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Deer Hunting

Hunting Regulations Icon New York Hunting

Deer Tag Descriptions

Tag Name

Tag Can Be Used In

Tag Is Valid For

Regular Season
Deer Tag
Only you may hunt with this tag. No transferring tag to another hunter.
Regular Season

  • Northern Zone
  • Southern Zone

Westchester County

  • Regular (bowhunting only)

Suffolk County

  • Regular (bowhunting only)
  • Special Firearms

Late Season Bowhunting (privilege required)

  • Northern Zone
  • Southern Zone

Late Season Muzzleloading (privilege required)

  • Northern Zone
  • Southern Zone

Youth Deer Season

Antlered Deer Only

Except: May be used for Antlered or Antlerless Deer as follows:

  • In Westchester County (WMU 3S)
  • In Suffolk County (WMU 1C)
  • In areas restricted to bowhunting only. (WMUs 4J and 8C)
  • In late seasons (with bowhunting or muzzleloading privilege)
  • By Junior Hunters during the Youth Deer Hunt
Bow/Mz Season
Either Sex Tag
Only you may hunt with this tag. No transferring tag to another hunter.
Bowhunting Season (privilege required)

  • Northern Zone
  • Southern Zone

Muzzleloading Season (privilege required)

  • Northern Zone
  • Southern Zone

Westchester County

  • Regular (bowhunting only)

Suffolk County

  • Regular (bowhunting only)
  • Special Firearms
Antlered or Antlerless Deer

Bowhunting OR Muzzleloading seasons only (including the regular season in Westchester County and any season in Suffolk County)

Junior Bowhunters will receive this tag, which will be valid in the special bowhunting seasons and during the regular season.

Except:

  • May be used for antlered deer only during muzzleloading seasons in certain Northern Zone WMUs.
Bow/Mz Season
Antlerless Tag
Only you may hunt with this tag. No transferring tag to another hunter.
Bowhunting Season (privilege required)

  • Northern Zone
  • Southern Zone

Muzzleloading Season (privilege required)

  • Northern Zone
    (check open areas and dates on map)
  • Southern Zone

Westchester County

  • Regular (bowhunting only)

Suffolk County

  • Regular (bowhunting only)
  • Special Firearms (special permit)

    !

    Not valid during the Northern or Southern Zone Regular Seasonsor Youth Hunt.

Antlerless Deer Only

Bowhunting OR Muzzleloading seasons only (including the regular season in Westchester County and any season in Suffolk County)

Except:

  • May not be used during muzzleloading seasons in certain Northern Zone WMUs that are Antlered Deer Only areas.
Deer Management Permit Deer Tag Any Open Deer Season Antlerless Deer Only

Valid ONLY for the WMU specified and printed on the DMP Deer Tag (Deer Management Permit).

This is the only tag that can be transferred to another hunter

Not valid during the Northern or Southern Zone Regular Seasons or Youth Hunt.

Moose In New York

Moose are protected in New York and cannot be hunted. DEC and its research partners are currently conducting a multi-year research project to obtain information on the status of New York State’s moose population, he

alth of the moose, and the factors that influence moose survival and reproductive rate. The goal of the moose study is to gather data that will be used to create a moose management plan for New York State. See www.dec.ny.gov/animals/6964.html#Research for more information.

Report your Moose Sightings

If you have seen a moose, DEC wants to know about it. Your observations help DEC track moose distribution in New York. To report a moose sighting, go to www.dec.ny.gov/animals/6964.html#Sightings.

Meat Unfit for Consumption

If a deer, bear or turkey is found to be unfit for human consumption, a special permit may be issued that allows the hunter to take another deer, turkey, or bear, provided the season is still open. The entire animal, including the antlers, must be forfeited to get a permit. A permit will not be issued if meat is unfit due to hunter neglect. Call a wildlife or law enforcement office.

Deer Management Permits (DMPs)

Hunters possessing a DMP may take one antlerless deer per permit in addition to any deer that may be taken with a regular hunting license or bowhunting and muzzleloading privileges.

  • DMPs may not be used for legally antlered deer (at least one antler 3″ or longer).
  • DMPs may only be used in the WMU for which they are issued.
  • Hunters may transfer or receive up to 2 DMPs from other hunters.

Applying for a deer management permit (DMP)

  • DMP Application Deadline: Close of business on October 1, 2017
  • You may apply for DMPs at all license-issuing outlets, by phone, mail or online beginning on August 1, 2017.
  • DMPs are available to all hunters age 14 years or older who purchase or possess a regular hunting license (12 years old for Junior Bowhunting license holders).
  • There is a $10 non-refundable application fee for all applicants, except for holders of Lifetime Sportsman licenses purchased prior to 9/30/2009, and Junior Hunters and Junior Bowhunters.
  • Know your Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) before you apply. If you are unsure of your unit, see www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/8302.html for written boundary descriptions. You may also call the DMP Hotline for additional information at 1-866-472-4332.
  • You may apply for up to two DMPs. Both must be applied for at the same time. Application can be for DMPs in the same WMU or different WMUs.
  • Disabled veterans with a service-connected disability rated at 40% or greater (who are residents of New York) will receive preference on DMPs. Annually, you must bring a letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs, dated in the current year, with your case number and your disability percentage. If you are claiming permanent disabled status, the letter must clearly state that the service-related disability is permanent.
  • Landowners: If you own 50 or more contiguous acres of land within the WMU you will be hunting in, you will receive preference on DMP selection. Annually, you must bring your tax map identification number and SWIS code (found on your tax bill) with you when you apply. Be sure to tell the license-issuing agent PRIOR to applying that you are a landowner. Lessees do not qualify as landowners. A spouse of a landowner may receive landowner preference, but both husband and wife may not apply as a landowner for the same parcel of land. Corporate ownership: only one person may be designated by a corporation as the landowner each year no matter how many 50-acre parcels are owned. The corporation must submit an original letter or certified copy of a resolution, dated in the current year, designating the individual and must include the tax map ID and SWIS code information.
  • Group ownership: regardless of how many co-owners, only one person may apply per 50+ acre parcel. Additional 50+ acre parcels in the same WMU require separate tax IDs.
  • Preference points:
    • Preference points are won and lost on first permit selection only.
    • If you do not receive a DMP in your first choice WMU, you will receive a preference point for the following year.
    • If you were rejected for a first permit in 2016 and have a preference point for the 2017 hunting season, this information is stored in DECALS and will be available to all license-issuing agents.
    • Preference points do not guarantee selection. Any preference points contained in your file are automatically applied to your first-choice WMU selection. If you do NOT receive your first choice, the points are applied to your second choice but will remain in your file for the following year, regardless of your second choice selection results.

DMP selection order

During the instant issuance, an applicant’s chances of selection are determined by an applicant’s category. The categories, in priority order, are as follows.

  1. Landowners (50 or more acres of land within a WMU) and Disabled Veterans (40% or more service-related disability). All applicants in this category will receive their first-choice DMP.
  2. NYS Residents and Non-residents with 3 Preference Points
  3. NYS Residents with 1–2 Preference Points
  4. NYS Residents without Preference Points
  5. Non-residents with 1–2 Preference Points
  6. Non-residents without Preference Points

Additional opportunities for DMPs

Bonus DMPs: If you fill a DMP in bowhunting-only WMUs 1C, 3S, 4J and 8C, you can apply for a bonus permit for another anterless deer. Bonus permits may only be obtained from regional wildlife staff at predetermined locations. For complete information, visit our website or call a DEC regional wildlife office as follows:

  • WMU 1C: 1-631-444-0310
  • WMU 3S: 1-845-256-3098
  • WMU 4J: 1-518-357-2154
  • WMU 8C: 1-585-226-5380

Leftover DMPs: If there are still permits remaining after the initial DMP instant-issuance period closes on October 1 and the back-end correction selections have occurred, the remaining DMPs may be available on a first-come/first-served basis, beginning on or around November 1. These DMPs are only available in person at license-issuing agents. Leftover DMPs will not be available by phone or by mail. The Wildlife Management Units with permits available will be announced by news release and on our website (www.dec.ny.gov). If you already applied for a Deer Management Permit during the initial application period, there is no additional application fee. If you are applying for the first time this hunting season, you will have to pay a $10 application fee. Fee is waived for Resident and Non-resident Junior Hunters and Junior Bowhunters, and for Lifetime Sportsman licenses purchased prior to October 1, 2009. You will be allowed up to two DMPs during the first-come/first-served application period in addition to any you may have received during the initial application period.

Deer Management Assistance Program

The Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) enables wildlife biologists to help landowners and resource managers implement site-specific deer management on their lands. In doing so, DEC issues a special permit for use only during the open deer hunting seasons and a determined number of antlerless deer tags to landowners or resource managers whose property is in need of site-specific deer management efforts. Hunters are expected to report their harvest. For more information on the program, refer to http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/33973.html.

Chances of DMP Selection

Your chances of selection for first and second DMPs by Wildlife Management Unit are available online at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/30409.html, posted at all License Issuing Outlets or by calling our Deer Management Permit hotline at 1-866-472-4332. Chances of DMP selection remain the same throughout the entire DMP application period.

DMAP Tags

The DEC Office in Sherburne, Chenango County, will have DMAP tags available for use only on Beaver Meadow State Forest in Chenango County this hunting season for interested hunters with a valid license. Tags are valid only for antlerless deer and will be loaned out on a weekly basis, determined by lottery drawing, depending on demand. Hunters may apply in person at the Sherburne Lands and Forests office. Find the application on the DEC website, http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/66900.html, contact Info.R7@dec.ny.gov or send a self-addressed stamped envelope to the DEC Lands and Forests office in Sherburne requesting an application:
NYS DEC, Division of Lands and Forests, 2715 State Hwy 80, Sherburne, NY 13460. A limited number of DMAP tags will be available for the Delaware County portion of The Treaty Line State Forest including Steam Mill, Arctic, China, Barbour Brook, Pine Hill, Michigan Hill and Beach Hill State Forest parcels. Tags must be picked up in person at the Stamford DEC Office Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Please call ahead at 607-652-7367 or 607-652-7365.

Boning Out Deer

Some hunters who take a deer in remote areas may wish to bone out the deer and pack out the meat. This is lawful but you must retain the carcass tag with the boned out meat.

How to Transfer a DMP Deer Carcass Tag

Hunter Art Fern wants to transfer his DMP tag to hunter Pete Moss.

Step 1. Art Fern signs the bottom of his
DMP tag.

Step 2. Art Fern gives the DMP tag to
Pete Moss.

Step 3. Pete Moss records the DOC# of the DMP tag on his reporting panel, completing the transfer.

Step 4. If Pete Moss takes an antlerless deer with the transferred DMP, he is required to report the deer by calling the automated reporting system (1-866-426-3778) or by reporting online at www.dec.ny.gov using the transferred DMP DOC# and his own date of birth.

  • Hunters are allowed to receive only two transferred DMPs per year.
  • DMPs can be transferred from the receiving hunter back to the original hunter or to another. The other hunter must record the DOC# on his/her reporting panel, as in Step 3 above, to complete the transfer.

Remember: Hunting licenses are not transferable. Only DMP carcass tags can be used by another hunter. A hunter must be in physical possession of a DMP when taking antlerless deer pursuant to a DMP. It cannot be “shared” by a group afield.

Note: To report a deer taken on a transferred DMP, the hunter who took the deer must call the automated reporting system (1-866-426-3778) or report online at www.dec.ny.gov using the transferred DMP carcass tag DOC# and his/her own date of birth, along with other required information.

It is NOT legal to buy, sell, or offer to sell a DMP!