Deer Management Program
Cornell Plantations relies on the assistance of dedicated volunteers, stewards, and other conservation partners to preserve, maintain, and restore natural communities and locally rare plant habitat within the Finger Lakes region.
Natural Area Visitors
Visitors please note that all Plantations' Natural Areas with firearm deer hunting programs are closed for public use during the firearm deer seasons, from November 17 through December 18, 2012. Additionally, sites in the Deer Management Focus Area that are listed below, are closed to the public from January 12 through 31, 2013. All Natural Areas remain open to the public during the archery deer season, with runs from October 1 through November 16, 2012.
Plantations is seeking responsible sportsmen to reduce deer populations through our sanctioned hunting program. This is not only an opportunity to help preserve the integrity of these unique habitats, it is a privilege that is earned and maintained. This year, eighteen natural areas encompassing over 1880 acres will be open for deer hunting opportunities.
Plantations Natural Area Deer Management Program hunting permit applications for the 2012 hunting season is now CLOSED. Applications for the 2013 season will be accepted beginning in August through October, 2013.
Deer Management Focus Area
Hunters that wish to participate in the Deer Management Focus Area Program (DMFA) on Cornell Plantations Deer Management Program properties within the DMFA zone must also posess a Cornell Plantations Deer Management Program PERMIT. Note that a DEC issued DMFA Permit is NOT a Cornell Plantations issued PERMIT. Hunters without a Plantations issued permit will be prosecuted. For more information on the DMFA program, see the News and Updates section below.
All hunters are expected to follow all Cornell Plantations and Department of Environmental Conservation rules and regulations and, to conduct themselves in a safe and ethical manner. Hunters that meet these criteria will remain eligible for annual renewals.
- Cornell Plantations rules and regulations.
- NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Hunting&Trapping 2012 - 2013 Official Guide to Laws and Regulations.
Participating Natural Areas
To view a county map showing all Plantations Natural Areas hunting program areas, the DEC Deer Management Focus Area boundary, and other state properties, click here.
Site maps for each hunting area are provided on the reservation pages for each specific site:
7H Wildlife Management Unit
Edwards Lake Cliffs *
McDaniels (Townley Swamp)
7J Wildlife Management Unit
Eames Bog (Mud Creek) #
McLean Bog #
7R Wildlife Management Unit
Allen Tract (Cayuta Lake)
Carter Creek East (Connecticut Hill)
Carter Creek West (Connecticut Hill)
Coy Glen *
Dunlop Meadow *
Frost Ravine *
Lick Brook *
Slaterville 600 (Hammond Hill)
Polson (Snyder Hill) *
South Hill Swamp % *
Sites identified with an (*) are located within the Ithaca Deer
Management Focus Area (DMFA). For more information, see the first "News and Updates for 2012" item below.
Sites identified with an (%)
are restricted to archery only hunting. Unless otherwise noted, all
listed sites are open to both archery and firearm hunting
Sites identified with a (#)
will have free DEC Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) tags for
eligible hunters, by request to Plantations. These tags are intented to
help us meet our deer management program goals of reducing the doe
population. Learn more.
Prospective hunters with questions about hunting at "restricted sites" or "restricted parking areas" such as Eames Bog Lot #1, Edwards, Coy Glen Lot #4, South Hill Lot #2, or McLean Bog should contact Todd Bittner directly.
For more information on Plantations' sites, visit our Natural Areas Profiles. For site specific and program information on hunting activity and harvest at each site, visit our deer management program summary for 2008 - 2011 here.
News and Updates for 2012
- Deer Management Focus Areas: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced a first of its kind Deer Management Focus Area (DMFA) for 60,000 acres surrounding Ithaca for 2012. This program was established in central Tompkins County to intensify use of hunting to assist communities with the burden of overabundant deer populations. The DMFA program is established to reduce total deer populations within the focus area by providing more time and more tags to hunters who can gain access to huntable land. Hunters who register to participate in the focus area program may legally harvest two antlerless deer per day during the regular season and during a special January 13 through January 31, 2012 DMFA season. Click here to REGISTER for the Deer Management Focus Area.
- Youth Firearm Hunt: Cornell Plantations is NOT participating in this year's youth firearm hunt. Youth firearm hunting during October 6th to 8th is prohibited.
- Earn-a-Buck Program: Hunters will again be able to register for both the Plantations Natural Areas Deer Management Program and the Cornell Earn-a-Buck (EAB) hunting programs.
- Rewards and incentives: Continuing this year, we are providing a reward and incentive component
to our deer program through how our reservation system works.
Returning, veteran hunters that have complied with our program
regulations in prior years, including meeting doe harvest criteria and
annual reporting, will be allowed to make reservations for 21 days in
advance the day's date. First time and probationary hunters will be
allowed to make reservations for 14 days in advance of the day's date.
- New acreage this year: We
have added an additional 168 acres at new Cornell owned natural area, Carter Creek East. This site is
adjacent to the DEC Connecticut Hill State Forest.We have added Frost Ravine, an additional 40 acres near Mount Pleasant for archery and firearm hunting.
- We have changed Lick Brook from archery only to archery and firearm hunting for the 2012 season.
areas and huntable acreages at the Cayuta Lake Allen Tract Natural Area
has been changed again. Please refer to our maps for the updates.
- The statewide archery program for the southern zone will now be starting October 1st. Similarly, archery hunting within designated natural areas will now be starting October 1st.
- The provisions in the Environmental Conservation Law that allow the use of crossbows for deer hunting expired on December 31, 2012. Hunting with crossbows is now prohibited.
- Individuals interested in archery hunting at Plantations' Etna, Monkey Run, Turkey Hill, Bluegrass Lanes, Upper Cascadilla, Mitchell Street Hawthorn Thicket, or Fall Creek Natural Areas should visit and apply through the Cornell Earn-A-Buck Deer Management Program website to hunt these sites.
Information on venison processing
Note: Cornell Plantations is providing the following information for the benefit of our hunters, and makes no claim of responsibility for the quality or reliability of services by third parties.
If you are interested in donating venison to those in need, two local Venison Donation Coalition Butchers are :
Mountainside Outdoor Supply, Homer, NY (607-749-5714)
Jon’s Custom Meats, Moravia, NY (315-497-0849)
Other nearby non-VDC Butchers are:
Tim & Beth Ceurter, Richford, NY (607-657-8007)
Contact information for local DEC environmental conservation officers
Osman Eisenberg (607) 564-9458 or James Milewski (607) 283-1494