Town of Coeymans

Deer Hunting Program for Local Residents of Alcove Reservoir




Albany Water Department Announces Deer Hunting Program for Local Residents of Alcove Reservoir

Program will align with the Department’s Forest Management Goals to Maintain High Water Quality

Albany, NY – For the 2021 hunting season, Albany Water Board lands surrounding the Alcove Reservoir will be available for deer hunting to select applicants. Hunting access will be granted by AWD permit and is only available to residents of Coeymans and Westerlo or City of Albany employees.

The Alcove Reservoir resides within the towns of Coeymans and Westerlo and is the main water supply for the City of Albany. It is surrounded by 5,000 acres of forestland, which serves as a filter and buffer, helping to protect water quality. The primary goal of the Deer Hunting Program is to maintain high water quality by promoting forestland regeneration.

There will be a limit of 100 total registered hunters, and applications are available at Paper copies will also be available at the Alcove Farmhouse at 17 Waterboard Rd, Coeymans Hollow, NY. The deadline for application is September 14, 2021. If over 100 hunters apply, a lottery to determine this year’s participants will be held on September 16, 2021. Applicants can call 518-434-5300 or email with any questions.

This program was made possible by NYS legislation that recently repealed a section of an antiquated NYS DEC law that prohibited hunting within the boundaries of the Alcove Reservoir. After decades without hunting on these lands, limited hunting was permitted during 2019 and 2020, and AWD will continue to issue deer hunting permits for every hunting season moving forward; as needed for forest management. The Deer Hunting Program has also been made possible due to a partnership with the Nature Conservancy to aid in forest management of the reservoir lands.

More on Forest Benefits and Regeneration

Native species such as wildflowers, grasses, tree seedlings, and even buds are preferred food sources for the white-tailed deer. With high herd density over an extended period, this grazing will reduce the forest understory to stunted native seedlings and invasive species. This cripples forest regeneration, and will eventually lead to a sort of ecological desert, in which native animals (including deer) will have little-to-no available food in an area, which will further endanger the native plants that we all rely on. As the Alcove Forestlands surround the Alcove Reservoir, which is the primary drinking water source for the City of Albany and several other localities, AWD needs to keep these lands healthy and regenerating in perpetuity so they may continue acting as an excellent filter and buffer to the Reservoir’s water quality.