DEC Announces Nov. 20 Opening of Southern Zone Deer Season and Southeastern Zone Bear Season

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DEC Announces Nov. 20 Opening of Southern Zone Deer Season and Southeastern Zone Bear SeasonBear Hunting in Central-Western New York Begins Nov. 27

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today reminded hunters that the 2010 regular deer season opens at sunrise on Saturday, Nov. 20, in New York’s Southern Zone. Regular bear hunting season in the southeastern portion of the southern bear range also begins on Nov. 20, while regular bear season in the central-western portion of the southern bear range begins Nov. 27.

These big game hunting seasons close at sunset on Sunday, Dec. 12. See the 2010-11 New York Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide for a map illustrating the specific boundaries and season dates for the bear ranges.

“New York’s deer and bear populations are great resources for the state, and hunting is an important part of New York’s outdoor heritage,” said DEC Acting Commissioner Peter Iwanowicz. “Hunters provide a valuable public service by maintaining wildlife populations at levels that are compatible with public interests and natural resources. I wish all hunters a safe season and encourage them to embrace their role in responsible game management.”

The Southern Zone regular deer season is New York’s most popular hunting season, with participation from more than 70 percent of New York deer hunters. Harvest during this season accounts for nearly 60 percent of the total statewide deer harvest.

Following the regular deer and bear seasons in the Southern Zone, late bowhunting and muzzleloading seasons will open at sunrise on Dec. 13 and close at sunset on Dec. 21. Hunters taking part in these special seasons must possess either bowhunting or muzzleloading privileges.

In the Northern Zone, the regular deer and bear hunting season have already opened (Oct. 23) and will close Dec. 5. This zone generally includes the Adirondack Mountains, Tug Hill Plateau, Eastern Lake Ontario Plain and the Champlain and St. Lawrence Valleys. A late muzzleloading season for deer will open in parts of the Northern Zone from Dec. 6-12.

Hunters interested in getting the most up-to-date information about deer and bear management in New York are invited to join our e-mail list, New York Big Game . You may also catch the latest updates on New York’s fish and wildlife by subscribing to Field Notes another free online e-mail list provided by the Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources.

For specific descriptions of regulations and open areas, hunters should refer to the 2010-11 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide. The guide is published annually and is available free of charge from all DEC regional wildlife offices, all license issuing agents and on the DEC website. Hunters are urged to review all regulations and safety tips contained in the guide.