The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is adding seven more days to the 2021 deer season. The Southern Zone season will expand for bow and muzzleloader hunting.

Coined the "Holiday Deer Hunt," the season will now include December 26 through January 1. DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos says extending the season, "will provide new opportunities for New Yorkers and visiting hunters to venture afield during a time when families and friends are gathered together for the holidays and students are home on school break. "

The extended season is also a great time for younger hunters to go afield with experienced mentors and nurture their knowledge and skills as responsible members of the hunting community.

By limiting the season to bow and muzzleloaders only, state officials believe the extended season won't have a negative impact on deer populations. It's also why the extra days were limited to the Southern Zone only. Biologists think deer in the Northern Zone are already gathering in their usual winter habitats and could be easily over harvested.

You may recall the DEC asked for public comments on extending the season last fall. They received more than three-thousand responses, you can read the comments and see the official language of the extended season on the New York State Register.

Hunters will need to purchase a bowhunting or muzzleloading privilege to participate in the late season, although all unused deer carcass tags would remain valid. The map below shows the dividing line between the Northern and Southern Hunting Zones. The dates are for the 2020 season, 2021 dates will be announced later.

New York Deer Hunting Zones

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