Big changes could be coming to bear and deer hunting season this fall in the Hudson Valley.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation shared on their Facebook page on Friday, June 18th the following statement:

DEC has proposed several rule changes that will affect deer and bear hunting this fall. The changes are designed to improve deer management, simplify big game hunting, expand hunting opportunity, and increase hunter safety.

The DEC is proposing 5 new rule changes that involve hunting hours, safety gear, and extending firearm seasons. Here's how the Department of Environmental Conservation explained the new proposed rules:

  • - Extend legal hunting hours for deer and bear to begin 30-minutes before sunrise and end 30-minutes after sunset;

  • - Increase hunter safety by requiring all hunters pursuing deer or bear with a firearm to wear a solid or patterned fluorescent orange or fluorescent pink hat or vest or jacket;

  • - Increase antlerless deer harvest by establishing a 9-day firearms season in September for antlerless deer in certain WMUs;

  • - Allow hunters to harvest deer of either sex during the early muzzleloader season in three northern New York WMUs; and,

  • - Simplify bear hunting in the Adirondack portion of the Northern Zone by extending the regular firearm season to cover the entire hunting period.

While many hunters on the Facebook post shared their positive thoughts when it comes to the new safety measures, others weren't thrilled with the thought of adding another season to the hunting schedule.

The New York State DEC is now currently taking "written public comments" on the proposed regulations. You can submit your comments on the DEC website until August 8th, 2021.

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