Don't put the hunting gear away just yet. The DEC is adding more dates to the deer season, including one Central New York location where you can take two deer per day.

The extended dates are aimed at reducing herd numbers in over populated areas. Three counties are targeted for the reduction; Tompkins, Suffolk, and Westchester.  In Suffolk and Westchester counties, the season is still open. Archery season in Suffolk runs through January 31, and Westchester's archery runs through December 31.

Closer to home, Tompkins County is considered a Deer Management Focus Area. Specifically, the Ithaca area is so overpopulated hunters will be allowed to take two antlerless deer per day during the extended season and can hunt with any implement considered to be legal during any regular season. The season will run from January 9 to January 31. To participate you must register, download permits and tags and maintain a hunting activity log, all available at the DMFA web page.  More information on the extended dates in Suffolk and Westchester counties is available at the DEC's website.

Even if your freezer is full, deer can be donated to local food banks who are currently in dire need of food. You only have to field dress the deer and drop it off at a participating processor. Learn more and find a processor at Venison Donation.com.

While it won't happen this year, DEC officials are still considering adding a holiday deer hunt. The proposal would add a bow and muzzleloader season in the Southern Zone from December 26 to January 1.

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