State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos encourages hunters to review safety regulations to enhance their hunting experience, “This weekend, hundreds of thousands of big game hunters will head afield for the chance to harvest deer or bear in New York’s Southern Zone while enjoying time with family and friends in the great outdoors. I wish all hunters a safe and successful hunting season and encourage these outdoor adventurers and those visitors sharing the woods to put safety first and wear blaze orange or pink to see and be seen.”
The 2023-24 regular deer and bear hunting seasons in New York’s Southern Zone begin on Saturday, November 18 and continues through Sunday, December 10. The Southern Zone regular season is New York’s most popular hunting season, with participation from about 85% of New York’s 550,000 licensed hunters. Harvest during this season accounts for nearly 60% of the total statewide deer harvest and 30 to 60 percent of the statewide bear harvest.
Following the regular deer and bear hunting seasons in the Southern Zone, late bowhunting and muzzleloading seasons will run from December 11 through December 19, and again from December 26 through January 1. Hunters taking part in these late seasons must possess a hunting license and either bowhunting or muzzleloading privileges.
Daily hunting hours for deer and bear include the full daylight period, beginning 30 minutes before sunrise and continuing until 30 minutes after sunset. Hunters should check the sunrise and sunset times before hunting each day.
Once again this year, 12- and 13-year-old hunters may hunt deer with a firearm during the regular firearms season when accompanied by a licensed, experienced adult hunter. This pilot program was established by the New York State Legislature in 2021 and extended through 2025 for Upstate counties that choose to participate, including Chautauqua County.