Gun season for deer opens in the Southern Zone on Saturday, November 21. It promises to be a busy one. Back in September, DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos reported his agency was,
“…experiencing record-breaking sales of hunting and trapping licenses for upcoming seasons.
Sales for big game hunting and trapping licenses and Deer Management Permits (DMPs) were nearly triple prior years’ sales on opening day, more than double on the second day and nearly double the first two weeks.”
DEC said they anticipated a very busy hunting season due to record license sales combined with high participation in online hunter education classes.
“Thousands of New Yorkers are getting outside for a nature break this year during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and we’re seeing record-setting enthusiasm from both experienced hunters and anglers and those new to the sport,” Commissioner Seggos said.
More than 50,000 new hunters were reported certified as of fall 2020 while hunting license sales showed significant increases. The number of people certified in hunter safety more than doubled. DEC reported, “To date, more than 21,000 aspiring bowhunters have been certified, double the usual annual total of about 10,000.”
On the first day big game licenses were sold this year, sales nearly tripled. DEC reported $922,444 in revenues on the first day of license sales in 2020 compared to $347,103 in 2019. During the first two weeks in 2020, DEC raked in more than $6.2 million compared to approximately $3.5 million for the first two weeks of license sales in 2019.
Purchasing a hunting or trapping license supports conservation projects and ensures natural resources are protected for generations to come. Hunters and anglers help generate an estimated $75 million to conserve fish and wildlife, enhance habitat, and protect natural resources.
“New York’s hunters and anglers contribute an estimated $4.9 billion to the economy in spending, which supports more than 56,000 jobs and $623 million in state and local taxes.”
With potential record numbers of new hunters in the woods expected on opening day of the firearms deer season in the Southern Zone next 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.
DEC Says Be Safe, Be Seen — Hunter Orange Saves Lives: DEC encourages all hunters to wear blaze orange or pink. Wearing orange or pink makes hunters highly visible in the field and prevents other hunters from mistaking a person for an animal or shooting in their direction. Hunters who wear hunter orange are seven times less likely to be shot. New York State law requires hunters age 14 and 15 and their mentors hunting deer or bear with a gun to wear fluorescent hunter orange or pink that is visible from all directions-a shirt, jacket, or vest with at least 250 square inches of solid or patterned fluorescent orange or pink (the pattern must be at least 50 percent orange or pink) or a hat at least 50 percent fluorescent orange or pink.
During the past 10 years, no hunter wearing hunter orange was mistaken for game and killed in New York State. Most big game hunters involved in firearm-related incidents were not wearing hunter orange. For more information and a helpful visual on the effectiveness of fluorescent orange or pink when afield, you can go to a recent DEC hunter safety demonstration on Facebook.
Happy Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping and Hunt Safe until next time.
Remember to report poaching violations by calling 1-844-DEC-ECOS.
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