Message from the Commissioner

Hunting Regulations Icon New York Hunting

Dear Hunter, Trapper and Conservationist

It is a great time to hunt or trap in New York State! New Yorkers enjoy seasons for the suite of game species that run from September through March. There are hundreds of thousands of acres of public land open to hunting and trapping across the state, including more than 80 Wildlife Management Areas where habitat and access improvement projects are planned or underway. Purchase of a voluntary Habitat and Access Stamp is a great way to contribute directly to access and habitat improvements.

Dedicated, professional staff at DEC are committed to providing sustainable hunting and trapping opportunities for the state’s treasured game species so that they may be enjoyed by all New Yorkers now and in the future. You can play your part by being sure to follow hunting laws and regulations, engaging in ethical hunting and trapping practices, and by capping off a successful hunt by reporting your deer, bear, or turkey, and having your otter, fisher, marten, and bobcat pelt-sealed.

New York has some of the best deer hunting in the country and it is important that hunters do everything they can to protect this important resource. Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a serious threat to our deer, and it is knocking on our door. Hunters can take an active role in preventing the introduction of this always-fatal disease to the deer herd:

  • Dispose of carcasses in a landfill to prevent environmental contamination.
  • If you use a urine-based lure, use a synthetic.
  • Don’t feed wild deer.
  • Report sick deer or deer behaving abnormally.
  • If you hunt outside of New York, know the rules when importing hunted deer, elk or moose, and don’t ship or import a whole carcass or an intact trophy head.
  • Encourage other hunters to follow these guidelines. Contact DEC if you observe a violation.

DEC also reminds hunters that ticks are active whenever temperatures are above freezing. Deer ticks can transmit Lyme and several other diseases. It is best to use an insect repellent and do a full body check at the end of the day. More information on deer ticks and Lyme disease can be obtained from the NYS Department of Health.

Hunting in New York is a safe activity, and it is getting safer year after year thanks to the efforts of over 2,500 volunteer hunter education instructors. The best advocates for hunting are hunters themselves, so be sure to use safe and ethical hunting practices while afield to ensure that the tradition of hunting continues to be a vibrant part of New York’s culture.

Whether watching a pointing dog work its way through a tangled covert in search of grouse or watching a doe and fawn slip past your tree stand as the sun rises, the hunting season is about creating and sharing memories you will have for a lifetime. I am proud of the work we do at DEC to preserve the state’s natural heritage so hunters and others can enjoy these benefits for generations to come.

Good luck this fall and be safe.

Basil Seggos


New York State Department of Environmental Conservation