NDA/QDMA Pushes for Extending Legal Deer Hunting Hours in New York

October 14, 2020 | by National Deer Alliance

The National Deer Alliance (NDA) and Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) recently submitted a letter to request that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Bureau of Wildlife consider and propose extending legal deer hunting hours in New York from one half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset. Our organizations represent nearly 80,000 deer hunters nationwide and nearly 2,000 deer hunters in New York state.

NDA and QDMA fully support the addition of new hunting opportunities that effectively maintain or aid in the management of a healthy and balanced wild deer herd. While we understand that the recently proposed “holiday” season in New York could expand hunting opportunities for non-residents and students returning home, as well as hunters who have time off from work for the holidays, we believe that extending hunting hours in New York from one half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset will provide even more opportunities for the state’s hunters.

The current New York deer season is 82 days long. Extending legal hunting hours from one half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset will add an additional hour of hunting opportunity each day, resulting in 82 additional hunting hours across the season. This change could help get more hunters afield and aid the Bureau of Wildlife in achieving population management objectives. 

"Extending deer hunting hours would bring New York in line with other states," said NDA/QDMA policy and outreach coordinator, Torin Miller. "In fact, New York is literally the only state that limits deer hunting to between sunrise and sunset." 

Further, there is no data supporting the notion that hunting prior to sunrise or after sunset results in any increase risk to safety. Rather, data we’ve monitored data on hunting accident rates that show hunting during this time is safe and appropriate for all hunters, and New York currently allows it for other game species (turkey, waterfowl, etc).

To summarize, NDA/QDMA is requesting that the Bureau of Wildlife consider and propose extending legal hunting hours for deer in New York from one half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset. Doing so brings New York in line with every other state, provides more hunting opportunities and herd management potential, and is safe and appropriate for all hunters.