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Holiday hunt to continue this year
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos reminded hunters that many deer-hunting opportunities are still available in New York, and encouraged new and experienced hunters to participate.
“Late-season deer hunting provides a great opportunity to enjoy time afield with family and friends,” Seggos said. “The holiday deer hunt continues again this year for hunters across the southern zone, allowing families to hunt together when students are on break from school and many adults have time off from work. I hope all hunters continue to have a safe and successful big-game hunting season.”
The regular firearms season in the southern zone includes a late bow and muzzleloader season from Dec. 12-20 and Dec. 26 to Jan. 1.
The holiday deer hunt is an extension of the late bow and muzzleloader season, running from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1. Hunters must possess a bowhunting or muzzleloading privilege to participate in the late-bow or muzzleloader season, and they may use all deer carcass tags valid during those seasons.
Additional late-season opportunities include:
√ Bowhunting for deer continues in Westchester County until Dec. 31;
√ The January firearms season in Suffolk County is open Jan. 1-31; and
√ The special deer management focus area season for antlerless deer in central Tompkins County is Jan. 14-31.
DEC stated, “These late seasons are also a great time to get venison for consumption or to donate venison to others. Every late-season deer hunter has at least one tag for antlerless deer, with either-sex and antlerless-only bow/muzz tags, and unfilled regular season tags, which can also be used for antlerless deer during the late seasons.
“Remember, it is now a requirement to wear blaze orange or pink when pursuing deer with a firearm. This requirement helps you identify other hunters that may be downrange and alerts hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts that they are sharing the woods with you. In addition, always follow the basics of hunter safety.”
DEC offered the following tips:
√ Treat every firearm as if it is loaded.
√ Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
√ Keep your finger off the trigger, and outside the trigger guard, until you are ready to shoot.
√ Always be sure of your target and what is in front of it and behind it.
DEC also encouraged all hunters to follow the "ABCs" of tree stand safety:
√ Always remove and inspect the tree stand before use;
√ Buckle on the full body harness securely every time; and
√ Connect to the tree before your feet leave the ground.
For additional hunting safety information, visit DEC’s website at https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7860.html#Basics.