Message from the Governor

Hunting Regulations Icon New York Hunting

Hunting and Trapping in New York –

A cherished legacy of outdoor adventure continues

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.

Every fall some 500,000 hunters and trappers take to the fields and forests of New York to enjoy our great outdoors. Whether motivated to spend time afield with family and friends, the excitement of seeing wildlife in its element, or simply reconnect with nature, it is a special time of year. For many, it is a time to carry on deeply rooted tradition, and for others it is time to begin a special bond with nature aided by a seasoned mentor. A successful outing is not always measured by game in the bag, but by the experience and memories that will last a lifetime. Introducing a new hunter to all that New York has to offer, or reenergizing a friend who no longer gets out as much, is a great way to carry on tradition or begin a new one. New York has endless opportunities with millions of acres of publicly owned state land and abundant wildlife resources.

I’ve made it a priority of my administration to continue to invest in new lands to conserve wildlife and to improve access for outdoor recreation. The new Doodletown Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Columbia County is one example of new lands to be enjoyed by wildlife enthusiasts. In the Adirondacks, the recent classification of the Boreas Pond tract strikes a balance between preserving a pristine landscape and ensuring that people of all abilities can enjoy this stunning landscape for generations to come.

The Young Forest Initiative administered by DEC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife is improving thousands of acres of habitat on WMAs, benefitting many popular game animals as well as other less-common species in need of conservation.

The strong commitment of our dedicated network of volunteer hunter education instructors continues to produce safe and ethical practices by our hunters. The 2017 hunting seasons were again among the safest on record for hunting accidents. Still, even one incident is one too many. It is every hunter’s responsibility to obey the law and make safe decisions. I urge hunters to always keep safety foremost on your mind as you enjoy time afield. And remember, use of blaze orange or blaze pink will help make you visible to other hunters.

The 2018-19 Hunting and Trapping Guide is an important reference for information about seasons, regulations, and wildlife management initiatives in New York. Within these pages, you will find additional information to stay informed on important issues such as Chronic Wasting Disease, use of non-toxic ammunition, and tree stand and gun safety. DEC staff puts this together each year to ensure that you can be informed, safe, and legal.

I wish you all a safe, successful, and truly rewarding season as you go out to enjoy this great fall tradition or begin a brand new one. Enjoy the magnificent fields, woods, and waters of the great state of New York.

Andrew M. Cuomo

Governor, New York State