Hunting season for big game like bear and deer in the Southern Zone of New York begins at sunrise November 18 and continues through December 10.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website displays maps of the various zones in the state with the Southern Zone covering much of the state north of New York City and the Hudson Valley but excludes the Adirondacks and the North Country.

State Officials say about 80% of around 575,000 licensed hunters register in the Southern Zone.

Hunters have already taken to the woods and clearings in the Northern Zone.  Big Game Season in that region opened October 21 and closes December 3.

The DEC reminds hunters to always assume a weapon is loaded, keep fingers off triggers until actually ready to fire and wear florescent orange to avoid being mistaken for an animal by other hunters.

Thinkstock/JimVallee