New opportunities for youth hunters and big game hunting

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FILE: Two deer graze in a Yosemite Valley field on August 28, 2013 in Yosemite National Park, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (WWTI) — There will be several new opportunities for young hunters this year after a law change. The change will allow 12- and 13-year-olds to hunt deer with a firearm or crossbow when a experienced hunter is present.

In order to allow this hunting opportunity counties must pass the law locally and notify the DEC. The new law will only be applied in upstate counties that agree to participate.

The experienced hunter supervising the junior must be 21 or older, licensed, and have at least three years of experience in deer hunting. They also must be able to maintain physical control over the youth hunter at all times.

The youth hunter and adult mentor are required to wear fluorescent orange or pink clothing and remain at ground level while hunting the deer with a crossbow, rifle, shotgun, or muzzleloader.

The DEC has also created a new holiday deer hunt by extending the late bow and muzzleloader season from December 26 to January 1 in the southern zone.

The DEC is also proposing additional hunting-related changes, which are currently out for the public to review and comment.

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