N.Y. (WETM) – The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is encouraging all outdoor enthusiasts to share the woods and follow proper safety precautions throughout the fall and winter seasons.

With hunting season underway, the DEC has provided the following tips for hunters and hikers to keep in mind when out in wooded areas:

  • Tell someone where you intend to be and when you plan to return. If plans change, notify that person
  • Dress for the weather
  • Become familiar with planned hiking trails and hunting areas
  • Wear bright clothing; blazing orange or blaze pink
  • Pack the 10 essentials, especially a light source, map and first aid kit

Additionally, those who are seeking solitude in the woods are encouraged to search for locations that are popular and avoid crowds to minimize disturbances associated with other forms of recreation. Those who choose to bring pets along with them are encouraged to keep them on a leash to avoid problems with other people in the area, as well as wild animals. Brightly colored collars, leashes or coverings are also encouraged.

Regular big game hunting season in the Northern Zone began on Oct. 21 and will close on Dec. 3. Bowhunting season for deer and bear is ongoing in the Southern Zone and ends at the beginning of the regular firearms season on Nov. 18.

For more information and tips about sharing the woods safely in the coming season, visit the DEC website.