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2016-08-10 / Outdoor Life

New Regulations for Deer, Bear Hunting

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has unveiled new regulations concerning deer and bear hunting.

The regulations increase opportunities for junior hunters to take bears. They also rescind a 2015 antlerless rule in portions of southeastern New York and the Lake Plains, reduce antlerless harvests in two management units in the western Adirondacks, and clarify when special season tags may be used by bow and muzzleloader hunters where the deer populations are above desired levels. Bow and muzzleloader users may now take antlered and antlerless deer during the entire season in those wildlife management units (WMUs).

A new bear hunting regulation now includes the taking of bears in the youth firearms hunt over Columbus Day weekend, which previously was a deer-only event.

Another regulatory change is a technical correction, clarifying that hunters who purchase both the bow and muzzleloader license privileges may use the bow/muzzleloader either-sex and bow/muzzleloader antlerless-only deer tags in either season or both of the seasons with the appropriate implement. Hunters who purchase just one of the special season privileges are still only allowed to use the bow/ muzzleloader tag during that particular special season.

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