Firearms season for deer and bear begins this Saturday, November 20th.
The State Department of Environmental Conservation encourages hunters to review new safety regulations and changes this season.
New this year, 12- and 13-year-old hunters can hunt deer with a firearm when accompanied by a licensed, experienced adult in Chautauqua County. The pilot program was established by the New York State Legislature through 2023.
Also new, the DEC extended the daily hunting hours to run from 30 minutes before sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset, allowing hunters to utilize the full daylight period. Hunters should check the sunrise and sunset times before hunting each day.
All hunters pursuing deer or bear with a firearm are now required to wear fluorescent orange or fluorescent pink clothing, either a hat, vest, or jacket visible in all directions.
The DEC also encourages non-hunters to wear bright colors during fall and winter months to be seen more easily and from greater distances. Pet owners are encouraged to affix a bright colored vest or scarf on their dogs and keep pets leashed at all times.
The Southern Zone regular hunting season, which runs until December 12th, is New York’s most popular hunting season, and approximately 85 percent of New York’s 550,000 licensed hunters participate. Harvest during this season accounts for nearly 60 percent of the total statewide deer harvest and 30-60 percent of the statewide bear harvest.