Reg­u­lar deer, bear sea­son set to open on Satur­day

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - Free­man staff con­trib­uted to this re­port.

The 2016 reg­u­lar deer and bear hunt­ing sea­son in the Hud­son Val­ley-Catskills re­gion be­gin at sun­rise on Satur­day and con­tin­ues through Dec. 11.

The re­gion is within the South­ern Zone, which is the most pop­u­lar hunt­ing area in the state, with about 85 percent of New York’s 550,000 li­censed hun­ters par­tic­i­pat­ing.

The South­ern Zone sea­son ac­counts for nearly 60 percent of the to­tal an­nual num­ber of deer killed statewide and 30 percent to 60 percent of the bears killed statewide, ac­cord­ing to the state Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion.

En­vi­ron­men­tal Com­mis­sioner Basil Seg­gos char­ac­ter­ized the hunt­ing sea­son as “one of the most im­por­tant con­ser­va­tion ef­forts needed to im­ple­ment (the) Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion’s sci­ence-based man­age­ment strate­gies each year,

and the open­ing of the reg­u­lar sea­son is a cher­ished tra­di­tion for many New York­ers.”

Fol­low­ing the reg­u­lar deer and bear sea­sons in this re­gion, late bow-hunt­ing and muz­zle-load­ing sea­sons will run from Dec.

1 through Dec. 20.

Hun­ters in those spe­cial sea­sons must pos­sess a hunt­ing li­cense and ei­ther bow-hunt­ing or muz­zle-load­ing priv­i­leges.

Seg­gos is again rec­om­mend­ing hun­ters pass up shots on young, small-antlered bucks.

“Many hun­ters have told the DEC that they would like to see more older bucks and hun­ters can make a

dif­fer­ence in the fu­ture of the sport by pass­ing up young bucks,” Seg­gos said.

Hun­ters may re­port their har­vest on the DEC’s on­line game har­vest re­port­ing sys­tem or by call­ing the toll-free au­to­mated sys­tem at 1-866-GAMERPT. (1-866-426-3778).

Hun­ters are also re­minded to re­mem­ber the five ba­sic rules of firearms safety:

1. Point guns in a safe di­rec­tion.

2. Treat ev­ery gun as if it is loaded.

3. Be sure of the tar­get and be­yond.

4. Keep the fin­ger off the trig­ger un­til ready to shoot.

5. Re­mem­ber to wear Hunter Or­ange.

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