Accessible Hunting Opportunities on DEC Lands
New York Hunting
Hunters and trappers with disabilities can find accessible features at several Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) and State Forests such as accessible parking areas, hunting blinds, platforms, boardwalks, trails, and motorized access routes (MAPPWD). See the maps on Regional Maps (PDF) for facilities and specific features, which can also be found on the Accessible Recreation Destinations webpage (http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/34038.html).
There are many great DEC lands to explore across the state. Below is a summary of features that can be found at select sites. Visit http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7768.html for more about these sites, WMAs, and other state lands.
Tonawanda WMA (Orleans, Erie, Genesee, and Niagara Counties) has an accessible parking area and kiosk off of Route 77, as well as an accessible parking area, path, and waterfowl hunting blind off of Owen Road (hunting by permit only; call 585-948-5182 for more information).
Spicer Creek WMA (Erie County) has a universally accessible parking area, trail, and two hunting blind/observation decks. A free permit is required from Beaver Island State Park to hunt at these blinds. For more information, call 716-773-3271.
Upper and Lower Lakes WMA (St. Lawrence County) features two accessible trails. The trails lead to pads suitable for use with portable hunting blinds and are located off of County Route 14 on Middle Access Road. Off of County Route 15 is an accessible trail and waterfowl blind. The covered blind is large enough for two people and a dog. It has a dog door and ramp for retrieval of game.
Upper Hudson Valley
Vosburgh Swamp WMA (Greene County) has an accessible waterfowl hunting blind at the north end of Vosburgh Swamp, along the eastern shore. A trail and short boardwalk to this blind begin at the middle parking lot off of Four Mile Point Road.
Partridge Run State Forest and WMA (Albany County) together have nearly five miles of MAPPWD routes.
Bashakill WMA (Orange and Sullivan Counties) has an accessible waterfowl hunting/wildlife observation blind and a 600-foot trail from the western parking area on Haven Road. Waterfowl hunting at Bashakill WMA requires an area-specific permit. Contact the Region 3 office at 845-256-3098 or email@example.com.
Stewart State Forest (Orange County) has an accessible boardwalk and parking lot on Great Swamp Road. There are also over 15 miles of MAPWWD routes. Special arrangements must be made to obtain combinations for entry at selected gates.
The Motorized Access Program for People with Disabilities (MAPPWD) provides access to vehicular routes for hunting, fishing, and wildlife observation for qualified people with disabilities. Qualified individuals must obtain a permit from the appropriate DEC region to use these routes. To apply for a MAPPWD permit visit www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/2574.html.
Permits for Hunters with Disabilities
Eligible hunters with a physical disability can get a permit to use a modified crossbow or longbow and to hunt from a motorized vehicle. All permits require verification of a qualifying disability from a licensed physician. More information, including applications, is available at https://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/30419.html or through the Special Licenses Unit (518-402-8985 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Non-Ambulatory Hunter Permit authorizes hunting with a firearm from a motorized vehicle with the motor turned off and completely off the highway right-of-way, with its motor turned off.
Modified Longbow Authorization allows hunting with a legal bow equipped with a mechanical device to aid in the drawing, holding, and releasing of the bowstring.
Modified Crossbow Permit authorizes hunting using a modified crossbow and use of a crossbow equipped with a breath-tube apparatus to release the bowstring.
Preference for Deer Management Permits and reduced fees for hunting, trapping, and fishing licenses are available to resident military veterans with a service-related disability of 40% or more. Hunters need to provide a letter from the Veteran’s Administration. Visit https://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/6097.html.