Outdoor Journal: Deer, bear firearms season in Southern Zone starts Nov. 20


The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced through a press release that regular firearms season for deer and bear in the Southern Zone begins on Saturday, Nov. 20. The DEC encourages hunters to review new safety regulations and changes this season that will enhance their hunting experience.

Regular firearms season for deer and bear in New York’s Southern Zone runs from Nov. 20 through Dec. 12. It is New York’s most popular hunting season, and approximately 85% of New York’s 550,000 licensed hunters participate. Harvest during this season accounts for nearly 60% of the total statewide deer harvest and 30-60% of the statewide bear harvest. Interesting statistics.

Hunters ages 12 and 13 can hunt deer with a firearm when accompanied by a licensed, experienced adult in counties that choose to participate in the pilot program, which was established by the New York State Legislature and will run through 2023. Extended daily hunting hours will run from 30 minutes before sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset, allowing hunters to utilize the full daylight period.

All hunters pursing 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. This change will make hunting even safer.

A reminder to follow the basic rules of firearm safety:

Point your gun in a safe direction.

Treat every gun as if it were loaded.

Be sure of your target and beyond.

Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.

With the DEC’s HuntFishNY mobile app, reporting a deer or bear harvest is easier than ever.

Through the mobile app, hunters, anglers, and trappers can access electronic licenses and report the harvest of deer, bear, and turkey immediately while afield on a mobile device in seconds. You still may use the phone reporting system (866-GAME-RPT) or report online, but the mobile system is faster and more convenient, and easier for hunters to accurately enter information.

Remember harvest is required by law, so hunters are encouraged to take it, tag it, report it.

I received an email that 14-year-old Keelin Noyes of Schoharie County shot her first deer, a doe, in the town of Esperance, and she did it with a bow. Fantastic, Keelin.

She was hunting with her father Jordan Noyes. You may remember her name, as she was in the paper in May 2021 at age 13, when she took down a 22-pound turkey. Congratulations to Keelin and a wonderful example of youth hunting for both girls and boys.

Since turkey and pheasant hunting is open, I am taking advantage of a hunt with an old hunting buddy, Clarence Peck, who called me up on Nov. 6. Peck is the grandson of the owner of Pecks Lake in Gloversville.

I invited my friend Steve Zahurak of Schenectady to come along as my therapy guide. I’m still trying to build myself up for outdoor hunting. This time,

I will be properly dressed for the cold weather.

Contact Ed Noonan at [email protected].

Categories: Sports

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