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DEC invites feedback on several ideas for potential deer and bear hunting rule changes

Senior hunter aiming a deer in his sight under the snow,Quebec, Canada

To improve public awareness about ideas being considered for future hunting rule changes, DEC has created a new webpage (Public Input on Hunting Regulations). To kick this off, we invite feedback on a couple of ideas related to deer and bear hunting in 2016: (1) allowing junior hunters to take bears during the Youth Firearms Deer Hunt, (2) reducing antlerless harvest in WMUs 6F and 6J, and (3) rescinding the antlerless-only requirement during portions of the bow and muzzleloader season in a handful of Southern Zone WMUs.

These ideas are not formal proposals at this time, just options being considered as potential changes for the 2016-17 season. Please see Public Input on Hunting Regulations to read more about the ideas and to provide feedback.

Also, many hunters are aware that DEC has been engaged in a process to determine the best path forward for reducing harvest of young bucks, including possible expansion of mandatory antler point restrictions. We will be meeting with leaders of NY hunting organizations and other interested groups in early February to discuss the outcome of this process and our intended next steps. We will provide the information broadly to hunters thereafter, and will invite feedback on this issue at that time. In the meantime, much information about the decision process considered is available at DEC’s Buck Harvest Management webpage.