Regular Hunting Opens Saturday

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ELMIRA, N.Y. (18 NEWS) The regular deer and bear hunting season opens this Saturday, November 15.

Bow season has been open for a few weeks, but at sunrise on Saturday hunters will be able to head to the woods with their firearms.  “Hunting is an important part of New York’s outdoor heritage and a vital tool in managing our state’s wildlife resources,” said Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens. “I wish all hunters a safe and successful season.”

Ahead of the opening of the regular hunting season, the D.E.C. reminds hunters of the importance of reviewing safety tips and taking precautions.  Hunters are encouraged to wear florescent orange, because studies show individuals wearing hunter orange clothing are seven times less likely to be injured than hunters who do not.

Other tips and changes include: 
  • Rifles authorized for Livingston and Albany counties:New legislation allows the use of rifles for big game hunting in Livingston County and most of Albany County. Visit DEC’s website at for “Rifle, Shotgun, and Bow Areas” and other areas where rifles can be used.
  • Crossbows:Crossbows may be used during the regular deer seasons in all parts of New York, except Westchester and Suffolk counties, and parts of Albany and Monroe counties. See pages 8 and 9 of the Official Hunting & Trapping Laws and Regulations Guide ( to review all requirements associated with the use of crossbows or visit the DEC website (
  • Help Protect New York Deer from Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD):To keep potentially infectious material out of New York, hunters are prohibited from bringing whole deer carcasses and some carcass parts into New York from any state or province with CWD, now including Pennsylvania and Ohio. Find the details for CWD Regulations for Hunters and read more about how to prevent the spread of CWD at
  • Deer Management Focus Area in Tompkins County:This program will continue to assist communities in the Ithaca area with the burden of overabundant deer populations. Visit DEC’s website at for “Deer Management Focus Areas” and for information and registration.
  • Reducing Harvest of Young Bucks:Mandatory antler restrictions (bucks must have at least 3 points on one side) are in effect in WMUs 3A, 3C, 3H, 3J, 3K, 4G, 4O, 4P, 4R, 4S, and 4W during all seasons for all hunters 17 years and older. Many hunters in other areas are voluntarily choosing not to take young, small-antlered bucks, thereby allowing most of these bucks to live another year, get a bit bigger and grow slightly larger antlers. Through the personal choice of thousands of hunters, we’ve seen a shift in the annual buck harvest to include an increasing number and percentage of older bucks. For more information see “Voluntary Antler Restrictions” at
  • Junior Hunters:Junior Hunters (14 and 15 years old) can hunt deer and bear with a firearm when appropriately accompanied by an experienced adult. See the “Junior Hunter Mentoring” webpage at for program requirements and to download the Mentored Youth Hunter Permission Form.
  • Harvest Reporting:All successful hunters are required to report their harvest of deer and bear within seven days. Failure to report harvested deer or bear is a violation of NYS Environmental Conservation Law. Hunters may report via DEC’s online game harvest reporting system at or by calling the toll-free automated reporting system at 1-866-GAME-RPT (1-866-426-3778).
  • Black Bear Tooth Collection:Successful bear hunters are asked to submit a tooth of their bear so DEC can age the bear and monitor bear population dynamics. See Bear Tooth Collection at for instructions.
  • Venison Donation:Hunters are encouraged to participate in the Venison Donation program ( By obtaining permits and donating one’s deer, hunters help accomplish the needed deer management and can feed less fortunate families.

    For more information head to

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