- The new information/safety briefing is now available (Sep 1) to view to get a validation to hunt in the Cantonment Area during the 2021-2022 hunting season. This is only for those DoD identification card holders that are eligible to hunt in the Cantonment Area.
- Deer Management Area Program (DMAP) permits are available to sign out for Cantonment Area hunters on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:00-6:00 pm at the Natural Resources Outreach Facility (S-2507) off of Rte. 26 from September 16 - October 14. (After October 14, DMAPs will be available by appointment.)
- The next Free Fishing Day in New York State is Saturday, September 25, 2021. No state fishing license is required. A free Fort Drum Recreation Pass is still required to fish in the Training Area on this weekend.
- NYSDEC is releasing more than 3,000 pheasants prior to the Youth Hunting Weekend on September 25-26 and the regular hunting season starting October 1.
- Due to military training, Fort Drum training areas will be closed to recreation from Monday, November 1 - Wednesday, November 10. Please plan accordingly.
- Passes valid from January 1 - December 31, 2021 are available on-line.
- It is the responsibility of all Fort Drum Access Pass holders to know Fort Drum regulations. Fort Drum Regulation 420-3 Hunting, Fishing, & Other Outdoor Recreation ( Unofficial Version updated 1 Aug 2020 -- there will be no update before the 2021 hunting season.) is available through the end of 2021. Recreation maps and brochures are available from the kiosk in front of the Natural Resources Outreach Facility (Bldg. S-2507) off of Rte. 26 across from the Army Reserve Center (between Great Bend and Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield).
- The current iSportsman system is designed to be used with a computer or smart phone which works better than a regular phone. However, if you only have a phone, the new Sportsman's Hotline number is: 1-855-267-9770.
- Recreationists must check-in before recreating and check-out at the end of the day. Everyone will have to check into a specific area(s). Due to the number of incidences of recreationists entering closed areas and for a general safety procedure, all recreationists are required to check-in to an open subtraining area. You have the option to check-in to three areas at a time. If you want to change areas, you will have to check-out of the first areas and check-in again to the new areas. If you are recreating only along a road (e.g., birdwatching from the road, going for a drive, etc.) and not entering a subtraining area, there is the option of "Road Recreation." You can now see what training areas are open by looking at the interactive map.
- To check-in using a map, follow the directions below:
- Sign-in to your account and click the "Checkin/Checkout" button.
- Follow the regular procedure: "Checkin" > When are you going? > Select Activity
- At the "Select Area" screen, click the blue button "Show Map" -- an interactive map will load showing which areas are open or closed.
- Click on up to 3 areas to select the area to checkin -- click on an area again to unselect
- Click on the blue button "Next Areas (# Areas)"
- Click "OK" to Confirm Area Selection
- Follow the regular procedure: Click "I Accept" confirming checkout is required and click "Confirm Checkin" and you are done.
- Firearms in the Training Area no longer need to be registered. See Fort Drum Regulation 190-13 Physical Security (updated 1 Mar 2020) (Chapter 8: Privately Owned Weapons & Ammunition) for more information. (But you should keep your paperwork in a safe place if you have registered your firearm in the past.)
- First-time hunters must complete a NYSDEC Hunter, Bowhunters, and/or Trapper Education course before applying for a respective New York State license. An online option for Hunter Education classes also continues to be available. Anyone 11 years of age and older can obtain a hunter education certificate either by completing the online course and virtual field day, passing the final exam, and paying a fee; or by attending an in-person, instructor-led course.
- Below are links to the different classes offered that can be sorted by distance from a zip code location.
- To add another vehicle to your account (or update other personal information), follow the directions below:
- Once you are on your home account page, go to the blue navigation bar at the top and click on “My Account.”
- On the drop down menu, click on "Account Details"
- Click on the blue button "Manage Account"
- Go to the bottom for vehicle information and click on the “+ Add New” button
FISHING SEASONS on FORT DRUM
- Trout fishing season begins April 1, 2021.
- Northern Pike, Walleye, Pickerel, and Tiger Muskellunge season begins May 1, 2021.
- Largemouth Bass & Smallmouth Bass season begins June 19, 2021.
HUNTING SEASONS on FORT DRUM
- Youth turkey hunting season is April 24-25, 2021 throughout NYS.
- Spring turkey hunting season is May 1 - May 31, 2021.
- Gray squirrel hunting season is September 1, 2020 - February 28, 2021.
- Canada goose (early) hunting season is September 1 - September 25, 2021.
- Crow hunting season is September 1, 2021 - March 31, 2022.
- Early black bear hunting season is September 18 - October 15, 2021.
- Youth waterfowl hunting weekend is September 18-19, 2021.
- Ruffed grouse hunting season is September 20, 2021 - February 28, 2022.
- Early archery deer hunting season is September 27 - October 22, 2021.
- Fall turkey hunting season is October 1-14, 2021.
- Woodcock hunting season is October 1 - November 14, 2021.
- Cottontail rabbit and Snowshoe hare hunting season is October 1, 2021 - March 20, 2022.
- Snow goose hunting season is October 1, 2021 - April 15, 2022.
- Duck & Merganser (early) hunting season is October 2 - 24, 2021.
- Crossbow deer and black bear hunting seasons are October 13 - 22, 2021.
- Muzzleloading deer and black bear hunting seasons are October 16 - 22, 2021.
- Regular deer and regular black bear hunting seasons are October 23 - December 5, 2021.
- Canada goose (late) hunting season is October 23 - October 25 and October 30 - November 25, 2021.
- Duck & Merganser (late) hunting season is October 30 - December 5, 2021.
- Late archery deer and muzzeloading deer hunting seasons are December 6-12, 2021.
Fort Drum is a U.S. Army installation in northern New York State located in the northeastern corner of Jefferson County and the northwestern corner of Lewis County; St. Lawrence County borders Fort Drum to the north. Fort Drum is approximately 30 miles from Canada, 6 miles east of Interstate 81, and 10 miles northeast of the City of Watertown which is the largest U.S. city within a 50 mile radius.
Fort Drum is the largest Fish & Wildlife Management Act (FWMA) Cooperator Area in New York State. Fort Drum signed the original agreement in 1959 to provide additional outdoor recreational opportunities to the public. Fort Drum is over 108,000 acres in size with approximately 70,000 acres open to everyone (including the public) for recreation. Fort Drum has 3 lakes and 4 ponds totaling 506 acres that are commonly fished—Indian Lake (184 acres) is the largest lake on the installation.
Besides permanently prohibited areas, the only restricted access and activity on Fort Drum is hunting in the Cantonment Area and Training Areas 5E and 6C. Approximately one-third of the 8,000 acre Cantonment Area is open for archery hunting only by persons with Department of Defense identification. Training Areas 5E and 6C are open for disabled access hunting only. None of these areas are open for trapping, although fishing and other recreational activities are allowed in the Cantonment Area to anyone including the public.
The area surrounding Fort Drum is generally rural with small concentrations of residential, commercial, and industrial areas mainly within villages. Although there are few federal lands near Fort Drum, state lands are numerous including state forests, forest preserves, wildlife management areas, and state parks. The majority of protected land is large forested tracts (primarily state forests, wilderness areas, wild forests, and primitive areas) located in Adirondack Park which begins only 5 miles from Training Area 19 in the northeastern part of Fort Drum. State forest lands border some areas of Fort Drum. The nearest state wildlife area is Perch River Wildlife Management Area (7800 ac) approximately 5 miles to the northwest of the Cantonment Area of Fort Drum.
The natural beauty of the region along with world renowned fishing, boating, and winter recreation opportunities has made tourism a substantial part of the regional economy. This includes the Thousand Islands region along the St. Lawrence River approximately 20 miles to the north of Fort Drum, Lake Ontario approximately 16 miles to the west, and Adirondack Park to the east. The Black River running past Fort Drum and through Watertown is nationally known for kayaking. Fort Drum attracts hunters throughout the eastern U.S. See the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) web site for a guide to outdoor activities in New York State.
Fort Drum is home of the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry). It is also the largest installation in the northeastern U.S. and serves as a training facility for Reserve and National Guard units in the region. The initial acquisition of land for Fort Drum occurred in 1909 and the most significant acreage—75,000 acres—was acquired in 1940. Fort Drum is an active military installation and recreational use is secondary to the military mission.
To ensure sound natural resources management, an Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan (INRMP) was developed and first implemented in 2001 with revisions in 2011 and 2018. The INRMP was prepared in partnership and signatory cooperation with NYSDEC and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), representing the state and federal Sikes Act agencies, respectively.