Animal Defenders of Westchester

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We advocate on all animal protection and exploitation issues, including experimentation, factory farming, rodeos, breeders and traveling animal acts.

Animal Defenders of Westchester
P.O. Box 205
Yonkers, NY 10704

Action Alerts

DEC's announcement of Turkey Hunting Day - Opens May 1
April 29, 2013

Your tax dollars at work: Westchester Turkey Hunting Opens May 1
The DEC's announcement of Turkey Hunting Day in Westchester County and up, on May 1, appears below.
Note the noxious directive the DEC, funded by your tax dollars, provides TO TWELVE YEAR OLDS: 'Don't stalk! Set-up with your back against a large tree and call birds to you.'  Is this really the type of character development we want to teach to our children?

There is also a section for 12 yr olds to send pictures of what they've killed.
Also note they use the word 'harvest' instead of 'kill,' to pretty up their actions.
We don't hold disgusting events like 'squirrel hunts' in Westchester; why are we allowing turkey killings? 
These birds were almost hunted to extinction, but have rebounded; like geese, they mind their own business and love their babies.  The flesh is largely inedible; this is basically just for the thrill of the kill, as is most hunting.
These sources publish a lot of animal advocate letters:

THE JOURNAL NEWS:, 250 wds or less, include contact info for verification

NY DAILY NEWS:  [email protected]   Shorter letters are more likely to be published

NY NEWSDAY:  [email protected]  250 wds or less, include contact info

Contact info for the DEC is in the 'alert.'
This is also yet more reason we should have a humane liason in Westchester County; hunting accidents are a regular occurrence - - why is Westchester County subjecting its residents and their companion animals to such avoidable danger?

Kathleen O'Connor, Com, Parks, Rec, Conservation: [email protected]

Peter Tartaglia, Director, Public Relations [email protected] 

John Cerino, Assist. to County Executive [email protected] 

Rob Astorino, County Executive   [email protected] 

John Baker, Director,  Westchester County Parks and Conservation: [email protected]

This 'youth hunt' DEC site has a picture of a child proudly displaying a full-plumed dead turkey he killed:
This is a letter we received from a bow hunter; the DEC announcement is below it:
I may be young and may not be too mature but you people are scum. Why ruin hundreds of year old traditions in families of bow hunters. Yes some people do inhumanly take animals and I do believe they are in the wrong, but banning bowhunting in a whole, or trying to, is wrong! Fact you may think are facts are wrong in example; it taking a bow kill of a deer to take more than 45 minutes in completely false, as long as it is a well placed shot it will take no more than 1 minute to die!

What hunters do, the right way, is humane and in some cases, actually how we feed our family like I do! I'm sure you won't buy I wish that you and all anti hunters would mind their own business and I hope you know, you are living as a result if your ancestors BOW HUNTING!

Thanks as always for your amazing help for the animals

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation <[email protected]>
Date: Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 3:08 PM
Subject: Spring Turkey Season Opens May 1
To: [email protected]

You are subscribed to receive updates from DEC. Links to receive help or to change your preferences are provided below. Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Greetings Hunters!
This is a reminder that the 2013 spring turkey season opens May 1 in all of upstate New York lying north of the Bronx-Westchester County boundary.
Other Important Details for the Spring Turkey Season, May 1-31, 2013:
Hunting is permitted in most areas of the state, except for New York City and Long Island.

Hunters must have a turkey hunting permit in addition to their small game hunting or sportsman license.

Shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to noon each day.
Hunters may take two bearded turkeys during the spring season, but only one bird per day.

Hunters may not use rifles or handguns firing a bullet. Hunters may hunt with a shotgun or handgun loaded with shot sizes no larger than No. 2 or smaller than No. 8, or with a bow and arrow.

Successful hunters must fill out the tag which comes with their turkey permit and immediately attach it to any turkey harvested.

Successful hunters must report their harvest within seven days of taking a bird. Call 1-866-426-3778 (1-866 GAMERPT) or report harvest online at
For more information about turkey hunting in New York, see the 2012-13 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide or visit the "Turkey Hunting" pages of the DEC website at An analysis of the 2012 spring turkey take, including a county-by-county breakdown, can be found on the DEC website at
New York has an extremely safety-conscious generation of hunters, largely due to the annual efforts of more than 3,000 dedicated volunteer Sportsman Education instructors. Even one incident is too many, so be sure to follow the cardinal rules of hunting safety: (1) assume every gun is loaded; (2) control the muzzle; (3) keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot; (4) be absolutely sure of your target and what may be beyond it; and (5) don't stalk! Set-up with your back against a large tree and call birds to you. To find a sportsman education class in your area, go to or call 1-888-HUNT-ED2 (1-888-486-8332).
If you are a spring turkey hunter, consider participating in the Ruffed Grouse Drumming Survey! Turkey hunters in pursuit of that wary gobbler in the spring are ideally suited for monitoring ruffed grouse during the breeding season. The characteristic sound of a drumming male grouse is as much a part of the spring woods as yelping hens and gobbling toms. Turkey hunters can record the number of grouse they hear drumming while afield to help DEC track the distribution and abundance of this game bird.

To get a survey form, go to or call (518) 402-8886.

To participate in the Summer Wild Turkey Sighting Survey or other wildlife surveys visit the "Citizen Science" page of the DEC website,
Do you have photos from a spring turkey hunt you would like to share? DEC has a Hunting and Trapping Photo Gallery for junior hunters ages 12-15, young trappers under age 16, and hunters who have harvested their first big or small game animal. If you are the parent or legal guardian of a junior hunter, or if you are an adult who would like to share your first successful hunt, visit the photo gallery on the DEC website,
Good luck if you go afield this spring, and be safe.
Mike Schiavone
Wildlife Biologist 
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