Message from the Commissioner

Hunting Regulations Icon New York Hunting

Sportsmen and women, Conservation’s Frontline

Dear Hunter, Trapper and Conservationist,:

With the fall now upon us, I know that you are anticipating your time afield with friends and family as much as I am. Whether it is pursuing a big buck in the deep woods or introducing a grand-daughter to small game hunting for the first time, New York’s magnificent natural resources are a perfect backdrop for the experiences and memories to be made this hunting season.

As you prepare for the upcoming seasons, I’d ask that you take a moment to reflect on your role as conservationists in ensuring a bright future for our wildlife resources. Through the purchase of your sporting license you contribute directly to the sound and scientific wildlife management programs delivered by DECs professional biologists and technicians. Each and every time you buy hunting gear you further contribute to Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Funds (WSFR) which are dedicated to the conservation and management of game and non-game species throughout our state. These monies support purchase of Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs), Sportsman’s Education programming, and enhancement of wildlife populations. The economic value of your contributions to wildlife management cannot be overstated, but what you do while afield plays an equally important role.

Every time you chose to take an animal or chose not to, you are making a wildlife management decision. Whether it is helping to balance the deer herd with available habitat by filling a deer management permit or choosing to pass on a young buck so it can be observed and enjoyed by others, you are a part of the management equation. And each time you report your harvest of deer, bear, turkey, or selected furbearing animals, you provide essential information to biologists for continued sound management of the wildlife we all so much enjoy. Reporting harvest is the law, but the information you provide is invaluable as the basis of good conservation.

When you venture out onto DECs public forests, fields and wetlands this fall in pursuit of game you will notice improved access on many of our WMAs as well as the beginning phases of young forest wildlife habitat improvements. We are excited to deliver on our commitment to providing more accessible features and higher quality habitat for wildlife, now and for the future. There is more to come.

Good luck in the approaching season. I wish you an enjoyable, safe and productive time afield as you spend your time in our great outdoors.

Basil Seggos


New York State Department of Environmental Conservation