NEW YORK (WETM) – Deer and bear bowhunting season will begin on Sept. 27 in the Northern Zone and Oct. 1 in the Southern Zone, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

DEC has initiated several changes to big game seasons this year through regulations. Bowhunters may only use crossbows during the latter portions of bow seasons: the last 10 days of the Northern Zone bow season (Oct. 13-22); and the last 14 days of the Southern Zone bow season (Nov. 6-19).

To hunt with a crossbow during these periods, the law requires bowhunters to possess a muzzleloader privilege and a crossbow qualifications certificate.

“New York provides terrific opportunities for bowhunters,” Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “Mild weather, longer days, and new hunting hours extending 30 minutes before sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset make the early bow season a great time to be in the woods with friends and family.”

For more information about DEC’s big game hunting seasons, new regulations, and hunter safety information including new requirements to wear hunter orange or pink, go to: