A deer in Heckscher State Park in East Islip. (June...

A deer in Heckscher State Park in East Islip. (June 15, 2011) Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Deer hunters in East Hampton can start applying for the town lottery to hunt on town-owned lands starting on Dec. 5, and have until Dec. 21 to return their applications to the town clerk’s office.

The town board approved the lottery at its meeting N ov 18 , with the winners getting the right to hunt in about 20 locations in the town controlled by the Department of Natural Resources, including parts of the 517-acre Grace Estate in Northwest Harbor.

The state gun hunting season opens Jan. 9 and runs through Jan. 31, and applicants for the lottery must have a valid state license. Last year, about 60 local hunters applied for the lottery.

Under town rules, winners must sign in each day, and if they fail to do so, their town spot can be taken by another town hunter on a first-come, first serve basis.