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Deer Season – Southern Zone – Early Antlerless


NY Hunting Seasons

Event details

Deer Hunting Seasons


REMINDER: Recently Adopted Deer and Bear Hunting Opportunities and Requirements Continue

1. Antlerless-only deer season in mid-September (9/9 - 9/17/2023) using firearms, crossbows, and vertical bows in WMUs 3M, 3R, 8A, 8F, 8G, 8J, 8N, 9A, and 9F, and using only vertical bows in WMUs 1C, 3S, 4J, and 8C. DMPs and DMAP tags only.

2. Daily hunting hours for deer and bear are now 30 minutes before sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset.

3. Bear season in the Adirondacks is simplified by extending the regular season to cover the full hunting period.

4. 12- and 13-year old hunters may hunt deer with a firearm or crossbow in counties that passed a local law to participate in the opportunity. See Junior Big Game Hunting for a map of participating counties.

5. Holiday Deer Hunt is an extension of the late bow and muzzleloader season from December 26 - January 1 in the Southern Zone. Hunters and other recreationists are encouraged to Share the Snow.

Important Links

Deer Hunting Seasons

deer season


muzzleloader deer season

Note: Hunters using a crossbow during the last 10 days of the early bow season in the Northern Zone are not subject to the antlered deer-only requirement of the early muzzleloader season in WMU 6N, despite the overlap in season dates.

2023 Deer Hunting Season Dates

Deer Hunting Season Dates
Area Early Antlerless Bowhunting Crossbow Regular Season Muzzleloading Special Late Firearms
Northern Zone   Sept. 27 - Oct. 20
Dec. 4 - Dec. 10 (WMUs 5A, 5G, 5J, 6A, 6C, 6G, 6H only)
Oct. 11 -Oct. 20 Oct. 21 - Dec. 3 Oct. 14 - Oct. 20
Dec. 4 - Dec. 10 (WMUs 5A, 5G, 5J, 6A, 6C, 6G, 6H only)
Southern Zone

Sept. 9 - 17
WMUs 3M, 3R, 8A, 8F, 8G, 8J, 8N, 9A, 9F (firearms, bows, crossbow)
WMUs 4J, 8C (bowhunting only)

Oct. 1 - Nov. 17
Dec. 11 - Dec. 19
Dec. 26 - Jan. 1

Nov. 4 - Nov. 17
(Not in WMUs 4J or 8C)
Nov. 18 - Dec. 10 Dec. 12 - Dec. 20 (except bowhunting only WMUs 4J and 8C)
Dec. 26 - Jan. 1 (except bowhunting only WMUs 4J and 8C)
Westchester County
(WMU 3S)
Sept. 9 - 17 (bowhunting only) same as Regular Season   Oct. 1 - Dec. 31
(bowhunting only)
Suffolk County
(WMU 1C)
Sept. 9 - 17 (bowhunting only) same as Regular Season   Oct. 1, 2023 - Jan. 31, 2024
(bowhunting only)
  Jan. 7 - Jan. 31, 2024
(Special Permit Required)

Antler Restriction Program

An antler restriction is in place to reduce harvest of young bucks in a portion of the Catskills in southeastern New York. The antler restriction REQUIRES that bucks taken in the antler restriction units have at least one antler with 3 points (or more) which are at least one inch long. This restriction applies to the archery, regular and muzzleloading seasons. Hunters aged 12-16 years are exempt from this restriction. For more information see Antler Restrictions in New York.

Recommended Comments

I’m happy to see the early antleress season is a go again, for my home wmu.  It’s great to have a big selection of “legal”weapons, on those early hunts.

 I’m going to try and fill one of my (3) early antlerless tags ((2) dmp’s and a bow/ml antlerless only)) with a crossbow this year. (1) with a shotgun , (1) with a ML, and (1) with a crossbow would be nice.  

That said, I’m only using the crossbow from a stand that is too close to other folk’s buildings, for me to use a firearm.  

I’m hoping that I will be able to hunt more of that early season this year.  The last two years (because of family and work commitments), I’ve only been able to hunt about half of it, and I was only able to punch one tag in each (one with a shotgun and the other with my ML).  

Another minor complication, is I only have room for one deer at a time in my deer fridge, and warm weather is always an issue that early.  Hopefully, a local processor with a big cooler will be open then.  If not, I’ll grind the whole second deer, other than the back straps and tenderloins, which I’ll squeeze into the fridge with the first deer.

 The problem with that, is even the grind from an old deer is tough, if it’s not aged first, to get past rigor-mortis. Of course, if that second deer is a fawn, then there is no worry about rigor mortis and no need to grind.  

Because the main objective of those early seasons is to reduce the deer population, I’m going to try my best to use my tags on mature does. Each of those harvested, reduces the following year’s local deer population by 2 or 3, while the fawns only drop it by (1).  


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