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For Release: Friday, September 10, 2021

DEC Announces Special Antlerless Deer Season in Select Areas Opens Saturday, Sept. 11

New Opportunity for Hunters to Help Manage Localized Deer Populations

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today reminded hunters that a special mid-September antlerless deer season begins this Saturday, Sept. 11, in select Wildlife Management Units (WMUs), creating a new opportunity for hunters to enjoy early season deer hunting.

"New York's experts take great pride in scientifically managing our deer populations and continue to advance new measures to improve deer management and create new hunting opportunities in the state. This new special season is an important step to manage deer populations in these areas," Commissioner Seggos said. "Right now, deer populations are at or above target levels in some parts of New York State and DEC encourages hunters to help advance our efforts by taking does in these areas."

The new season begins Sept. 11, and runs through Sept. 19. Youth and senior hunters can take advantage of this new opportunity during warmer temperatures, which is uncommon during regular hunting seasons.

Hunters may only use Deer Management Permits (DMPs) and Deer Management Assistance Permit (DMAP) tags in this season. They may use firearms, crossbows, or vertical bows in WMUs 3M, 3R, 8A, 8F, 8G, 8J, 8N, 9A, and 9F, and only vertical bows in WMUs 1C, 3S, 4J, and 8C. These are the only areas where deer hunting is allowed during this season. In these areas, additional antlerless harvest is needed to achieve deer management objectives, which are based on public input and assessments of deer impacts to forests. Hunters that participate in this special season should be prepared to cool and process harvested deer quickly to preserve the meat quality.

With foliage still on the trees at this time of year, DEC reminds hunters to always follow the primary rules of gun safety. Assume every firearm is loaded; keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction; keep the safety on and finger off the trigger until ready to shoot; and always be sure of your target and what is beyond it. For more information on hunter safety, visit DEC's website and watch a video about hunter safety and tree stand safety (links leave DEC's website) for more tips on how to prevent accidents.

DEC proposed the special antlerless deer season in June 2021, as part of the updated New York State Deer Management Plan. Earlier this month, DEC adopted the proposal, as well as other proposed changes to deer hunting, including expanding hunting hours and mandating hunter orange.

Hunting hours were expanded to include the full period of ambient light from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. This change matches the national standard for big game hunting. Anyone hunting big game with a firearm, or accompanying someone hunting big game with a firearm, must wear a solid or patterned fluorescent orange or fluorescent pink hat, vest, or jacket. Similar fluorescent orange requirements exist in most states.

More information on the recent changes to deer hunting can be found on DEC's website.

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