F1 - F2 - F3 - F4 - F5 - F6 - F7 - F8 - F9 - F10 (pending) - F11
Bow/Muzzleloader: M1 - M2
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 ft restriction has been relaxed to 200 or 300 feet as depicted in the maps.
Parking: 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.
Hunting Zone Special Restrictions
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; legal implements may be used thereafter. 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 F8 is for weekend (Saturday and Sunday) scouting and hunting only.
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.
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.
Zone F2 and Zone F1 east of Hanshaw Road fall outside of the DMFA. Thus, DMFA antlerless deer tags are not valid in these areas.
A former, independent Cornell hunting program, "Northeast" (lands northeast of Tompkins County Airport [Zone F1] and lands near Mt. Pleasant [Zone F9]), is now part of the Campus EAB hunting program. This change was made so Cornell and DEC could collect meaningful data to evaluate the new Deer Managment Focus Area (DMFA). Frost Ravine, a small natural area north of Mt. Pleasant Road, previously managed by the Northeast hunting program, is now managed by the Plantations Natural Areas hunting program. Hunters interested in these lands must now abide by EAB rules, including sign-in, sign-out and checking in their deer at the Stevenson Road deer check station.
Deer hunting regulations for Campus EAB lands:
1) Have a valid 2012-2013 NYSDEC Big Game license and a Cornell University hunting permit. Do not apply for a Cornell University hunting permit until you have acquired a 2012-2013 DEC Big Game license. Online applications become available around mid- to late-August, and must be received by October 15. Applications will not be accepted after this date. To apply, hunters must agree to a Cornell University Police background check. Moreover, hunters with prior felonies are not permitted to hunt on Cornell University Arnot, Campus Earn-a-Buck, and Plantations lands.
2) Most of Campus EAB hunting now falls within DEC's Deer Management Focus Area (DMFA) which liberalizes the take of antlerless deer and creates a late January deer hunting season (click here for map). This new system will eliminate the need for DMAPs. See the DEC website here for details and registration. Note that EAB Zone F2 and part of F1 (east of Hanshaw Road) fall outside of the DMFA. The DMFA program is operated by DEC and is independent of Cornell's EAB program. 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 (see #1 above).
2) New participants may choose to attend one of two, non-mandatory hunter orientation meetings which are generally held just prior to the opening of archery deer season each year.
3) Signing in to hunt is first-come, first-served and the number of hunters allowed in each zone is limited (see maps above). 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, F8, F11, A12 and A13. The new sign-in station is located on Warren Drive, just off of Cherry Road in Lansing (map). Hunters may no longer sign in at the Stevenson Road deer check station for these hunting zones. 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.
4) 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.
5) If deer were seen while hunting, record number and type daily on the hunter sighting form and place in lock box.
6) Check in all harvested deer at the deer check station. 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 contact Jay Boulanger to make arrangements for aging.
7) 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.
8) 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 contact 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.
9) Display Cornell Parking Permit (supplied with hunting permit) on dash of vehicle.
10) Wear Campus EAB ID tag (supplied with permit) at all times while hunting. We recommend hunters reinforce their ID tags with see-through tape and secure with a large safety pin.
11) 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.
12) Only archery equipment will be allowed in archery-only areas during the archery deer season. Archery equipment and crossbows 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.).
13) Deer drives: Hunters may not drive deer in archery zones. Moreover, hunters may not drive deer in any zone 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.
14) Any big game hunting legal implement may be used in Zones F1, F2, F3, F4, F5, F8, F9, F10 and F11 during their respective seasons. Shotguns and handguns are prohibited in Zones M1 and M2. Only deer may be harvested in these zones during the archery, firearms, muzzleloader and late January deer seasons.
15) Crossbows: Not legal at this time; state legislation pending.
16) Small Game: Outside of the deer seasons, only Zones F1, F3, F4, F5, F9, F10 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 predators. 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 during the non-deer hunting seasons. Non-deer 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. Note that your Campus EAB permit is also good for small game hunting at the Arnot Forest.
17) Note that other users may be using the natural areas. Please treat other users with courtesy. Several sites have public access and trails. Please check your map to familiarize yourself with these locations.
18) Guest hunters are not allowed. If you have a friend that you want to hunt, have them fill out an application. If they are well-qualified they may be granted a permit.
19) A hunter may be accompanied by no more than one non-hunter (e.g., spouse, child, friend, or photographer). 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. On the sign-in sheet, a hunter and non-hunter must sign in together on one line (e.g., John Doe/Jane Doe - non-hunter).
20) To keep on good terms with our neighbors - do not enter a neighbor’s property to track deer without their permission.
21) All treestands and ground blinds must be clearly marked with owner's first and last name. No permanent treestands or screw-in tree steps or ground blinds may be used on Cornell University lands. Most current climbing and fixed treestands are acceptable as long as they do not utilize screws that pierce through the layer of tree bark. Small tree limbs (< 1 inch diameter) may be trimmed to set up the treestand or ground blind. Hunters may install temporary treestands and ground blinds two weeks before archery season and must remove them by one week following the last day of muzzleloader season. Treestands and ground blinds should be hidden from public view. Cornell is not responsible for stolen treestands or ground blinds. Any treestand or ground blind found outside of permitted dates or that is not clearly labeled will be confiscated. 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. Blinds may be left in hunting zones during the hunting season. However, blinds used in Earn-a-Buck areas that fall within Plantations lands (F2 and blue shaded zones on hunting maps F1 and F5) must be carried in and out daily.
22) All motorized vehicles are prohibited. Hunters must hike into and out of the natural area. The Campus EAB hunting program has made 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, contact Jay Boulanger.
23) Comply with reasonable requests (e.g., parking, show license/permits, dispose of trash, etc.) of Cornell staff while on the forest.
Failure to comply with any of the above rules will result in a warning or immediate termination of hunting privileges, at the discretion of the Campus EAB Committee. Blatant disregard for Campus EAB policies will result in permanent loss of hunting privileges on Cornell University lands.