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New York

Hunting

Message from the Governor

As the 2021 fall hunting and trapping seasons approach, it is worth reflecting on the life-altering events of the past year and a half and the many challenges we’ve faced during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Despite the disruptions to our daily routines and rituals, New Yorkers displayed exceptional resilience, finding ways to cope and adapt to a crisis unlike any we have seen before. Amid the social distancing, masks, and additional health-based guidance, New York’s spectacular outdoors remained a constant source of solace. That many New Yorkers discovered or re-discovered the healing power of nature serves to remind us all of the importance of a healthy environment.

In response to the pandemic, the state's government found innovative ways to help facilitate New Yorkers’ access to lands and waters and ensure that responsible recreation could flourish. By offering new, online hunter education courses to educate new hunters in safe practices and responsible hunting, we reached more than 70,000 potential new hunters, many of whom took to the woods to pursue big or small game for the very first time. Our focus now turns to engaging, mentoring, and supporting all who found enjoyment in New York’s great outdoors.

In 2021, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) resumed the state’s traditional in-person hunter education classes led by the agency’s dedicated volunteer instructors. In addition to the online courses, these volunteer-led in-person classes continue to instill safe, ethical behavior in those who wish to venture afield during the coming hunting seasons. In addition, DEC staff are developing new content for the hunter education program to help participants build the skills that will serve new and seasoned hunters alike to remain safe and confident as they enjoy future outdoor endeavors.

This 2021-22 hunting and trapping regulations guide contains a wealth of information to help you stay safe, legal, and ethical during upcoming seasons. DEC’s talented and dedicated staff work to manage and protect our wildlife resources and stand ready and able to answer any questions you may have to help get the most out of your time afield.

I wish you all a safe, successful, and healthy season.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo