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Highlights of Changes for 2013-2014

Youth Firearms Deer Hunt

The Youth Firearms Deer Hunt will once again be held on Columbus Day weekend, October 12–14, 2013. For more information, see New York’s Youth Deer Hunt.

New Bobcat Harvest Opportunities

In Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) 5A, 5C, 5F, 5G, 5H, 5J, 6A, 6C, 6F, 6G, 6H, 6J and 6N, the bobcat trapping season has been extended to February 15th to match current hunting season dates. In WMU 6N, the hunting season date has been extended to February 15th. A new bobcat harvest expansion area will open in WMUs 3R, 3S, 4A, 4F, 4O, 5R, 6R, 6S, 7S, 8T, 8W, 8X, 8Y, 9J, 9K, 9M, 9N, 9P, 9R, 9S, 9T, 9W, 9X and 9Y—hunting and trapping will be allowed in these WMUs from October 25 to November 15, 2013 with certain conditions. For full details, see New Bobcat Harvest Opportunities.

Rifle Hunting in Ontario and Wayne Counties

New laws now allow the use of rifles for big game hunting in Wayne and Ontario Counties. For a map of legal implements, see Big Game Boundary Descriptions/Legal Implements.

Special Snow Goose Harvest Program

A special snow goose harvest program in New York, in addition to the regular season, will allow the hunting of snow geese from October 1 through April 15 annually. For more information, see the article on Snow Goose Hunting.

Crossbows No Longer Legal Hunting Implements in New York State

The law that formerly allowed big game hunting with crossbows was written with an expiration date of December 31, 2012. As the law has expired, crossbows are not currently legal hunting implements in New York State. For future updates, check the DEC website.

Conservation Easements Open for Hunting and Trapping

This year, select conservation easements open to the public for hunting and trapping are listed on the regional maps. The NYSDEC’s conservation easements are tracts of privately owned property on which the State of New York has acquired certain public rights, in some cases this includes the right to hunt and trap. Hunters and trappers who plan to visit one of these conservation easement properties are strongly encouraged to find exactly which activities are permitted on a given tract before going afield. Information on many of the conservation easements is available on the web at or by contacting the regional DEC office nearest to the easement property (see Important Numbers).

Coming For Next Year…

As you may have already heard, Governor Cuomo and the Legislature have agreed to simplify the sporting license structure for anglers, hunters, trappers and license-issuing agents as part of the 2013-14 State Budget. The upcoming license restructure will simplify the license types and all corresponding fees will remain unchanged, or in many cases be reduced. These changes are being made to help fulfill DEC’s goal of fostering recruitment and retention of hunters, anglers and trappers—both resident and non-resident. Check DEC’s website for more information on the license restructure.

It is important to note that these proposed changes will not be in effect until February 1, 2014, so the current license structure will remain in place through New York’s big game season. However, licenses purchased after February 1, 2014 for hunting and trapping (such as spring turkey, grouse, rabbits, etc.) will be subject to the changes in the license structure and fees. Licenses purchased prior to February 1, 2014, and privileges associated with those licenses, remain in effect through their valid dates. Please check the DEC website this fall for an updated list of licenses and associated fees.


Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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