At press time, legislation was pending that could effect the use of crossbows or rifles for big game hunting in certain counties of NY. Please check our website at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/35010.html for the most up-to-date information.
The following describes implement requirements for Big Game Hunting. See map above to determine where each can be used.
Bow—Long (stick), recurve or compound
bow with a draw weight greater than 35 lbs. A legal arrowhead is nonbarbed, has 2 or more cutting edges and is at least 7⁄8 inches wide.
Crossbow—Consists of a bow, a string, and either compound or recurve limbs with minimum width of 17 inches (tip of limbs, uncocked), mounted on a stock. The stock shall have a trigger with a working safety that holds the string and limbs under tension until released. It shall have a minimum overall length from the butt of the stock to the front of the limbs of 24 inches and be able to launch a minimum 14 inch arrow/bolt, not including the legal arrowhead. It shall have a draw weight of 100 to 200 pounds.
Muzzleloader—Firearm loaded through the muzzle, a minimum bore of .44 inches and shooting a single projectile. Scopes or fiber-optic sights may be used at any time. Double-barreled muzzleloaders and percussion cap revolvers are not legal during the special muzzleloading season. If you hunt with a single-shot muzzleloading pistol, you must have a New York State pistol permit.
Handgun—Any centerfire pistol or revolver. Barrel length may not exceed 16 inches. Note: Nonresidents may not use handguns to hunt in New York.
Shotgun—Must be 20 gauge or larger and fire a single projectile. Rifling in the barrel or choke is allowed.
Rifle—Any centerfire rifle.
It is illegal to hunt big game with:
Regulations in red are new this year.
Purple text indicates an important note.