Although Sunday is the last day of the Northern Zone regular season, there is still a good chunk of the Southern Zone season left, especially given the new extra extension period of the “vacation hunt” that I will go into a little more depth a little further. down.

The cold has set in and the attraction and motivation of the first weekends has lost its luster for many hunters. As we approach December, many outdoor enthusiasts including myself are starting to feel a bit exhausted from deer season and start to shift gears and transition into fishing season on ice.

This is still the perfect time to harvest a mature male. End of season foods can be hot. With much less hunting pressure, the deer begin to resume more normal behaviors, and late season forage is usually the ticket at this time of year, especially as we move into the end of the season. muzzle loading.

Speaking of the end of the South Zone Mouth Bow / Magazine Season, the official dates are December 13-21. This is where things get a little interesting. Until I really looked at the dates in the rulemaking manual, I had assumed, along with many others, that the “holiday hunt” was an extension of the late season of the bow and charger by the mouth, and while this is technically an overtime, everyone should be aware that there is a four-day “dead zone” without a hunt between December 21-26. From December 22 to 25, no type of deer hunting is allowed except in Westchester or Suffolk counties, but that doesn’t apply to 99% of us here. The “holiday hunt” resumes on December 26 and continues until January 1.

Does this sound a little crazy and confusing? Absoutely. However, that’s the way the law is currently written, so maybe things will change in the seasons to come to include those skipped days. But for this year, these are prohibited. In addition, county-by-county “opt-out” is still in the comment period, so this fact remains to be determined as well.

In short, the first 2,000 New Yorkers who will receive their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine by December 31 will be eligible to participate in a draw for the prizes. Grand prizes will include lifetime fishing and hunting licenses. All participants will receive a subscription to DEC Conservationist magazine and a tree seedling.

Launched last week by Governor Kathy Hochul, the COVID-19 vaccine incentive aims to increase vaccination rates among New Yorkers who enjoy the great outdoors.

During this month, anyone who receives their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine is eligible to participate in the raffle and also a raffle to win special prize packages suitable for anglers, hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts. air.

“I applaud Governor Hochul’s continued efforts to educate New Yorkers about the critical need to get vaccinated to protect themselves, their families and their communities,” said the Department of Environmental Conservation commissioner. New York State Basil Seggos in a press release. “As we continue to move forward in the COVID-19 pandemic, the new ‘Take Your Shot for an Outdoor Adventure’ contest is a great way to encourage more New Yorkers, including the growing number of people. who discover the state’s world-class opportunities for outdoor recreation, to get vaccinated and earn the chance to earn some great gear after them.

Five participants will be randomly selected to receive the grand prize and the opportunity to choose one of the following luxury packages valued at approximately $ 2,000.

Fishing: Lifetime fishing license, fishing kayak, life jacket, rod and reel.

Bow hunter: Lifetime hunter and bow hunting license, high quality crossbow set or compound bow set with half a dozen bolts or arrows, ladder tree stand, safety harness / system fall arrester and 10 × 42 binoculars.

Rifle hunter: Lifetime sportsman’s license, high quality riflescope, ladder tree stand, safety harness / fall arrest system and 10 × 42 binoculars.

Turkey hunter: Lifetime sportsman’s license, high quality ground blind, turkey hunting vest, pair of hen decoys, shotgun optical sight, slate call and 10 × 42 binoculars.

Bird watching: 20-60x spotting scope, 10×42 binoculars, bird feeder, bird seeds, bird nesting box, deluxe birding guide and I Bird NY gear.

Twenty-five participants will be randomly selected to receive second level prizes and the choice of one of the following packages, valued at approximately $ 1,000. These are the same prices as listed above, but instead of a lifetime license, you will receive an annual license.

In addition, the first 2,000 people to receive their first vaccine and enter the raffle by December 31st will receive a tree seedling from DEC’s Colonel William F. Fox Memorial Nursery in Saratoga Springs and their choice. a $ 25 gift card for a free night of camping at a DEC campsite or a $ 25 gift card at a major sporting goods retailer.

In addition, the 2,000 raffle participants will receive a one-year subscription to DEC’s Conservationist magazine, which is currently celebrating its 75th anniversary.

To participate, go to

Before obtaining a hunting license and any associated privilege such as bow hunting, the beneficiary must follow or already have a hunting training course and a bow hunting training course (in the archery package case) and present certificates of completion.