Photo contributed

Mike Dodig Jr. of Saugerties with a real nice buck he got with a bow during the early archery season. 

With deer season beginning at sunrise on Saturday, November 21 throughout much of the southern part of New York State, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos is encouraging outdoor enthusiasts to respectfully share the woods and follow some common-sense safety precautions.

“One result of the COVID-19 pandemic is an increase in the number of people participating in outdoor recreation as New Yorkers are looking for new adventures,” Commissioner Seggos said. “Since most public lands in New York are open to multiple forms of recreation, outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds, including hunters and trappers, will be sharing these lands. Whether you are a hiker, hunter, nature photographer, mountain biker, or trapper, following a few simple measures can make your choice of recreation safe and enjoyable while sharing the outdoors with others.”

DEC encouraged all outdoor enthusiasts-hunters and non-hunters alike-to wear blaze orange, blaze pink, or another bright color, especially during fall and winter. They state doing so will allow these individuals to be seen more easily and from greater distances. In addition, they added wearing bright colors makes it easier for Forest Rangers, Environmental Conservation Police Officers, and other rescue personnel to find lost, sick, or injured people afield. Pet owners are encouraged to dress their dogs in blaze orange or pink or another bright color vest or scarf. They caution dogs should also stay leashed at all times.

Hunting is among the most popular forms of wildlife recreation in the state, drawing an estimated 600,000 New Yorkers. Hunting is safe and economically important, helping to manage wildlife populations and promote family traditions, while fostering an understanding and respect for the environment. Hikers should be aware that they may encounter hunters bearing firearms or archery equipment on trails. Hunters should likewise recognize that they may encounter hikers and others enjoying the outdoors. Hunting-related shooting incidents involving non-hunters are extremely rare.

DEC emphasized they’ll be lots of first-time deer hunters that have been added to the ranks this year.

On that topic, Commissioner Seggos stated in DEC’s ‘Share the Woods’ reminder,

“With potential record numbers of new hunters in the woods expected on opening day of the firearms deer season in the Southern Zone (on) Saturday, November 21, we all need to remember the four rules of firearms safety:

Treat every firearm as if it is loaded;

Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction;

Hunters should keep their fingers off the trigger and outside the trigger guard until ready to shoot; and

Always be sure of the target and what is beyond.

Hunters Helping the Hungry: Given the current situation facing all of us, its more important than ever for hunters to remember their neighbors as they always have done in the past. Let’s get through this together.

Consider making the extra effort to donate a deer or a portion of it, at your local cutter who participates in a venison donation program. Hunters are among those that can be relied upon to help our neighbors get through these tough times with a generous donation of venison.

Here’s a list of some area deer cutters that participate in a Venison Donation Program:

Columbia County

Gary Peters, 72 George Rd, Ghent, NY 12075, 518-392-7146

Randy Plass, 177 Alvords Dock Rd, Columbiaville, 518‑755‑6928

Greene County

Rich’s Custom Meat Shop, 311 Maple Ave, Greenville, 518-966 8597

Berkshire View Custom Cut Meat, 838 Alcove Road, Hannacroix, 518-751-6084

Les Armstrong, 936 Hervey Street, Cornwallville, 518‑622‑8452

Happy Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping and Hunt Safe until next time.

Remember to report poaching violations by calling 1-844-DEC-ECOS.

You can share any comments with our sports desk at sports@registerstar.com

*If you have a fishing or hunting report, photo, or event you would like to be considered for publication, send it to: huntfishreport@gmail.com

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