The big weekend is almost here! The opening day of archery hunting for whitetail deer in Western New York lands this Sunday, October 1st.

The weather is starting to change to a cooler pattern and fingers crossed, should make for a decent start to the season. With the heat we have had recently, it's been hard to imagine being in a deer stand in New York in 90 degree weather. But as archery hunters know, the best part of the season is still a few weeks away when the pre-rut and the rut starts.

From antler restriction areas to the youth firearms season and hunting with a crossbow, there are a few things that hunters should be aware of this fall!

Deer 2017 NYS DEC

Antler Restriction Program

An antler restriction is in place to reduce harvest of young bucks in a portion of the Catskills in southeastern New York. The antler restriction REQUIRES that bucks taken in the antler restriction units have at least one antler with 3 points (or more) which are at least one inch long. This restriction applies to the archery, regular and muzzleloading seasons. Hunters aged 12-16 years are exempt from this restriction. For more information see Antler Restrictions in New York.