The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) proposes the "Holiday Deer Hunt" an additional 7 days of deer hunting in the Southern Zone from Dec. 26 through Jan.1.

DEC - Southern Zone is the blue portion

Hey snowmobilers, what will happen if hunting season is extended? Will landowners to ask you to stay off the trail for another week? Will they close your trail down altogether?

Most riders think the snowmobile season is already too short, and don't forget it's weather dependant. For many areas like Tug Hill, the snowmobile season is their livelihood.

A petition has been started, and countless snowmobilers are against the DEC Proposal. Some offer solutions like deer hunting during the day and riding at night. Others say to give the deer a break. This is what Ted said when signing the petition on 9/29/2020:

As a hunter and a snowmobiler, there is no need to extend the hunting season. If I needed a longer season, I'd get a bow, and be able to hunt for almost 3 full months as it is. 10 more days is not going to do anything, especially when provided to a small portion of the hunting population.

The DEC says the additional hunting will not impact when snowmobile trails open.

Snowmobile trails are opened after the end of the regular big game hunting season, subject to adequate snow cover and local agreements. [DEC]

Many feel this will hurt the local snowmobile season and its economy. For decades, the NY Snowmobile Clubs and NYS Snowmobile Association (NYSSA) have encouraged riders to stay off the trail system until the hunting season is over, usually December 20th.

NYSSA says the new regulation was developed without any input from any outside organizations. You have until November 8th to submit public comments to Jeremy Hurst, Division of Fish and Wildlife, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY, 12233, jeremy.hurst@dec.ny.gov and you're asked to send a copy of your letter to NYSSA, PO Box 740, Central Square, NY 13036 or send a scanned copy to Dominic@nysnowmobiler.com.

The NYSSA believes the extended hunting season was supposed to be a three-year trial run, but it could be extended permanently once implemented. 

Dominic Jancangelo, executive director of the NYSSA, tells newyorkupstate.com, "We estimate that losing one week of snowmobiling in New York’s Southern Zone may cause a loss of up to $13 million in direct spending by snowmobilers and a potential $1 million dollar loss in sales tax revenue.

Details of the proposal are published in the Sept. 9 New York State Register. DEC encourages the public to comment on the proposed regulations through Nov. 8, 2020. Again, comments may be submitted by email or by writing to Jeremy Hurst, NYSDEC Bureau of Wildlife, 625 Broadway, 5th Floor, Albany, NY 12233-4754.

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