On Wednesday, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced it has added one week to the late bow and muzzleloader hunting seasons for deer.
The extended season, which the DEC is calling a "Holiday Deer Hunt," will begin later this year, on Dec. 26, 2021 and will run until Jan. 1, 2022.
The extension is only available in New York’s Southern Zone.
The DEC said in its announcement that the extended season won’t be available in the state’s Northern Zone because "deer may already be moving to wintering areas by late December."
"Hunting seasons that occur when deer are migrating or are already concentrated in wintering areas could result in localized overharvest," the DEC said.
In a statement, DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said: "As part of our ongoing efforts to capitalize on the growing interest in hunting, we're excited to announce that beginning this December, the Holiday Deer Hunt will provide new opportunities for New Yorkers and visiting hunters to venture afield during a time when families and friends are gathered together for the holidays and students are home on school break."
"The extended season is also a great time for younger hunters to go afield with experienced mentors and nurture their knowledge and skills as responsible members of the hunting community," Seggos added.
Though biologists with the DEC expect many families will take advantage of the added week for hunting, they "do not anticipate a significant effect on deer harvest or local deer populations" because hunters will be required to use more primitive weapons, the DEC announcement said.