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The Department of Environmental Conservation extended the Westchester archery season by two weeks, and New York City is offering hunters some added time and opportunities to hunt on watershed land that at one time was closed by the events of 9/11.

Under new regulations adopted by the DEC, the archery hunting season in Westchester County began two weeks earlier, opening this past Friday. It now coincides with archery seasons elsewhere in the Southern Zone. The 2004 season in Westchester County will run through Dec. 31. During last year's bow season in Westchester, hunters harvested 1,633 deer.

If you are hunting in Westchester, the check station in Yorktown Heights has expanded its schedule to accommodate the season change. The additional days include Oct. 20 and Oct. 23 from 3-8 p.m., and Oct. 30 from 3-7 p.m.

The city's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will allow deer hunting on over 32,000 acres of water-supply lands this season for bow, gun and muzzleloader hunters.

This year's early bow hunting season on watershed land will run until Nov. 21; regular gun from Nov. 22-Dec. 14; muzzleloader from Dec. 15-21; and late bow from Dec. 15-19.

"There are more than double the number of acres available for hunting this year than there were in 1999, the first year of widespread deer hunting on DEP lands," DEP commissioner Christopher Ward said. "We have 70 hunting areas in seven counties, including the four reservoir hunting areas that were opened for the first time in 2003. The new areas on the Ashokan, Neversink, Schoharie and Kensico reservoirs were very successful, and were some of our busiest."

This season, the DEP is introducing a doe harvest incentive program. Details can be found in the 2004 Guide to Deer Hunting that is sent to each hunter with their DEP hunting tag.



To get a DEP hunting tag, you must have a DEP access permit and a New York State hunting license. Permits and hunting tags are available at DEP Land Management Offices throughout the watershed; DEP offices in Kingston, Queens and Manhattan; at watershed bait and tackle shops and town halls; and on DEP's Web site at www.nyc.gov/watershedrecreation. If you have an access permit, you can apply for the hunting tag by e-mail by sending your name, access permit number and hunting tag request to permits@dep.nyc.gov.

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