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General License Information

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Mandatory Hunter Education

A hunter education course is required for persons who cannot provide proof that they have ever possessed a hunting license. The general course is a minimum 10 hours in length. DEC honors hunter education certificates and sporting licenses from all other states and countries. You must be at least 11 years of age to take this class.

Mandatory Bowhunter Education

Hunters wishing to bowhunt for big game must present either:

  1. Proof that he or she successfully completed an approved bowhunter education course; (Note: Approved courses are International Bowhunter Education Program Courses or an equivalent course. If in doubt, call toll free — 1-888-HUNT-ED2) or
  2. Proof that he or she previously held a bowhunting license or stamp issued in 1980 or later; if proof is from prior to 1980, he/she must take an additional 8-hour minimum bowhunter education course.

Mandatory Crossbow Requirement

Hunters wishing to use a crossbow must complete qualification in the safe use of hunting with a crossbow and responsible crossbow hunting practices. See Crossbow Hunting Information for details.

Residency

To qualify for a resident license, a person must live in New York State for more than 30 days immediately preceding the date of application. Land ownership in New York does not make you a resident. Residency is that place where a person maintains a fixed, permanent and principal home (regardless of where temporarily located), such as where a person is registered to vote. If under 18, the residence of parents or legal guardian shall be deemed such person’s residence.

Active members of the U.S. Armed Forces stationed in New York and full-time college students in residence in the state during the school year (proof required) qualify for annual resident licenses.

Minimum Hunting Age

Minors under the age of 12 may not obtain a hunting license or hunt wildlife.

License Year

Licenses and permits are valid from September 1 through August 31.

License Responsibilities

  • A license or tag is not transferable and may be used only by the person to whom issued (except for Deer Management Permits—see Deer Management Permits (DMPs)).
  • It is not legal to possess another person’s license while hunting.
  • A license to hunt, trap or fish does not give the holder any right to go on private property without permission of the landowner.
  • You can legally purchase and possess only one hunting license per year.
  • Your license must be carried on your person when hunting or trapping.
  • It is illegal to refuse to show your license on demand to a law enforcement officer or the owner, lessee or person in control of the lands (or their designees) while on their property.
  • Make sure that your license has all the correct information. Carefully check it immediately after receipt. If you discover an error, have it corrected as soon as possible.
  • Do NOT heat laminate your license. High temperatures will destroy the tags and turn them black. If tags are destroyed, there is a fee for replacement.

Back Tags

Must be visibly displayed on the middle of your back while hunting, except in the Northern Zone and Catskill Park.

Hunting License Exceptions

All residents must have a valid hunting license in their possession except:

  • Resident owners primarily engaged in farming, lessees and members of their immediate families do not need a hunting license when hunting small game on farm lands they are occupying and cultivating.
  • Native Americans living on a reservation do not need a hunting license while hunting on reservation lands.

Free Licenses/Patriot Licenses

Free hunting, fishing and trapping licenses are available to members of the Shinnecock and Poospatuck tribes and members of the Six Nations residing on reservations in the state. They must be obtained from some tribal councils or DEC headquarters in Albany (518) 402-8843.

Free hunting, fishing and trapping licenses are also available to NYS residents who have the appropriate Sportsman Education and are active service members of the NYS Guard, US Reserve Forces or certain members of the US Armed Forces. For more detailed information, visit our website or call (518) 402-8843.

Lost Licenses

A current year lost license may be replaced at any license-issuing outlet at a cost of $5 for a license panel. Big game carcass tag sets or turkey carcass tag sets may be replaced at a cost of $10. There is no charge to replace a lost backtag.

Special Licenses For Hunters with Disabilities

Non-Ambulatory Hunter Permit

This permit allows qualified hunters to shoot a firearm from a motorized vehicle (including an off-road vehicle) that has the motor turned off and that is completely off the highway right-of-way.

To qualify for a Non-Ambulatory Hunter Permit, a person must be physically unable to move about except with the use of a mechanized aid such as a wheelchair.

Modified Archer Permit

This permit allows qualified people to hunt big or small game with a legal bow that is equipped with a device to hold it in a drawn and cocked position. This permit does not allow the use of a crossbow.

To qualify for a Modified Archer Permit, a person must be permanently physically unable to draw and hold a legal bow.

Modified Crossbow Permit

This permit allows qualified people to hunt big or small game during bowhunting season with a crossbow that has been specifically modified with a device that only allows it to be discharged (fired) by means of a breath tube. This permit does not allow the use of an unmodified crossbow.

To qualify for a Modified Crossbow Permit, a person must be permanently physically unable to hold or draw a legal bow or to fire a legal bow that has been modified to hold and release the string.

If a person can pull the trigger on a gun, he or she will not qualify for a Modified Crossbow Permit.

For more information on these permits, write the NYS DEC Special Licenses Unit, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4752, email speciallicenses@dec.ny.gov or call (518) 402-8985. The application process takes time; write or call well before you intend to hunt.

Resident Licenses, Privileges And Stamps

Type

Age

Fee

Hunting

16–69 Yrs.

$22

70+ Yrs.

$5

Qualifications: Hunter Education Certificate OR previous hunting license. If Patriot (see above), NO FEE.

Privileges: Hunt small game species with gun, bow or crossbow (see Crossbow Hunting Information) during appropriate seasons. Hunt deer and bear with gun, muzzleloader, bow (with appropriate bow privilege), or crossbow (see Crossbow Hunting Information) during the regular season, or hunt with shotgun or muzzleloader during the January firearms season (permit required—see Big Game Hunting) in Suffolk County (WMU 1C).

NOTE: Those under 18 who are hunting big game for the first time as a holder of a hunting license must be accompanied for the entire season by a parent or legal guardian, or a person over 18 (holding written permission from parent or guardian) with at least one year’s experience in hunting bear or deer. Accompanist must have a current license that allows the hunting of big game.

Deer Management Permit (DMP) Application
(Must apply by October 1)

14+ Yrs.
12+ Yrs. (Youth Bowhunting Only)

$10

Qualifications: Available to holders of Hunting licenses and Lifetime (Sportsman) licenses for a non-refundable $10 application fee. The application fee is waived for Lifetime Licenses (Sportsman) holders purchased prior to Oct. 1, 2009, and all Junior Hunters and Junior Bowhunters.

Privileges: Application for an antlerless deer tag that is issued by random computer selection. This tag is valid for hunting antlerless deer only (both antlers less than 3″ long) in a selected Wildlife Management Unit.
See DMP information on Deer Management Permits (DMPs).

Military Disabled Hunting

16+ Yrs. and
40%+ Military Disabled

$5

Qualifications: Hunter Education Certificate OR previous hunting license PLUS 40% or greater service-related military disability documented annually by a letter dated in the current year from the Veteran’s Administration (unless VA letter states “Permanent”).

Privileges: Same as Hunting license.

Bowhunting Privilege
(must be accompanied by valid hunting license)

16–69 Yrs.

$15

Qualifications: Current year license, PLUS acceptable Bowhunter Education Certificate, OR Bowhunting Stamp issued in 1980 or later, OR NYS Junior Bowhunting License issued in 1980 or later.

Privileges: Hunt deer and bear with bow only during bowhunting season.

NOTE: Residents hunting bear and deer with a bow during the regular season must possess both a valid hunting license and either a current bowhunting privilege or a valid Bowhunter Education Certificate. This includes Westchester and Suffolk counties.

FREE Bowhunting Privilege
(must be accompanied by valid hunting license)

70+ Yrs. OR
16+ Yrs. and
40%+ Military Disabled

No Fee

Qualifications: Same as Bowhunting Privilege

Privileges: Same as Bowhunting Privilege

Muzzleloading Privilege
(must be accompanied by valid hunting license)

14–69 Yrs.

$15

Qualifications: Current year hunting license.

Privileges: Hunt deer and bear with a muzzleloading firearm during muzzleloading season, and the January special firearms season in Suffolk County (WMU 1C). Hunt deer and bear with a crossbow (see Crossbow Hunting Information.

FREE Muzzleloading Privilege
(must be accompanied by valid hunting license)

70+ Yrs. OR
16+ Yrs. and
40%+ Military Disabled

No Fee

Qualifications: Same as Muzzleloading Privilege

Privileges: Same as Muzzleloading Privilege

† Military Disabled persons with a 40% or more disability annually pay $5.00 for the first of the following 3 privileges: fishing, hunting, trapping. Subsequent purchases of the other 2 privileges are free within the calendar year. Questions should be directed to 518-402-8843.

Junior Hunting (must apply in person
accompanied by parent or legal guardian)

12–15 Yrs.

$5

Qualifications: Hunter Education Certificate OR previous hunting license, PLUS proof of age (e.g., birth certificate or passport) for first-time applicants.

Privileges:

Ages 12–13: Hunt small game with gun or bow during appropriate seasons when accompanied* by a parent, legal guardian, or person 21 or older with written permission from parent/guardian.

Ages 14–15: Hunt small game with gun, bow (with appropriate bow eligibility), or crossbow (see Crossbow Hunting Information) during appropriate seasons when accompanied* by a parent, legal guardian, or person 18 or older with written permission from parent/guardian. Hunt big game species with a gun, bow (with appropriate bow eligibility) or crossbow (see Crossbow Hunting Information) when accompanied* by a parent, legal guardian or “youth mentor” 21 years or older designated in writing (see permission form on Junior Hunter/Trapper Mentoring Program of this guide).

* Accompanist must have a current hunting license. Junior Hunters do not need a Federal Duck Stamp to hunt waterfowl.

Junior Bowhunting (must apply in person accompanied by parent or legal guardian)

12–15 Yrs.

$4

Qualifications: A Junior Hunting license, PLUS acceptable Bowhunter Education certificate, OR previous Junior Bowhunting License PLUS proof of age (birth certificate) for first-time applicants.

Privileges:

Ages 12–13: Hunt deer and bear with bow during the bowhunting season and the regular season, when accompanied* by a parent, legal guardian, or a “youth mentor” 21 years or older and designated in writing (see Junior Hunter/Trapper Mentoring Program).

Ages 14–15: Hunt deer and bear with bow during the bowhunting season and the regular season, when accompanied* by a parent, legal guardian or person 18 years or older and designated in writing (see Junior Hunter/Trapper Mentoring Program).

* Accompanist must have certain privileges and a number of years of hunting experience (see Junior Hunter/Trapper Mentoring Program).

Turkey Permit

12+ Yrs.

$10

Qualifications: Current year hunting license.

Turkey tags are included with the purchase of a Lifetime License (Sportsman). To hunt turkey, all hunters must have a turkey permit. There are no exceptions.

Habitat & Access Stamp

Any

$5

Venison Donation (help feed the hungry by supporting NY’s venison donation program)

Any

$1 or more

Federal Duck Stamp (available at most post offices
and some sporting goods stores)

16+ Yrs.

$25

Qualifications: Validated by holder’s signature on the face of the stamp, AND a Lifetime License (Sportsman) or Hunting License

Privileges: Hunt migratory waterfowl. It is not needed for gallinules, coot, crows, rails, woodcock or snipe. All migratory game bird hunters, including Junior Hunters, must register with the Harvest Information Program by calling toll free 1-888-427-5447 or register online at: www.ny-hip.com

Trapping

16–69 Yrs.

$20

70+ Yrs.

$5

Qualifications: Trapper Education Certificate OR previous trapping license

Privileges: Set traps for species during their appropriate season (see Furbearer Trapping)

Senior/Military Disabled Trapping

70+ Yrs.

$5

40% Military Disabled

Free

Qualifications: Same as Trapping PLUS 40% or greater service-related military disability documented annually by a letter from Veterans Administration, unless your VA letter states “Permanent,” or Patriot (See above)

Privileges: Same as trapping

Junior Trapping (must apply in person, accompanied by parent or legal guardian)

Under 16 Yrs.

$5

Qualifications: Trapper Education Certificate OR previous trapping license

Privileges: Same as trapping. See trapper mentoring information on Junior Hunter/Trapper Mentoring Program.

Lifetime Sporting Licenses

The following Lifetime Licenses are available to New York State residents only
and may be purchased at all license-issuing outlets throughout New York State. Applicants must prove NYS residency for one year prior to application (proofs are the same as annual licenses with the exception of the one-year requirement). For additional information and clarification on Lifetime License sales, contact our License Sales Unit, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4790, call 518-402-8843, or visit our website www.dec.ny.gov.

Lifetime License (Sportsman)

(combined hunting and fishing privileges, also includes turkey permits):

For a person age 0–4

$380

For a person age 5–11

$535

For a person age 12–69

$765

For a person age 70 or older

$65

Other Lifetime Licenses/Privileges

Hunting License

$535

Fishing License
(age 0–69)

$460

Fishing License
(age 70 and older)

$65

Trapping License

$395

Bowhunting

$235

Muzzleloading

$235

Lifetime Licenses & Tags
for Young Hunters

Young hunters who hold a lifetime hunting license and wish to receive their tags must first take the appropriate hunter safety training course. A copy of the certificate(s) must be sent to the DEC License Sales Unit (see address above) before their tags can be fulfilled. Young hunters should take the appropriate training course well in advance of the season to allow adequate time for their tags to be mailed. Tags cannot be obtained by contacting your local license-issuing agent.

When purchasing a lifetime license for a child, the purchaser must bring proof of
the child’s age (e.g., birth certificate or passport) and a copy of the parent’s residency proof.

Nonresident Licenses, Privileges And Stamps

Type

Age

Fee

Nonresident Hunting

16+ Yrs.

$100

Qualifications: Hunter Education Certificate OR previous hunting license.

Privileges: Hunt small game with gun, bow or crossbow (see Crossbow Hunting Information) during appropriate season. Hunt deer and bear with gun, muzzleloader, bow (with appropriate bow privilege) or crossbow (see Crossbow Hunting Information) during regular season or hunt with shotgun or muzzleloader during the January firearms season in Suffolk County.

NOTE: Those under 18 who are hunting big game for the first time as a holder of a hunting license must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, or a person over 18 with at least one year’s experience in hunting bear or deer, for the entire season. The parent, guardian or person over 18 must have a current license that allows the hunting of big game.

Deer Management Permit (DMP)
(Must apply by October 1)

14+ Yrs.
12+ Yrs. (Youth Bowhunting Only)

$10

Qualifications: Available to holders of Nonresident Hunting licenses for a $10 non-refundable application fee. The fee is waived for Nonresident Junior Hunters and Nonresident Junior Bowhunters.

Privileges: Application for an antlerless deer tag that is issued by random computer selection. This tag is valid for hunting antlerless deer only (both antlers less than 3″ long) in a selected Wildlife Management Unit during all Southern Zone seasons. See DMP information on Deer Management Permits (DMPs).

Nonresident Bowhunting

16+ Yrs.

$30

Qualifications: A current year Nonresident Hunting license, PLUS Acceptable Bowhunter Education Certificate, OR Bow Stamp issued 1980 or later, OR NYS Junior Bowhunting License issued 1980 or later, OR NYS Nonresident Bowhunting or Super Sportsman (1993 or later).

Privileges: Hunt deer and bear only with a bow only during bowhunting seasons. Includes the regular season in Westchester County (WMU 3S) and Suffolk County (WMU 1C).

NOTE: Nonresidents hunting bear or deer with a bow during the regular season must possess both a valid hunting license and either a current bowhunting privilege or a valid Bowhunter Education Certificate. This includes Westchester and Suffolk counties.

Nonresident Muzzleloading

14+ Yrs.

$30

Qualifications: A current year Nonresident Hunting license.

Privileges: Hunt deer and bear only with a muzzleloader during muzzleloading season, and the January special firearms season in Suffolk County (WMU 1C). Hunt deer and bear with a crossbow (see Crossbow Hunting Information).

Nonresident Junior Hunting (must apply in person, accompanied by parent or legal guardian)

12–15 Yrs.

$5

Qualifications: Hunter Education Certificate OR previous hunting license, PLUS proof of age for first time applicants.

Privileges:

Ages 12–13: Hunt small game with gun or bow during appropriate seasons when accompanied* by a parent, legal guardian, or person 21 or older with written permission from parent/guardian.

Ages 14–15: Hunt small game with gun, bow (with appropriate bow eligibility) or crossbow (see Crossbow Hunting Information) during appropriate seasons when accompanied* by a parent, legal guardian, or person 18 or older with written permission from parent/guardian. Hunt big game species with a gun, bow (with appropriate bow eligibility) or crossbow (see Crossbow Hunting Information) when accompanied* by a parent, legal guardian or “youth mentor” 21 years or older designated in writing (see permission form on Junior Hunter/Trapper Mentoring Program of this guide).

* Accompanist must have a current hunting license. Junior hunters do not need a Federal Duck Stamp to hunt waterfowl.

Nonresident Junior Bowhunting (must apply in person, accompanied by parent or legal guardian)

12–15 Yrs.

$4

Qualifications: A Nonresident Junior Hunting license, PLUS acceptable Bowhunter Education certificate, OR previous Junior Bowhunting License PLUS proof of age for first-time applicants.

Privileges:

Ages 12–13: Hunt deer and bear with bow during the bowhunting season and the regular season, when accompanied* by a parent, legal guardian, or a “youth mentor” 21 years or older and designated in writing (see Junior Hunter/Trapper Mentoring Program).

Ages 14–15: Hunt deer and bear with bow during the bowhunting season and the regular season, when accompanied* by a parent, legal guardian or person 18 years or older and designated in writing (see Junior Hunter/Trapper Mentoring Program).

* Accompanist must have certain privileges and a number of years of hunting experience in hunting (see Junior Hunter/Trapper Mentoring Program).

Nonresident Turkey Permit

12+ Yrs.

$20

Qualifications: A current year Nonresident Hunting license or Nonresident Junior Hunting license

Privileges: Hunt wild turkey during the fall and spring turkey seasons. See Turkey Hunting for bag limits and dates.

To hunt turkey, all hunters must have a turkey permit. There are no exceptions.

Habitat and Access Stamp

Any

$5

Venison Donation

Any

$1 or more

Federal Duck Stamp (available at most post offices
and some sporting goods stores)

16+ Yrs.

$25

Note: You must sign your Federal Duck Stamp across its face prior to hunting.

Privileges: Hunt migratory waterfowl. It is not needed for gallinules, coot, crows, rails, woodcock or snipe. All migratory game bird hunters, including junior hunters must register with the Harvest Information Program by calling toll free 1-888-427-5447 or register online at: www.ny-hip.com

Nonresident Trapping

16+ Yrs.

$275

Qualifications: Trapping Education Certificate OR trapping license from any state

Privileges: Set traps for species during appropriate seasons (see Junior Hunter/Trapper Mentoring Program for youth mentor information)

Nonresident Junior Trapping

12–15 Years

$5

Sportsman Education

All first-time hunters, bowhunters and trappers must pass one or more courses before they can get a license in New York. Trained instructors certified by the DEC teach safe and responsible outdoor practices and the important role of hunters and trappers in conservation. All courses are free of charge, but space may be limited. As hunting seasons approach, many classes fill quickly. SIGN UP EARLY!

For more information on DEC Sportsman Education Programs, including a list of courses, visit: www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7860.html

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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J.F. Griffin Media reaches 9,000,000 sportsmen every year through our print and digital publications. We produce 30 hunting and fishing regulation guides for 15 state agencies. For advertising information, please visit: www.jfgriffin.com