Opening Day For Regular Hunting Season Starts On Saturday
Published: November 17th, 2023

Opening day for regular hunting season starts on Saturday Regular hunting season in New York begins on Saturday, November 18 and continues through Sunday, Dec. 10. (ES stock photo)

CHENANGO COUNTY – New York's most popular hunting season begins on Saturday, November 18. and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos encourages hunters to review safety regulations.

"This weekend, hundreds of thousands of big game hunters will head afield for the chance to harvest deer or bear in New York's Southern Zone while enjoying time with family and friends in the great outdoors," said Commissioner Seggos. "I wish all hunters a safe and successful hunting season and encourage these outdoor adventurers and those visitors sharing the woods to put safety first and wear blaze orange or pink to see and be seen."

The 2023-24 regular deer and bear hunting seasons in New York's Southern Zone, including Chenango County, begins on Saturday and continues through Sunday, Dec. 10. The Southern Zone regular season is New York's most popular hunting season, with participation from about 85 percent of New York's 550,000 licensed hunters. Harvest during this season accounts for nearly 60 percent of the total statewide deer harvest and 30 to 60 percent of the statewide bear harvest.

Following the regular deer and bear hunting seasons in the Southern Zone, late bowhunting and muzzleloading seasons will run from Dec. 11 through Dec. 19, and again from Dec. 26 through Jan. 1. Hunters taking part in these late seasons must possess a hunting license and either bowhunting or muzzleloading privileges.

Daily hunting hours for deer and bear include the full daylight period, beginning 30 minutes before sunrise and continuing until 30 minutes after sunset. Hunters should check the sunrise and sunset times before hunting each day.

The 2021 and 2022 hunting seasons were the safest on record and DEC is encouraging all hunters to continue to take steps to remain safe while afield. Most hunting-related injuries occur when hunters are climbing in and out of a tree stand. Hunters should read the manufacturer's instructions and warnings before using a tree stand, check all stands (including straps and chains) before every season, and replace any worn or missing parts. Hunters should also wear a fall-arrest harness with a lifeline to stay connected from the time they leave the ground to the time they get back down and never climb in or out of a tree stand with a loaded firearm.

Hunters must wear fluorescent orange or fluorescent pink clothing (either a hat, vest, or jacket which are visible in all directions) when pursuing deer or bear with a firearm, and should always 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.

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Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.

With DEC's HuntFishNY mobile app, reporting a deer, bear, or turkey harvest is easier than ever. Through the mobile app, hunters, anglers and trappers can access an electronic version of their licenses and report their harvests immediately while afield on their mobile device. Hunters can also report their harvest by calling (1-866-GAME-RPT) or through DEC's website. (Link leaves DEC's website) Reporting your harvest is required by law, so please remember to Take It, Tag It, Report It!

Also following these tips: Choose non-lead ammunition for reduced risk of lead exposure to you and non-target wildlife. Hunters can donate venison to help those less fortunate while contributing to deer management. For the first time this season, big game hunters can use rifles in Onondaga County.

For specific descriptions of regulations and open areas, hunters should refer to the 2023-2024 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide on the DEC website. Hunters are urged to review all regulations and safety tips contained in the guide.

-From the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation