SULLIVAN COUNTY – Despite the Sullivan County Legislature’s vote back in October to “opt out” of the Holiday Hunt at the urging of the Federation of Sportsmen’s …
SULLIVAN COUNTY – Despite the Sullivan County Legislature’s vote back in October to “opt out” of the Holiday Hunt at the urging of the Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs of Sullivan County, the New York State DEC has announced the Holiday Hunt will go on as planned in the Southern Zone, of which Sullivan County is a part.
Earlier this year, after hearing concerns that the Holiday Hunt may interfere with other outdoor pursuits, DEC proposed a regulation that would have allowed counties to pass a local law opting out of the special late season opportunity.
During the public comment period, DEC heard from a wide array of stakeholders with deeply held, but conflicting views on this proposal.
Because of the diversity of opinion around this issue, further evaluation is needed.
The proposed regulation has not been adopted and counties may not opt out this year. The Holiday Hunt will occur in all Southern Zone counties this year as previously authorized.
For many people, their ability to deer hunt in the fall is limited because of work, school, and family obligations.
New this year, hunters can participate in a “Holiday Hunt”, a late bow and muzzleloading season for deer from December 26 through January 1 in the Southern Zone.
While hunting for grouse, rabbits, hare, and furbearers has been a popular winter activity for decades, this new season provides additional deer hunting opportunity when people may have time off from work or students are on a break from school.
Be careful as you share
This holiday period is also a popular time for other outdoor pursuits like hiking and, when weather permits, cross country skiing and snowmobiling.
Hunters looking for solitude can minimize the disturbance associated with other forms of recreation by following a few tips. Before the season opens, when you are scouting for the perfect spot or stand location, take the time to check if the planned location is a popular one. Avoid crowding other hunters and other outdoor recreationists and recognize that if a hunting location is near a popular hiking, cross-country skiing, or snowmobiling spot, noise can be a factor. If a preferred hunting spot is too crowded, identify an alternative location ahead of time.
Watch for snowmobiles
Although uncommon during the holiday week, when snow conditions are right, snowmobiling is a popular activity, and snowmobiling and hunting are compatible activities.
In fact, some hunters may even use sleds to access their favorite hunting location. If you are a landowner that allows snowmobile trails to traverse your property, or if you hunt on a property where snowmobiling occurs, know that these two activities can occur safely and simultaneously with some planning and communication among the people using the property. In addition, New York’s General Obligations Law protects landowners from liability when they allow recreational access to their property whether for a single activity or multiple.
Wear blaze orange, it’s the law
Please remember, it is now a requirement to wear blaze orange or pink when pursuing deer with a firearm. This requirement helps you identify other hunters that may be downrange and alerts hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts that they are sharing the woods with you.
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