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New York state app reels in sportsmen

Bob Ellis/staff photographer

Edward Kent of Homer passes along his love of fishing Monday as he holds his granddaughter Autumn Kent, 2, as they fish from the pier at Casterline Pond in Homer. Kent said he has been fishing since he was Autumn’s age.

When hunting, Edward Kent III of Homer said, it can be a pain to report game harvest by having to call it in or fill out an online report, but that should no longer be a hassle with a new feature on the state’s hunting and fishing mobile application.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has added a new feature to the official New York Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife mobile application that provides sports license holders a simple, user-friendly way to report game harvests with Smartphones and mobile devices afield.

Hunters in New York now have to either fill out a report online or call the Department of Environmental Conservation to report game harvest.

Kent only hunts once in a while, mostly for deer, but he said he thinks the application will be easier for him to use.

“It sounds cool. I’d use it,” he said.

It is a legal requirement to report all deer, bear and turkey harvests within seven days of harvest, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation. Harvest information is critical to wildlife management and helps determine the health and population of a species and set future hunting seasons and limits.

“The new features of DEC’s Wildlife App are not only fun additions but they will also help outdoorsmen and women be better conservationists,” said Jason Kemper, chairman of the state Conservation Fund Advisory Board. “New York offers some of the best outdoor sports recreations in the country, and this app is a great way to promote all the opportunities we have right here in our own backyard.”

DEC hunting safety tips

The state Department of Environmental Conservation offers the following hunting safety tips:

• Assume every gun is loaded.

• Control the muzzle. Point your gun in a safe direction.

• Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.

• Be sure of your target and beyond.

• Wear blaze orange or pink — Wearing orange or pink prevents other hunters from mistaking a person for an animal, or shooting in your direction.

• When hunting in tree stands use a safety harness and a climbing belt, as most tree stand accidents occur when hunters are climbing in and out of the stand. Also, never climb in or out of a tree stand with a loaded rifle.

The application, created by ParksbyNature Network, is available for free and provides users with the latest fish and wildlife news, detailed hunting and fishing season information, species information, weather alerts, social media connection, GPS mapping capabilities and more.

The new e-license and game harvest features allow hunters to create game harvest reports, even when the user is out of cellular range, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation. Users will also be able to log in to the department’s licensing system for instant mobile access to an electronic version of its current sporting licenses.

The application can be downloaded through the Apple App Store, Google Play store or at the department’s website, www.dec.ny.gov.

Edward Kent of Homer, father of Edward Kent III, said while he has never used the application for anything before, he thinks it could help a lot of people. Especially with fishing.
“A lot of new people who go fishing don’t know where to go,” the elder Kent said. “It (the app) would make it easier for them to get into it (fishing).”

Kent fishes about three times a week. He no longer hunts, but his sons do.

His son, Matt Kent, will go hunting for the first time this year. Having used mobile applications before, Matt Kent said he definitely will download the application and use its new features.

While a younger generation may love the idea of a mobile application they can always have on them while hunting and fishing, 65-year-old Mike Margets of Tully said he would not use it.
Fishing is a peaceful time for him to get away from everything and not bother with his phone, he said while readying his fishing pole for an afternoon at Casterline Pond in Homer. The same went for when he used to hunt, too.

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