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Q & A with the Environmental Conservation Police

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Question: Is it legal to feed black bears at any time?

Answer: No. New regulations prohibit the feeding of black bears at any time.

Question: What is the definition of an “unloaded crossbow” for transportation or possession in a motor vehicle?

Answer: A crossbow is considered to be unloaded once the bolt is removed, regardless if the crossbow remains cocked or uncocked.

Question: I recently purchased a large caliber air rifle, may I use it to hunt big game.

Answer: No. Only certain small game species may be taken with an air rifle including squirrels, rabbits, hare, ruffed grouse, furbearers that may be hunted (e.g., raccoons and coyotes), and unprotected wildlife (e.g., porcupine, red squirrel, woodchuck). To use an air rifle to hunt small game it must propel a single projectile that is .17 caliber or larger and produce a muzzle velocity of at least 600 feet per second.

Question: May I continue to track a wounded deer after legal sunset?

Answer: Hunters may attempt to recover wounded big game after legal sunset. However they may not discharge a firearm or longbow at a big game animal other than during legal hunting hours.

Question: I understand that crossbows are now legal to use for hunting. What species of wildlife may I harvest with a crossbow?

Answer: Only deer and bear may be taken by crossbow during the regular season and any muzzleloading season that follows the regular season. See more information on hunting with a crossbow, or go to http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/68802.html.

Question: What type of license do I need to hunt deer and bear with a crossbow?

Answer: When pursuing deer and bear during the regular season only a big game hunting license is required. If hunting deer and bear with a crossbow during the muzzleloading season that follows the regular season, a muzzleloading privilege must also be purchased. See more information on hunting with a crossbow or visit the link listed in the question above.

Question: Can I use a rangefinder mounted on my bow to assist in hunting big game?

Answer: Yes, as long as it does not project a visible beam of light.

Question: At my local sporting goods store I see a variety of commercial deer foods for sale. Are they legal to sell?

Answer: Although feeding wild deer is illegal at any time, commercial deer feed can be used for domestic animals. Therefore, it is still legal for sale.

Questions: I’ve heard that there was a change in the timeframe for reporting my game harvest of deer, bear, and turkeys. What is the current timeframe required for the reporting of these species?

Answer: The time frame for reporting your harvest of deer, bear, and turkeys was changed from 48 hours to 7 days.

Question: Is it legal to “bone out” the meat from my deer or bear in the woods and pack it out.

Answer: Yes, you may pack out just the meat provided you retain your completed carcass tag. If you are packing out a portion of the meat, you must leave the original tag with the carcass and fill out an additional tag for the cut portions containing the taker’s name, address, license number and the date the portions were cut.

 

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