MID-HUDSON/CATSKILLS – Hundreds of big game hunters are taking to the woods today, the opening of the regular firearms season for deer and bear. It runs through Sunday, December 10.
Approximately 85 percent of New York’s 575,000 licensed hunters participate in the southern zone. Harvest during the season accounts for nearly 60 percent of the total statewide deer harvest and 30 percent to 60 percent of the statewide bear harvest.
Following the regular deer and bear seasons, late bowhunting and muzzleloading seasons will run from December 11 through December 19. Hunters who take part in those seasons must possess a hunting license and either bowhunting or muzzleloading privileges.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation, which oversees the hunting programs, encourages hunter safety. DEC believes every hunting-related shooting incident is preventable, said Commissioner Basil Seggos.