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Highlights of Changes for 2012-2013

Youth Firearms Deer Hunt

At press time, a proposed youth hunt for deer remained tentative. Check DEC’s website for updates.

More Bowhunting Opportunity

Bow season in the Southern Zone and the regular season in Westchester County (bowhunting only) will now begin October 1 each year. In the Northern Zone, a new bowhunting season will run for 7 days following the close of the regular season in areas that also have a late muzzleloader season.

Greater Use of Deer Management Permits (DMPs)

Northern Zone DMPs can now be used during all seasons in the Northern Zone when used in the proper WMU and with the proper privilege (archery license required during archery season, muzzleloader license during muzzleloader season). Bonus DMPs will be available in Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) 9A (see for details).

Mandatory Antler Restrictions in More WMUs

Mandatory antler restrictions have been implemented in WMUs 3A, 4G, 4O, 4P, 4R, 4S and 4W. Hunters in these units may not take an antlered buck unless it has at least one antler with 3 or more points. The restriction applies to all hunting seasons (bow, regular and muzzleloader) on public and private land. Youth hunters (ages 12-16) are exempt from the 3 point restriction.

Deer Management Focus Area Established in Portions of Tompkins County

This program will intensify use of traditional hunting to assist communities with the burden of overabundant deer populations. Hunters that register with the Focus Area program and have access to hunt in the focus area will be eligible to take 2 antlerless deer per day and participate in a special season in January. See for details.

Crossbow Law Expires on December 31, 2012

At press time, legislation was pending that would authorize limited use of crossbows for big game hunting beyond December 31, 2012 (when the previous legislation expires). Check DEC’s website for updates this fall.


Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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