Skip to Main Content Skip to Main Navigation

Furbearer Hunting

To hunt furbearers, you must possess a Resident or Nonresident Hunting license. A trapping license does not allow you to hunt furbearers. Furbearers may be hunted with a bow, crossbow or firearm as described below.

  • You may hunt red and gray fox, coyote, bobcat, raccoon, skunk, mink, weasel and opossum.
  • If you take a bobcat, it must be tagged and sealed.
  • You may use a call, including an electronic call.
  • Mink may only be hunted in the Southern Zone with a firearm not larger than .22 caliber during their open trapping season. Mink may not be hunted with a firearm in the Northern Zone.
  • Muskrat may only be hunted on Lake Champlain during the open trapping season with a firearm not larger than .22 caliber.
  • You may not hunt from any motor vehicle, including an ATV or snowmobile.
  • You may hunt furbearers using any handgun, shotgun, muzzleloading rifle, bow, crossbow or air gun.

Possession and Use of Rifles for Hunting Furbearers

  1. Is any deer season open in the location you wish to hunt (including archery, muzzleloading, regular, late and Focus Area)?
  1. If NO, you may use any caliber rimfire or centerfire rifle for hunting furbearers.
  2. If YES, can deer be hunted with rifles in that location during the regular season?
  3. If YES, you may use any caliber rimfire or centerfire rifle for hunting furbearers during any open deer season.
  4. If NO, you may only possess afield rimfire rifles .22 caliber or smaller, or centerfire rifles LESS THAN .22 caliber (.204, .17, etc.) during any open deer season. Once all deer seasons are closed, the restriction ends, except:
    1. You may NEVER possess a rifle afield in Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk counties.
    2. In the Northern Zone, it is illegal to carry a rifle larger than .22 caliber rimfire (or .22 caliber or larger centerfire rifles) at any time if accompanied by a dog, except when coyote hunting.

Hunting Furbearers at Night

  • Spotlights, night vision, thermal and laser devices are permitted for furbearer hunting. They may be attached to the firearm. All laws pertaining to the use of a spotlight apply.
  • Hunters should consult with local government officials for any laws that may prohibit the discharge of firearms at night.

Bobcat Harvest Expansion Area Permit

Southern/Western New York harvest expansion area

To hunt or trap for bobcat in the “Harvest Expansion Area” (area highlighted in blue on the map), which includes 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, you must do the following:

  1. Obtain a free bobcat Harvest Expansion Area Permit from any DEC regional bureau of wildlife office listed below.
  2. Comply with all conditions stated on the permit.
  3. Maintain and submit a hunting/trapping activity log; DEC will provide this when you receive your permit.
  4. Submit the skull or lower jaw of all harvested bobcats at the time of pelt sealing.

The season in the Harvest Expansion Area will open on October 25 and close November 20, 2015.

All bobcats taken in the Harvest Expansion Area must be pelt sealed by November 30.

Completed trapping/hunting activity logs, even if you did not trap or hunt, must be submitted to DEC by November 30.

All other regulations associated with furbearer trapping and hunting apply.

To obtain a bobcat trapping or hunting permit for the Harvest Expansion Area, contact any of the offices below by phone, mail or e-mail. Permits will be issued and mailed in the beginning of October before the start of the season. Only one permit is needed to hunt or trap in all of the WMUs in the Harvest Expansion Area. You must provide the following information:

  • Name
  • Mailing address
  • DEC ID # (from your trapping/hunting license or backtag)
  • Phone number and/or e-mail address
  • If you plan to trap bobcat, hunt bobcat or both
  • If you request a permit by email, be sure to include the county in which you plan to trap and/or hunt.

DEC Region

Wildlife Mgmt. Units




3R, 3S

21 South Putt Corners Rd.
New Paltz, NY 12561



4A, 4F, 4O, 5R, 6R, 6S

1130 N. Westcott Road,
Schenectady, NY 12306-2014




1285 Fisher Ave. Cortland, NY 13045

607-753-3095, ext. 247


8T, 8W, 8X, 8Y

7291 Coon Rd. Bath, NY 14810-9728

607-776-2165, ext. 16


9J, 9K, 9M, 9N, 9P, 9R, 9S, 9T, 9W, 9X, 9Y

182 East Union St., Suite 3
Allegany, NY 14706


Or Apply by Email at with Bobcat Harvest Expansion Area in the subject.


Furbearer Possession Tag

Furbearer Possession Tags may be printed or downloaded from the DEC website: Tags may also be obtained by calling (518) 402-8883 or writing to: Furbearer Possession Tag, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754.

Weasel, Opossum, Skunk, Raccoon And Fox Hunting

Long Island: Nov. 1–Feb. 25

All other areas of New York: Oct. 25–Feb. 15

There are no bag limits for these species. They may be hunted during the day or night.

Coyote Hunting

Statewide except Long Island and New York City: Oct. 1–March 27

There are no bag limits for coyotes. They may be hunted during the day or night.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

Return to the home page
Conservation Partner Advertisements: The New York Department of Environmental Protection allows appropriate advertising in its annual regulation guides in print and online, in order to defray or eliminate expenses to the state, and support enhanced communications with New York Department of Environmental Protection Constituents. Through a unique partnership with J.F.Griffin Publishing, LLC &, ‘Conservation Partners’ have been established that pay for advertising in support of the regulations both in print and online. The New York Department of Environmental Protection neither endorses products or services listed or claims made; nor accepts any liability arising from the use of products or services listed. Advertisers interested in the Conservation Partners program should contact J.F.Griffin/ directly at 413-884-1001,
J.F. Griffin reaches 20 million sportsmen every year through our print and digital publications. We produce 47 hunting and fishing regulation guides for 22 state agencies.
For advertising information, please visit: