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Highlights of Changes

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Junior Bowhunters

Recent legislation lowered the minimum age for youth hunters to purchase a Junior Bowhunting license for big game hunting from 14 to 12 years of age. See resident licenses & non-resident licenses for Junior Bowhunting license information, and detailed information on youth hunting requirements and the youth mentoring program.


With proper certification, crossbows may now be used for hunting big game during any big game season in which the use of a shotgun and muzzleloader is permitted and all late muzzleloading seasons. See information at left for details.

Modified Longbow Authorization

With proper authorization, hunters with permanent or temporary physical disabilities, and who are unable to draw and hold a bow, may use a bow equipped with a device to hold it in a drawn position. More details.

Game Harvest Reporting

Hunters now have 7 days to report their game harvest. You may report your harvest of deer, bear or turkey through our improved online system at or you may report by phone by calling 1-866-426-3778.

DEC Expands Bear Hunting in the Southern Zone

DEC has adopted regulatory changes that will open new areas in eastern New York for black bear hunting and establish uniform bear hunting season dates across the Southern Zone beginning in the Fall of 2011. Check our website for changes and an updated map at:

Woodcock Season

Woodcock season has been expanded to 45 days for the Fall of 2011.

New Rifle Areas:

New legislation now allows use of rifles for big game hunting in Wyoming and Cortland counties and in the portion of Chautauqua County south of Route 20. See the big game legal implements map for where rifles can be used for big game hunting. Please note that the legislation for Cortland County does not allow the use of crossbows in that county during the regular big game season.

New Antler Restriction Area

A new law establishes mandatory antler restrictions in the portion of Wildlife Management Unit 3A that lies south and west of State Route 28 (includes parts of Delaware, Sullivan, and Ulster counties). The law prohibits hunters from taking any antlered deer except those antlered deer that have at least one antler with at least three points. The law applies to all public and private lands and all hunting seasons. Only hunters under the age of 17 are exempt and may take any antlered deer with at least one antler measuring three or more inches in length. See the Antler Restriction Program for more information.

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