Regular deer and bear hunting seasons in New York's Southern Zone begin at sunrise this Saturday, November 21, and continue through Sunday, December 13. 

According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Southern Zone regular season is New York's most popular hunting season, with participation from about 85 percent of New York's 550,000 licensed hunters.

Regular deer and bear hunting in the Northern Zone began on October 24 and will continue through December 6. The Northern Zone includes the Adirondacks, Tug Hill Plateau, Eastern Lake Ontario Plain, and the Champlain and St. Lawrence valleys.

James Farquar, the Wildlife Bureau Chief for the DEC joined Susan Arbetter on Capital Tonight to discuss the ecological benefits of hunting, as well as hunting safety. A few of his tips include:

Firearms Safety

1. Point your gun in a safe direction;

2. Treat every gun as if it were loaded;

3. Be sure of your target and beyond; and

4. Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.

DEC encourages all hunters to wear blaze orange or pink to make themselves more visible to other hunters. Hunters who wear hunter orange are seven times less likely to be shot.