Are you into hunting? Well, New York state has made some changes to hunting rules, here's what you need to know. On Wednesday, September 1, 2021, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos announced the modifications. There have been some changes made to the attire requirement for hunters and their parties, as well as to the hours hunting is permitted.

The change made to what hunters or anyone accompanying a hunter is designed to help keep people from being accidentally shot,

Require anyone hunting big game with a firearm, or accompanying someone hunting big game with a firearm, to wear a solid or patterned fluorescent orange or fluorescent pink hat, vest, or jacket. Most two-party hunting-related shooting incidents in New York involve a hunter victim who was not wearing fluorescent orange or pink clothing. Similar fluorescent orange requirements exist in most states.

This change will help stop some of the accidental shootings and deaths that have happened while residents were hunting. There were more than 20 people injured or killed while hunting just last year,

DEC documented 22 hunting-related shooting incidents (HRSIs) during the 2020-2021 hunting season, three of which were fatalities.

According to the state Department of Environmental Conservation statistics, nine of the shootings mentioned above were two-party, meaning a hunter shot someone in his or her party. In seven of those shootings, the victim was not wearing hunter orange. So it's clear that this rule will help save lives or at minimum stop shooting injuries.

There's also good news for deer and bear hunters, as the hours have been extended. New York has modified its rules to create uniformity with other states,

Extend the hunting hours for deer and bear to include the full period of ambient light from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. All other states allow deer hunting beginning one-half hour before sunrise or earlier, or specify daylight hours, and 46 of 50 states allow deer hunting until some period (mostly one-half hour) after sunset. This change conforms to the national standard for big game hunting.

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There are other changes that have been made, you can view them on the Department of Environmental Conservation website.

Early antlerless deer hunting beings soon, September 11 through September 19. You can get more info on all the hunting season dates here.

Fun fact: My grandfather, who lived in Lancaster, New York, was an avid hunter.

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