DEC announces Southern zone ‘Holiday Deer Hunt’ for December

New York: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos has announced the adoption of a new regulation to establish a “Holiday Deer Hunt” today by extending the late bow and muzzleloader hunting seasons for deer from December 26 to Janauary 1, in New York’s Southern Zone.

“As part of our ongoing efforts to capitalize on the growing interest in hunting, we’re excited to announce that beginning this December,” said, Commissioner Seggos, “The Holiday Deer Hunt will provide new opportunities for New Yorkers and visiting hunters to venture afield during a time when families and friends are gathered together for the holidays and students are home on school break, he added.

The new season provides an additional seven days of late season hunting with bows and muzzleloaders. Hunters must purchase a bowhunting or muzzleloading privilege to participate in the late bow or muzzleloader seasons and may use all deer carcass tags valid during those seasons.

The expanded hunting season will only apply to New York’s Southern Zone. In the Northern Zone, deer may already be moving to wintering areas by late December. Hunting seasons that occur when deer are migrating or are already concentrated in wintering areas could result in localized overharvest. In addition, DEC will adaptively manage this new program and assess any potential impacts to other outdoor recreational activities or localized deer herds.

Last September, DEC requested public comment on the proposal to hold a holiday hunt. DEC received more than 3,000 comments on the proposal.

DEC biologists anticipate many families may take advantage of this new opportunity. Given the requirement for use of primitive weapons, biologists do not anticipate a significant effect on deer harvest or local deer populations.

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