Don't be mistaken for wild game! Whether you are a hunter or a hiker, it's essential that you wear blaze orange when out in the woods during big game hunting season.
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy recommends wearing a fluorescent or "blaze" orange hat and vest (and pack cover if backpacking), or hooded outerwear when hunting or hiking. Your dog should also wear blaze orange visible from all sides and should be leashed at all times.
Below are the dates for big game (whitetail deer and black bear) firearms hunting in the tristate area. Be aware that seasons extend far beyond these dates for hunters of other game, and for archers. So wearing hunter orange in the woods is always a good idea, whether it's winter, spring, or fall.
Rifle hunting for whitetail deer and bear in New York's Southern Zone, which includes Orange County, extends from Saturday, Nov. 16, to through Sunday, Dec. 8.
For more information visit the New York State Department of Conservation website at dec.ny.gov.
On state game lands in Pennsylvania, all hunters and non-hunters are required to wear at least 250 square inches of fluorescent orange material on the head, chest and back combined, or a fluorescent orange hat. The orange material must be visible from all angles (360 degrees).
It is illegal to hunt wildlife on Sundays in Pennsylvania, except for foxes, crows, and coyotes. In Wildlife Management Unit 3D, which includes Pike County, the season for antlered whitetail deer extends from Nov. 30 to Dec. 6. The season for both antlered and antlerless deer is from Dec. 7 to 14.
The black bear season is from Nov. 30 to Dec. 7. Those with a special firearms permit (junior and senior license holders, mentored youth permit holders, disabled person permits, and Pennsylvania residents serving on active duty in U.S. Armed Services or U.S. Coast Guard) may hunt from Dec. 7 to 14.
For more information visit the Pennsylvania Game Commission website at pgc.pa.gov.
In New Jersey, all state lands -- state forests, parks, recreation areas, historic sites, natural areas and wildlife management areas -- were closed to hunting of black bears as of Aug. 30, 2018, and will be remain closed for the 2019-20 season.
The firearm season for whitetail deer extends from Dec. 9 to 14.
Black bear may be taken in only in six hunting zones, all of them in the northern part of the state, including portions of Sussex and Passaic counties. Hunting with firearms is permitted from Dec. 9 to 14, with some extensions allowed through Dec. 21.
For more information visit the New Jersey Department of Fish and Wildlife website at njfishandwildlife.com.