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Night at the Disco ... 11/9/17

Visitors are invited to stop by the Discovery Center after normal business hours to play games, go on a guided hike and discover on this night, the exhibits come to life.

Endangered Karner ... 7/20/17

Twenty-five years after being federally listed as endangered, the APB population of the Karner blue butterfly has exceeded recovery goals for the local population.

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Hunting Information

Albany Pine Bush, Hunting & Trapping Areas

What is the Albany Pine Bush Preserve?

The Preserve is a natural area located near Albany, NY. The inland pine barrens of the Preserve are one of the rarest landscapes in the northeastern U.S. At present, the Preserve encompasses about 3,200 acres and is made up of lands owned by DEC, NYS Office of Parks, The Nature Conservancy, and local municipalities.

Who manages the Preserve?

The Pine Bush Preserve is managed by the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission. The Commission is comprised of representatives from state and local government, as well as scientists, conservation organizations, and business. The Commission is chaired by the NYSDEC Region 4 Director. Commission staff work closely with DEC biologists, foresters and forest rangers.

Is small game hunting allowed in the Preserve?

Yes. Small game may be hunted with a bow and/or shotgun in designated areas within the Preserve. Each year fishing, hunting and trapping areas are established by the Commission and DEC designating where small game hunting is open, open to special restrictions, or closed. Contact the Commission or NYSDEC for a list of areas and accompanying map.

Are there any special considerations for hunting in the Preserve?

Yes! The Preserve is an urban/suburban, multi-use natural area. Hunters need to be aware of the location of nearby houses and buildings, and recognize that other visitors may be using Preserve trails during hunting season. It is important that hunters follow all applicable laws, are courteous, and hold themselves to the highest standards of conservation and ethics. Many urban and suburban residents have had little exposure to hunting and hunters. Your appearance and behavior can either decrease fears and concerns or increase them.

Please don’t walk the trails in face paint, a head net, or with an arrow nocked. Carry your bow or gun in a case whenever possible.

Can I use a tree stand in the Preserve?

Yes. Portable stands are allowed. Do not nail or screw your stand into any tree. Do not use screw-in tree steps or spikes to reach your stand. Always use a safety harness.

Do trappers have any additional requirements resulting from the adopted regulations?

Yes. Trappers must register with the Commission in person before trapping in the Preserve and may not trap within 50 feet of the center of any official trail.

Are there places to go fishing in the Preserve?

Yes, although they are limited. The best location is at the eastern end of the Preserve at Rensselaer Lake which is stocked annually. Most of the vernal ponds in other parts of the Preserve do not generally provide quality fishing opportunities.

Are there places in the Pine Bush where I can target shoot?

NO!! Target shooting is specifically prohibited in the Pine Bush Preserve. This applies to firearms and bows. The best and safest place to target shoot is at a local shooting range. Many welcome new members. Contact DEC for a list.

Who provides enforcement on Preserve lands?

Forest Rangers and Environmental Conservation Officers patrol all Preserve lands.

Who do I contact if I have questions or problems?

In a life threatening emergency call 911. Contact a NYS Forest Ranger at (518) 408-5850 for enforcement or APBP Stewardship Director Joel Hecht (518)456-0655, ext. 1213 for general questions. For wildlife related questions, contact DEC Wildlife Biologist Karl Parker (518)357-2066.

Summary of Adopted Albany Pine Bush Preserve Rules and Regulations

  • Preserve visitors may not collect, deface, injure or remove any plant, animal, sand or other living or non-living feature from the Preserve except as otherwise authorized by the Commission or Department.
  • All public use of unmarked paths and firebreaks is prohibited without a valid permit.
  • Bicycle and horse use is permitted on officially established and marked trails only.
  • Pets must be restrained at all times by an adequate collar and leash and must be under the direct and complete control of their owner. Pet owners must remove their pets feces from the trails.
  • Research projects proposed for the Preserve by any individual or group must be submitted in writing and approved by the Commission.
  • Motor Vehicles of any kind including ATV’s, snowmobiles and motorcycles are prohibited on Preserve lands and waters, except vehicles used by those with mobility impairments as allowed by permit.
  • Groups of 25 or more visitors must notify the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission at least 5 days before visiting the Preserve.
  • Hunting, trapping and fishing are allowed during times designated as New York State’s open hunting, trapping and fishing seasons and in accordance with the provisions of 6 NYCRR parts 1-188, and not withstanding any other provision of the Preserve regulations. Hunting and trapping are prohibited or restricted in some areas of the Preserve as designated by the Commission.
  • Trappers must register with the Commission in person and may not trap within 50 feet of the center of any marked trail.
  • Permits to allow otherwise prohibited activities may be applied for with the Commission.
The following are strictly prohibited on Albany Pine Bush Preserve lands or waters:
  • travelling on or occupying closed trails
  • littering or dumping debris of any kind
  • fires
  • competitions, contests, drills, ceremonies
  • camping
  • feeding of wildlife
  • excavation, removal of sand or other soils
  • possession of fireworks, burning materials or other incendiary devices other than materials used for smoking
  • permanent tree stands, installation of spikes or nails in trees
  • the introduction of plant or animal species
  • target practice w/ a longbow or firearm of any kind
  • erecting or storing personal property, signs or notices
  • sale, rental, or barter of any commodities
  • applying pesticides or herbicides
  • horses without an up-to-date negative coggins certificate
  • damaging, defacing, removing, disturbing, destroying or befouling any part of any building, sign, equipment or other property

These rules and regulations are designed to protect, preserve and control conduct in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve.

6NYCRR Part 648.8

Hunting, Trapping and Fishing

(a) Hunting, trapping and fishing are allowed during times designated as New York State’s open hunting, trapping and fishing seasons, in accordance with the provisions of 6 NYCRR Parts 1-188, and notwithstanding any other provision in these regulations. (b) Hunting and trapping are prohibited or restricted in those areas designated by the Commission as No Hunting Zones, Restricted Hunting Zones, No Trapping Zones, and Restricted Trapping Zones. (c) Trappers must register with the Commission in person before trapping in the Preserve. (d) Trapping is prohibited within fifty feet of the center of any official trail. (e) A person hunting, trapping or fishing must have in their immediate possession a valid New York State hunting, trapping or fishing license and, if applicable, a scientific collectors permit. (f) White-tailed deer may be hunted with a longbow only. (g) Small game may be hunted with a shotgun, .177 caliber pellet gun or longbow only. (h) Shotgun users are not permitted to possess a shotgun shell loaded with a single slug or ball. (i) Possession of a rifle or muzzle loading firearm is prohibited. (j) Legally possessed pistols, no larger than .22 caliber rimfire, may be used only to dispatch trapped wildlife. (k) Target practice with a longbow or firearm of any kind is prohibited. (l) Portable tree stands may be installed, but no earlier than 48 hours before the first day of deer hunting season and must be removed no later than 48 hours after the last day of deer hunting season. Use or construction of a permanent tree stand or the installation of a nail, spike, or other object into any vegetation is prohibited.

Consistent with 6 NYCRR Parts 1-188, and notwithstanding any other provision in these regulations, special hunts may occur for the purposes of managing wildlife populations to protect human health, safety or property, or the ecological integrity of the Preserve. Such hunts will be carried out under the supervision of the Department and the Commission.

This summary does not reflect all the rules and regulations governing the use of the Preserve. For complete special use regulations for the Albany Pine Bush Preserve, please contact the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission at: 195 New Karner Road, Albany, NY 12205 phone: (518)456-0655 ext. 1213

Whitetailed Deer Hunting Season Dates

Albany Pine Bush Preserve within Wildlife Management Unit 4J. Season dates for other species may be found at here.