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Buffalo, NY | Local News, Weather, Traffic, Sports | WGRZ.com

Regular firearms season for deer, bear hunting underway in Southern Zone

The DEC says this season is the most popular in the state, 'with participation from about 85 percent of New York's 550,000 licensed hunters.'

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The regular firearms season for hunting deer and bear is now underway in the Southern Zone across much of New York State.

Safety, as always, is of great concern for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

"Regulated hunting is one of the most important conservation efforts New Yorkers engage in each year," Commissioner Basil Seggos said. "Hunters help balance deer and bear populations with local habitats and land uses, while enjoying cherished family traditions and harvesting more than 11 million pounds of quality, locally grown, organic meat."

"We want everyone to stay safe this hunting season and for hunters to remain vigilant in their efforts to prevent introducing chronic wasting disease to New York."

The regular deer and bear hunting seasons run through December 13. The DEC says this season is the most popular in the state, "with participation from about 85 percent of New York's 550,000 licensed hunters."

Chronic wasting disease remains a concern, though, and the DEC provided some tips for hunters:

  • If hunting any type of deer, elk, moose, or caribou outside of New York, debone the animal before bringing it back. See CWD Regulations for Hunters. DEC will confiscate and destroy illegally imported carcasses and parts;
  • Do not use deer urine-based lures or attractant scents;
  • Dispose of carcass waste in a landfill, not on the landscape;
  • Report deer that appear sick or act abnormally; and
  • Hunt only wild deer and support fair chase hunting principles.

The DEC also encourages hunters to pass on shots at young, small-antlered bucks, preferring that hunters seek older bucks.