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Message from the Governor

Hunting Regulations Icon New York Hunting

Hunting in New York – Opportunities Abound

Among the many opportunities to enjoy New York’s great outdoors, hunting season remains one of the most cherished times of the year for many residents and visiting non-residents alike. With millions of acres of publicly owned state land and abundant wildlife resources, the possibilities for enjoyable days afield are endless.

A cornerstone of our new outdoor adventure initiative is to recruit, retain and reactivate New Yorkers to participate in the many healthy outdoor activities this state has to offer. Our unparalleled natural resources provide ample opportunities not only for hunting, but hiking, camping, fishing, nature observation and many other activities as well. Outdoor adventures await you in all seasons and I urge you to introduce or reintroduce someone to all that we have to offer.

As we continue to support improved access to the outdoors and apply habitat improvements to the lands we manage to benefit our wildlife, it only gets better. On our Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) for example we have taken an aggressive approach to managing these lands to benefit many popular game species. Over the past year alone we have complete 22 Habitat Management Plans on WMAs across the state. These plans will guide our efforts to ensure they continue to provide high quality habitat for wildlife to thrive in. As a result, work on the ground to improve about 1,000 acres for young forest dependent wildlife is already underway or beginning soon. This is in addition to the thousands of acres managed annually to maintain important wetlands, grasslands and mature forests.

The 2016 hunting seasons remained among the lowest on record for hunting accidents, but tragically not without preventable incidents. I urge all hunters to always keep safety foremost on their minds and make use of hunter orange or pink to remain visible to other hunters. Our strong network of volunteer hunter education instructors have a remarkable track record of instilling safe and ethical practices in our hunters. Each and every hunter needs to carry those practices forward.

The 2017-18 Hunting and Trapping Guide has a wealth of information about wildlife and wildlife management in New York. Within these pages you will find all of the information needed to understand the rules and regulations governing hunting and trapping as well as updates and articles to help you enjoy your time outdoors. DEC staff go to great lengths each year to provide you with the information you will need to stay informed, safe and legal.

I wish you all a safe and successful season as you carry on the great fall tradition of gathering with family and friends to enjoy time afield in pursuit of the abundant game species that New York has to offer.

Andrew M. Cuomo

Governor, State of New York