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Bowhunting season opens Saturday, Oct. 1 ADVERTISEMENT

Bowhunting season opens Saturday, Oct. 1

FINGER LAKES--New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced early bowhunting seasons for deer in New York State will begin Saturday Oct. 1 in the southern half of the state.
Early bow season for deer and bear begins Saturday and runs through Nov. 18. Early bow season for deer began in the Northern Zone at sunrise Tuesday, Sept. 27, and continues through Oct. 21.
"Hunting opportunities in New York have never been better and the start of hunting season is an essential economic driver for communities across the state," said Seggos. "[...] With mild weather, longer days, and deer in early season feeding patterns, the early bow season is a great time to be in the woods. It's also a perfect opportunity to introduce new hunters to deer hunting."
Under rules established by the New York State Legislature, bowhunters may opt to use a crossbow during latter portions of bow seasons. This occurs in the last 14 days of the Southern Zone bow season (Nov. 5 through 18) and the last 10 days of the Northern Zone bow season (Oct. 12 through 21). To hunt with a crossbow during these periods, bowhunters must possess a muzzleloader privilege and a qualifications certificate (see for details).
"We expect that bowhunters will see more deer than in years past," Seggos said. "With many hunters interested in seeing more older bucks in the field, bowhunters might want to consider passing up shots on young bucks, and in areas where deer populations are larger than desired, to focus their hunting on antlerless deer."
The DEC invites bowhunters to help monitor deer and other wildlife populations by participating in the Bowhunter Sighting Log ( The Bowhunter Sighting Log includes a diary of bowhunting activity and the number of animals seen. This data helps DEC track deer and other wildlife populations.
To participate, email the DEC ( -- specify Bowhunter Sighting Log in the subject line) and provide your name, address, hunter ID (back tag number), the counties where you typically hunt and whether you have participated in New York's bowhunter log in any previous year.
Deer hunters should also be aware that the application deadline for Deer Management Permits (DMPs) is Oct. 1. Hunters should know which Wildlife Management Unit they intend to hunt before applying. See for DMP targets and the chances of being selected by WMU.

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