ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Early bear season begins in parts of New York later this week.

State environmental officials say the early bear hunting season will start on Saturday in parts of southeastern New York and on Sept. 16 in northern New York.

During early bear season, eligible hunters may use bows, crossbows, muzzleloaders, handguns or shotguns. Rifles are allowed in certain areas.

The southeastern New York early bear season runs through to Sept. 24 in specified wildlife management units. In northern New York, the early bear season runs through Oct. 13.

Regular firearms season for bears begins later this fall.