Hunting - Small and Big Game Information

Home to white-tailed deer, wild turkey, waterfowl, black bears, and thousands of acres of pristine public hunting lands, New York State has some of the best hunting in America. Whether you like more primitive or modern forms of hunting, New York has something to offer everyone.  With newly reduced license fees, access to additional state lands and the passage of new crossbow legislation, there are so many reasons to make New York your premier destination for hunting this season.

Start your next great adventure by purchasing a hunting license, conveniently available now for purchase on-line or by phone at 1-866-933-2257.

New to hunting or just need a refresher?  Choose from one of our thousands of hunter education courses offering students top notch instruction at locations across the state.

With your license in hand, come experience the thrills of New York's great outdoors. To plan your next hunting trip, use the search tool below by selecting "hunting" in the amenities bar.

Good luck and safe hunting!

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For maps, guidelines and information on special permits required to hunt on specific state properties, please review the facility details in our listings below.

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Hunting Resources

Hunters Education:
A successful and safe hunting trip starts with proper training and education. Whether you're freshening up on old hunting skills, learning a new skill like crossbows or newcomer to hunting entirely, DEC offers a wide variety free course taught by sporting experts.
Sportsman Education Program courses
Find a Course Near You
Hunter Safety Basics
Opportunities for Junior Hunters & Trappers
Becoming an Outdoors Woman
National Archery in the Schools Program 

Purchasing Your License:
Your New York hunting trip starts with your license, conveniently available on-line. Unlike many other states, New York has simplified hunting licenses so that hunters now may buy a single hunting license that is used both for big game, like deer, or small game like rabbits and squirrels. For modest additional fees, hunters can purchase additional privileges including bowhunting, muzzleloading, and turkey permits.
Hunting Licenses

Online and Phone Sporting Licenses Issuing System 

  • By Phone: 1-866-933-2257 (8:30AM - 7PM Monday-Friday; and 9AM - 5PM Saturdays through October 4)

*In addition, New York residents who secure lifetime licenses will have the opportunity to receive an Adventure License. As part of the Adventure License program, the state has also unveiled the I Love NY Hunting License Plate available at a reduced fee to existing lifetime license holders, for free exclusively to those buying new lifetime fishing licenses in 2014, and at full cost to non-lifetime license holding residents.

Hunting Seasons:
Game Harvest Reporting

Deer SeasonsHunting 7

Hunters can pursue white-tailed deer during regular and archery seasons, as well as the muzzleloader and Crossbow season.
Planning a vacation or trip? Find out future season dates on the Future Big Game Hunting Seasons page.
To determine which hunting implements are allowed in your area, please see Big Game Legal Hunting Implements.
Deer and Bear Hunting

Black Bear Seasons

New York State has bear populations in the Adirondacks, Catskills, and Appalachian Hills and Plateau regions. There are early, regular, muzzleloader, and archery seasons for black bear.
Bear Hunting Regulations 
Hunting Black Bear in New York, booklet 
Black Bear Biology and Management
Deer and Bear Hunting

Wild Turkey SeasonsHunting 9

New York State has both spring and fall turkey hunting seasons and a youth turkey hunt for junior hunters (ages 12-15). During the spring, the season is open in all of upstate New York (north of the Bronx) and hunting hours are 1/2-hour before sunrise to noon. The fall season is divided in to six season zones and fall hunting hours are sunrise to sunset.
Turkey Hunting Photo Gallery
Wild Turkey Biology and Natural History
Wild Turkey Research

Waterfowl Seasons

Hunters in pursuit of ducks, mergansers, geese, and brant can view dates and bag limits for waterfowl seasons and a special youth waterfowl hunt.
All New York waterfowl hunters are required to register annually for the Harvest Information Program (HIP).  Hunting season dates are not finalized until federal regulations are adopted in late summer. Be sure to check the final regulations before going hunting.

Migratory Game Bird SeasonsHunting

View dates, bag limits, and special regulations for woodcock, crow, rail, snipe, and gallinule seasonsMigratory bird hunters must register with the Harvest Information Program (HIP) for all species except crow.  A federal migratory bird hunting stamp is not needed for woodcock, crow, rail, snipe, or gallinule.

Small Game Seasons

"Small game" includes upland game birds such as grouse, pheasants and quail, small game mammals such as squirrels, rabbits and hare, as well as some frogs and turtles. To view the dates, season zones, and bag limits for these species, visit the Small Game Seasons page.

Furbearer Seasons

To hunt furbearers, you need to possess resident or non-resident hunting license. To view season dates, season zones, and bag limits, visit the bobcat, coyote, and fox, raccoon, opossum, and weasel season pages.  People interested in trapping opportunities for these species must obtain a separate trapping license.

Additional Hunting Locations:

New York State Parks That Allow Hunting
DEC Hunting Lands


NYS Department of Environmental Conservation- MAIN HUNTING PAGE
Hunting & Trapping Photo Gallery

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