New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced the release of a statewide draft deer management plan for public review and comment. The plan, first approved in 2011, is expected to guide DEC’s deer management actions for the next 10 years.
The draft plan details a new method for setting deer population objectives that integrates an assessment of deer impacts on forests with the Department’s perceived public preferences for deer population changes. It expands hunting antlerless deer and allows for the expansion of killing deer in suburban and urban areas.
A summary of the accomplishments from the first plan, many of which have become integrated into DEC’s deer management program, is also included. The draft plan contains a proposed regulation change to extend the late bow and muzzleloader season in the Southern Zone to include the period from December 26th to January 1st, among numerous other changes.
The draft plan is available on DEC’s website and public comments will be accepted through December 28th, 2020.
Comments on the draft plan should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org (using “Deer Plan” in the subject line) or by mail to: DEC Deer Management Plan, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754. The public comment period closes on December 28th, 2020. After reviewing public comments on this draft, DEC will amend the plan before adopting and publishing a final version. Some recommendations will require new or amended state regulations and these regulatory proposals will be subject to an additional public comment period during the formal rulemaking process.