Department of Environmental Conservation

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For Release: Friday, October 4, 2019

DEC Announces New Law that Permanently Allows Use of Additional Hunting Implements for Big Game Seasons in Orleans County and Portions of Broome County

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced that Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently signed a law permanently adding rifles to the list of implements authorized for big game hunting in Orleans County and a portion of Broome County west of the Susquehanna River. Rifle hunting for big game in these areas was operating under a law set to expire on Oct. 1, 2019, but the recent legislation now makes it permanent.

The newly signed law allows pistols, rifles, crossbows, longbows, muzzle-loaded firearms, and shotguns to be used during the big game hunting regular season in these areas of the Southern Zone, which takes place between Nov. 16 and Dec. 8 this year.

The new law continues helpful reforms taking place to support Governor Cuomo's NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative that aims to improve recreational opportunities for hunters and anglers and to boost tourism activities throughout the state. This includes streamlining fishing and hunting licenses, reducing license fees, improving access for fishing, and increasing hunting opportunities in the state.

The number of hunting-related incidents have declined dramatically in the last several decades, and every incident that does happen can be avoided if hunters follow the laws and basic rules of hunting safety. DEC encourages hunters to use common sense this season and remember what they were taught in their DEC Hunter Education Course.

Firearms Safety:

  1. Point your gun in a safe direction;
  2. Treat every gun as if it were loaded;
  3. Be sure of your target and beyond; and
  4. Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot
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