New York Reminds Residents to be Careful During Hunting Seasons

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The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) advised people who hunt, hike or recreate on State lands to be aware that several hunting and trapping seasons are taking place and to follow safe practices while participating in outdoor activities.

Licensed hunters in New York State are required to take a hunter safety course, which has significantly reduced the number of hunting related injuries. Last year was New York's safest hunting season in history. Incidents involving non-hunters during hunting season are extremely rare. Trappers must also take and pass DEC's trapper education course which teaches responsible trapping practices.

Big game, trapping, and other small game hunting seasons are now open in many areas of New York State. Pet owners should be aware that traps legally set to catch furbearing animals such as fisher or raccoon, could pose a threat to unattended pets. Pet owners should keep pets under their direct control or on a leash in hunting areas during these seasons to prevent trap encounters. New York State hunting and trapping season dates can be viewed at on the DEC website.

Trappers are also reminded to use good judgment in selecting areas for trap placement, avoiding areas frequented by pets, and staying away from hiking trails. In addition, trappers are encouraged to use dog-proof trap sets. These sets include placing traps out of reach of dogs through the use of running pole-sets, or the use of dog-proof cubby sets. These techniques are covered in the DEC Trapper Education course and more information can be found at . Bait selection can also aid in attracting only the desired species. For example, use of non-meat bait such as fruit or marshmallows, if targeting raccoons, will make a set unattractive to many pet species.

More specific guidelines for avoiding the capture of non-target animals can be obtained by visiting the DEC website at under Subject Index "Trapping."