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DEC has issued a press release containing four significant changes to the state's hunting regulations. Unlike last year's restrictions, most of this news is easy to take.

  • Youth participating in the Youth firearms hunt Columbus Day weekend, may now take bears. This has previously been a deer-only event.

Photo Contributed by Zac Gosselin

  • The Antlerless-only rules put in place last year in 1C, 3M, 3S, 4J, 8A, 8C, 8F, 8G, 8H, 8N, 9A, and 9F have been rescinded. DEC decided to scarp the rule because it had no significant impact on the harvest numbers of female whitetail.

  • The harvest of Antlerless deer inĀ  6F and 6J is prohibited this coming season due to a drop in population. DEC expects this change to be temporary.

  • Hunters who purchase both the bow and muzzleloader license privileges may use the Bow/Muzzleloader either-sex and Bow/Muzzleloader antlerless-only deer tags in either season! Hunters may use both tags in one of the seasons with the appropriate implement. DEC stated that this was always their intention, but the rule was as clear as mud to most.

    This rule only applies to those who purchase both bow and muzzleloader privileges. Hunters who purchase just one of the special season privileges are still only allowed to use the Bow/Muzzleloader tag during that particular special season.

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