SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – This week, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is offering tags for those looking to hunt deer this season at the Doodletown Wildlife Management Area in Columbia County. Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) tags are available at a DEC site in Ancram, part of the WMA itself, courtesy of the DEC Schenectady office.

The tags will be available to anyone who has a valid New York State hunting license. A limited number of tags are available and will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis. Tags can be obtained at the parking lot of Ancram Town Hall, 1416 County Road 7 in Ancram. Tags will be available from 5-7:30 p.m. on Sept. 23, with any leftovers available at DEC Region 4 Headquarters at 1130 North Westcott Road in Schenectady, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 4.

“The goal of the Deer Management Assistance Program within Doodletown WMA is to create a healthier, more biologically diverse forest ecosystem,” said DEC Regional Director Anthony Luisi in an announcement on Friday. “By controlling the deer population on this WMA, the young forest habitat that the New England cottontail requires will have the opportunity to regenerate. This is a great opportunity for hunters to take an additional deer while helping with forest management.”

The Doodletown WMA is 1,078 acres in size. Its main purposes include wildlife management, habitat management and recreation like hunting, which relies on healthy wildlife communities. Deer hunting is being allowed in the Doodletown WMA due to a determination by the DEC that the deer population is currently large enough to inhibit the regrowth of areas of forest prioritized in order to improve the habitat for the New England cottontail rabbit. The WMA mostly occupies land in the towns of Ancram, Taghkanic and Gallatin.