From Department of Environmental Conservation
-- New rules have been adopted that will affect deer and bear hunting in New York, to implement certain aspects of the state's Five-Year Deer Management Plan.
The DEC has started implementing several strategies in recently adopted Management Plan for White-tailed Deer, emphasizing hunting as the primary tool for deer management.
The Deer Management Plan was the foundation for these regulation changes and can be found online.
Some of the changes include:
Bowhunting season and the regular season for the Southern Zone in Westchester County (bowhunting only) begins on Oct. 1; a late bowhunting season will be concurrent with the late muzzleloader season in the Northern Zone.
Northern Zone season dates will be adjusted, opening the Northern Zone regular season for 44 days, beginning on the second Saturday after Columbus Day. This is a slight change from the original proposal to begin the regular season on the fourth Saturday in October. Some hunters were concerned that the original proposal would extend the season too late into December. The adopted season structure results in fewer years when the regular season will extend later than it has in the past.
Allowing Deer Management Permits (doe tags) to be used in all seasons in the Northern Zone. This change will simplify regulations and increase hunter opportunity and choice. No management impact is expected since DEC determines the total number of DMPs issued in each area of the state based on current deer population conditions and hunting activity.
The full text of the adopted regulations is available at www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/81317.html.
To understand DEC rationale for the adopted season changes or to review assessment of public comments on this rulemaking, see www.dec.ny.gov/docs/wildlife_pdf/deerregapc2012.pdf .
Also, the 2012 deer hunting seasons can be found at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/28605.html.
Additional information about mandatory antler restrictions in New York is available at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/27663.html.