For specific season dates and open areas see the deer regulations and the bear regulations.
* For seasons that crossbow use is legal, see here.
* Crossbows may not be used during the regular season in Cortland County.
Implement Descriptions For Big Game Hunting
The following describes implement requirements for Big Game Hunting. See map above to determine where each can be used.
Bow—Long (stick), recurve or compound bow with a draw weight greater than 35 lbs. A legal arrowhead is nonbarbed, has 2 or more cutting edges and is at least 7⁄8 inches wide.
Crossbow—consists of a bow, a string, and either compound or recurve limbs with minimum width of 17 inches (tip of limbs, uncocked), mounted on a stock. The stock shall have a trigger with a working safety that holds the string and limbs under tension until released. It shall have a minimum overall length from the butt of the stock to the front of the limbs of 24 inches and be able to launch a minimum 14 inch arrow/bolt, not including the legal arrowhead. It shall have a draw weight of 100 to 200 pounds.
Muzzleloader—Firearm loaded through the muzzle, a minimum bore of .44 inches and shooting a single projectile. Scopes or fiber-optic sights may be used at any time. Double-barreled muzzleloaders and percussion cap revolvers are not legal during the special muzzleloading season. If you hunt with a single-shot muzzleloading pistol, you must have a New York State pistol permit.
Handgun—Any centerfire pistol or revolver. Barrel length may not exceed 16 inches. Note: Nonresidents may not use handguns to hunt in New York.
Shotgun—Must be 20 gauge or larger and fire a single projectile. Rifling in the barrel or choke is allowed.
Rifle—Any centerfire rifle.
It is illegal to hunt big game with: