The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced new regulation changes for big game hunters starting this fall hunting season. The new changes include extending big game …
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced new regulation changes for big game hunters starting this fall hunting season. The new changes include extending big game hunting hours to be 30 minutes before sunrise and 30 minutes after sunset, require big game firearms hunters to wear 250 square inches of blaze orange or pink clothing, and create a nine-day antlerless deer season in several Southern Zone Wildlife Management Units that have high deer populations. DEC also created a new holiday day deer hunt scheduled for December 26 to January 1st to give hunters the opportunity to take a deer.
DEC also reminded hunters on its website of the expanded junior hunting pilot program that will allow 12 and 13 age hunters to hunt deer this fall in all but a few counties. DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “I am confident that the rule changes will provide hunters with a better all-around experience while ensuring their safety. In addition, these actions bring New York in line with the common practices of states and provinces across North America.”
The DEC announced these proposed hunting changes in June this year after adopting the updated New York State Deer Management Plan. Hunters had until August 8, 2021 to submit public comments. After considering all the comments, the rules have now been adopted as a DEC regulation.
In regards to the blaze orange or blaze pink clothing regulation, it requires anyone hunting big game with a firearm (including muzzleloaders), or anyone accompanying someone hunting big game with a firearm, to wear a solid or patterned fluorescent orange or fluorescent pink hat, vest or jacket. DEC stated that most two-party hunting related shooting incidents in New York involve a hunter victim who was not wearing fluorescent orange or pink clothing.
I have often said it before, if wearing blaze orange or pink clothing saves just one human life, it is worth wearing. It is about time the NY DEC adopted this hunting safety rule and made it mandatory to wear blaze orange or pink clothing while hunting big game with a firearm.
In regards to the new 7-day holiday deer hunt that DEC said will give hunters who have not taken a deer, another opportunity to do so. It will also help the economy here in Sullivan County where businesses that depend upon hunter influx and local hunter activity would welcome a holiday bonus from this special deer hunt, especially before slower business winter months.
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