Hunter Participation Encouraged

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) encourages hunters to visit the deer and bear check station during the mid-November opening weekend of the regular big game season. The check station, located on Route 16, in Holland, Erie County (northbound about one mile south of the Town of Holland), will operate Saturday, Nov. 21 from noon until 8 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 22 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Participation is voluntary but appreciated and helps DEC to gather valuable data necessary for assessing the status of the area's big game population.

"Hunters will have the option of participating in DEC's data collection and research," said Abby Snyder, DEC Region 9 Director. "Although it is a completely voluntary program, hunters are encouraged to take a few extra minutes to help increase our knowledge about diseases in the game population. We thank the State Department of Transportation for its assistance in providing the check station location and signage to safely guide motorists to the site."

Hunters are encouraged to bring their deer to the check station where DEC staff will determine deer age and collect other important biological and harvest information. With black bear season opening the same day as deer season again this year, staff will check harvested bears as well. Technicians from NYS Department of Health (DOH) may also be present at the check station to examine deer for ticks and collect samples to test for Lyme disease.

As in previous years, hunters wishing to donate their harvest to Hunters Helping the Hungry, sponsored by the Venison Donation Coalition, may drop off a deer at the Holland check station during days of operation before 6 p.m.

DEC reminds hunters to be familiar with Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) regulations this year. For more information about CWD, please visit DEC's website.