DEC urges hunters, hikers to share woods safely


New York State Department of Environmental Conservation approved campground on near Cat Mountain in the Adirondacks. (News 8 WROC Photo/Matt Driffill)

NEW YORK (WWTI) — Outdoor enthusiasts throughout New York are reminded to “be safe, responsible, and respectful” during fall and winter hunting seasons. Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos highlighted the importance of sharing the woods and following safety precautions.

“As New Yorkers head outdoors in search of new adventures this fall and winter, it is critical that visitors are courteous, careful, and responsible when sharing the woods,” Commissioner Seggos said in a press release. “Most public lands across New York State are open to multiple forms of recreation, from hiking and nature photography to hunting and trapping. To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, DEC encourages outdoor enthusiasts to be aware of and show regard for other adventurers and share the woods.”

Many hunting seasons are beginning this month. Although hunting-related shooting incidents involving nonhunters are rare, hunters should remember to be extremely safe just in case they encounter others. Before a season opens and while scouting for a hunting spot or stand location, hunters are urged to avoid crowding, recognize when others are near, and hunt somewhere else if there’s not enough space for safety.

Hunting is permitted in 81 state-run parks, three historic sites, three golf courses, and 50 boat launches in New York. This lets people hunt a variety of wildlife including big game, small game, turkey, furbearers, waterfowl, and migratory bird species.

Focusing on safety, the DEC now requires all armed big game hunters to wear hunter orange or pink. Non-hunters are encouraged to wear blaze orange, blaze pink, or another bright color during the fall and winter. The DEC says this keeps everyone visible even from afar.

DEC maintains hiking, biking, skiing and, snowmobile trails in many areas of Forest Preserve lands in the Adirondack and Catskill parks, as well as in State Forests, Wildlife Management Areas, and Unique Areas open to hunting. These recreational opportunities are all listed on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website.

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