New York outdoor enthusiasts reminded to safely share the woods this season

New York News

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NEW YORK (WWTI) — As many hunting seasons have already opened, and big game season is fast approaching, outdoor enthusiasts are reminded of outdoor safety. Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos is reminding hikers, hunters, and outdoor enthusiasts of how to “respectfully share the woods” and follow safety precautions this fall and winter.

As New York has seen an increase in those participating in outdoor recreation during the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals are urged to follow “common sense” recommendations. Some of these precautions include wearing blaze orange, blaze pink, or other bright colors to be seen more easily from a distance. This applies to all hunters and non-hunters, as well as dogs.

Pet owners are also urged to keep their dogs leashed at all times to avoid hunting and trapping risks.

Additionally, as the DEC has reported hunting being one of the most popular forms of outdoor recreation, hunters and hikers are reminded to share the woods. Both should be aware that they may encounter the other. New Yorkers are also asked to avoid crowding when hunting and if a preferred hunting location is too crowded, to find an alternative location.

Seggos commented on the push for outdoor safety: “One result of the COVID-19 pandemic is an increase in the number of people participating in outdoor recreation as New Yorkers are looking for new adventures,” he said. “Since most public lands in New York are open to multiple forms of recreation, outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds, including hunters and trappers, will be sharing these lands. Whether you are a hiker, hunter, nature photographer, mountain biker, or trapper, following a few simple measures can make your choice of recreation safe and enjoyable while sharing the outdoors with others.”

The DEC is also recommending all New Yorkers to “play smart, play safe and play local,” as the coronavirus continues to surge throughout the state. Individuals are asked to incorporate social distancing, wearing face masks, and to plan their trips ahead of time.

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