Hunting and Trapping Newsletter

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
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Hunting and Trapping Newsletter

Hunters Can Help Fight Food Insecurity

Each year, DEC partners with the Venison Donation Venison Donation Coalition logoCoalition and Feeding New York State to help provide food for those in need. Through a cooperative relationship involving the New York State Department of Health, non-profit organizations like Feeding New York State's regional food banks and deer processors, hunters contribute nearly 40 tons of venison each year to needy families across the state!

There are many ways a hunter can help feed those less fortunate. You can donate your deer or part of it at a cooperating processor, support your regional food bank monetarily, or make a cash donation to the Venison Donation Coalition when you purchase your hunting license to help offset the cost of processing donated venison.
If you'd like to learn how you can support these programs or donate venison to help feed local families, visit the Venison Donation Coalition or Feeding New York State.

Take Central NY Food Survey For Chance to Win a Grocery Gift Card

Are you interested in local food, gardening, hunting, fishing, or foraging? Has COVID-19 changed how you get food for yourself or your family?

Researchers at Cornell University are conducting a study to understand how COVID-19 is changing how people in Central New York are interacting with their food sources. You must be over 18 to participate and live in Broome, Cortland, Oswego, Onondaga, Cayuga, or Seneca counties. Please share your experience by following this link to the survey.

Survey participants can enter a raffle for one of 20 $50 gift cards to a local grocery. There is also an option to participate in additional follow up research.

Don’t have easy access to the internet? Call (607) 319-2517 to have the survey read to you.

If English isn’t your preferred language, please request translation by contacting the research team at or (607) 319-2517.

Regular Firearms Season for Deer and Bear Hunting in Southern Zone Starts Nov. 21

With the start of New York's most popular big game seasons on the horizon, DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos is encouraging hunters to be safe, have fun, pass up shots on young bucks, and take steps to protect New York's deer from Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).

Regular Firearms Seasons for Deer and Bear begin Nov. 21

Woman kneeling over harvested deerThe 2020-21 regular deer and bear hunting seasons in New York's Southern Zone begin at sunrise on Saturday, Nov. 21, and continue through Sunday, Dec. 13. The Southern Zone regular season is New York's most popular hunting season, with participation from about 85 percent of New York's 550,000 licensed hunters. Harvest during this season accounts for nearly 60 percent of the total statewide deer harvest and 30 to 60 percent of the statewide bear harvest.

Following the regular deer and bear seasons in the Southern Zone, late bowhunting, and muzzleloading seasons will run from Dec. 14 through 22. Hunters taking part in these special seasons must possess a hunting license and either bowhunting or muzzleloading privileges.

In the Northern Zone, the regular deer and bear hunting season opened Oct. 24 and will close at sunset on Dec. 6. The Northern Zone includes the Adirondacks, Tug Hill Plateau, Eastern Lake Ontario Plain, and the Champlain and St. Lawrence valleys. A late bowhunting and muzzleloading season for deer will be open in portions of the Northern Zone from Dec. 7 to 13.

Please visit DEC's website for the full news release and to learn more about chronic wasting disease, reporting your harvest, firearm safety, and getting outdoors safely and responsibly during the State's response to COVID-19.