DEC announces early deer bowhunting seasons

In this photo taken Monday Aug. 17, 2015, a buck is seen in the bush at dusk at Melorani Safaris at Olifantsvallei, South Africa. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)

ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) — Bowhunters, get ready, because deer season is just around the corner.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the dates for early deer bowhunting season on Thursday.

“We expect that bowhunters will see more deer than in years past,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said.  “With many hunters interested in seeing more older bucks in the field, bowhunters might want to consider passing up shots on young bucks, and in areas where deer populations are larger than desired, to focus their hunting on antlerless deer.”

Early bow season in the Northern Zone begins at sunrise on Tuesday, September 27 and goes through October 21. In the Southern Zone, early bow season for both deer and bear starts October 1 and goes through November 18.

“Hunting opportunities in New York have never been better and the start of hunting season is an essential economic driver for communities across the state,” Seggos said. “Governor Cuomo’s continued commitments to the NY Open for Fishing and Hunting initiative are bolstering our efforts to provide world class hunting opportunities for bowhunters statewide. With mild weather, longer days, and deer in early season feeding patterns, the early bow season is a great time to be in the woods. It’s also a perfect opportunity to introduce new hunters to deer hunting.”

During the last 10 days of bowhunting season (Oct. 12-21) in the Northern Zone, hunters may use a crossbow. This will also apply to the last 14 days of the season (November 5-18) in the Southern Zone.

Hunters who wish to use a crossbow must possess a muzzleloader privilege and a qualifications certificate. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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