Regular deer, bear season set to open on Saturday
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.