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New York



NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

New York State

Kathy C. Hochul, Governor

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

Basil Seggos, Commissioner

Sean Mahar, Executive Deputy Commissioner

Katie Stone Petronis, Deputy Commissioner for Natural Resources

Jackie Lendrum, Director, Division of Fish and Wildlife

James Farquhar, Chief, Bureau of Wildlife

Michael Schiavone, Section Head, Game Management

Katherine Jones, Guide Editor

How to contact us:

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

Game Management Section

625 Broadway

Albany, NY 12233-4754


Division of Fish and Wildlife's Mission:

The mission of DEC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife is to serve the interests of current and future generations of New Yorkers by using our collective skills, in partnership with the public, to describe, understand, manage, and perpetuate a healthy and diverse assemblage of fish, wildlife, and ecosystems.

This guide is a summary that is intended for convenience only. For complete references, consult the New York State Environmental Conservation Law and Volume 6 of the Codes, Rules and Regulations of New York State. These are available at: (Environmental Conservation Law)

Welcoming New York’s New Generation of Hunters and Trappers

New York has around 600,000 hunters and 13,000 trappers. Most people get involved and stay involved in hunting or trapping because they have a strong “social support network” – family and friends who introduced them to the outdoors, taught them about safety and ethics, and mentored them when they ventured afield. Sharing these experiences with their family and friends strengthened bonds, increased the likelihood that hunting or trapping became a lifelong endeavor, and reinforced the culture around these activities within their community.

This year’s Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide highlights the small but growing segment of New Yorkers who are getting involved in hunting and trapping despite not having that social support network in place. They may have grown up or live in a suburban or urban setting or may not know people who hunt or trap. Their friends and family may have misperceptions about hunting and trapping and may even discourage their newfound interest. Though they may not take the “traditional” path and may have unique obstacles to overcome to become a hunter or trapper, their motivations are often similar to those of people who grew up in a family with a long history of hunting or trapping: being self-sufficient, securing a healthy source of food, and connecting to nature.

Across the country, including here in New York, state fish and wildlife agencies and conservation organizations are working to recruit and retain the next generation of hunters and trappers. The challenges faced by people from traditional and non-traditional backgrounds differ. If you grew up in a family that hunts or traps you may have access to mentors, have experience using firearms, and have a place to go on opening day. If you did not, then the obstacles to getting involved, even if you’re interested, may seem insurmountable.

A key component of getting new people involved is creating the “social habitat” that can sustain all hunters and trappers regardless of where they are starting from. This includes offering “next step” or advanced hunter education courses, connecting new hunters with mentors, and other approaches to improving skills and knowledge. It also includes raising public awareness of the benefits of hunting and trapping and maintaining these activities as an important part of New York’s culture so those who are interested but hesitant to begin feel welcomed and are encouraged to join.

Hunt Safe — Hunt Smart

  • Assume every gun to be loaded.
  • Control the muzzle, point in a safe direction.
  • Keep finger off the trigger until firing.
  • Be sure of your target and beyond.
  • Wear hunter orange.

Game Harvest Reporting

Hunters are required to report the harvest of deer, bear, and turkey within 7 days of take. You may report your harvest using one of these methods:

Take it • Tag it • Report it

Harvest reporting is the LAW and necessary for wildlife management!

Report your Game Harvests via Mobile App!

DEC’s mobile app, HuntFishNY provides hunters with an e-license and game harvest reporting tool. Hunters now have a quick, user-friendly way to:

  • gain instant, mobile access to an electronic version of sporting licenses and privileges;
  • report the harvest of deer, bear, and turkey on a smartphone immediately while afield, even when out of cellular range;
  • view current and past harvest reports.

The HuntFishNY App can be downloaded from
the Apple App store or Google Play store.

NOTE: You will need a DEC Automated Licensing System (DECALS) user name and password in order to access your license documents through the app. If you have not yet created an online user name and password, visit the DECALS website today. Questions? Call our sporting license hotline at 1-866-472-4332.


You may be fined up to $250 for failing to report your deer, bear, or turkey take.

Report Your Moose Sightings

Moose are protected in New York and cannot be hunted. DEC and its research partners are working to understand the status of the moose population. You can help us by reporting moose sightings:

Consider Being a Mentor

By Cliff Cadet

As I sit and write this, I have a diaphragm call in my mouth and my wife and kids are yelling at me to cut it out. They could easily attest that I can often be a pest. But just a few years ago, if you would’ve told me that I’d be practicing turkey calling in anticipation of New York’s spring turkey season, I’d have called you crazy.

Sometimes crazy can be good.

Having been born and raised in New York City, I had no knowledge of the public lands available to me. Sadly, my story is not unique. New Yorkers, especially from the City, are often unaware of the beauty the woods have to offer. Even sadder still, is how close we all are to those public spaces.

Since 2019, I’ve been enjoying deer and turkey hunting in New York. I was fortunate to have partnered with a mentor and have been hunting since. The joy of hiking to a hunting spot by the soft glow of moonlight or witnessing a sunrise while sitting high in a tree are pleasures that everyone should experience. Also, learning about wildlife and habitats native to our magnificent state is a responsibility we all should welcome. But it can’t be done without the help of some awesome people.

With the increase in the number of “adult-onset” hunters throughout the U.S., there’s a corresponding need for folks to serve as mentors. I was privileged to have been mentored by a knowledgeable and patient (extremely patient) hunter. It was through his tutelage that I was able to understand and learn the skills necessary to hunt New York’s woods. Our mentor/mentee relationship has evolved and I’m proud to now call him a friend.

Hunting, fishing, and trapping in New York can be humbling experiences. These outdoor spaces do not discriminate; they can often be seen as a great equalizer. If you’re a seasoned outdoorsperson, consider stepping out of your comfort zone and taking someone under your wing. Show them the joy you’ve experienced in our State’s woods. Trust me. You won’t regret it.

Indigenous Nation Territories

Some Indigenous Nations have made provisions for limited public hunting, trapping, and fishing access, while others do not permit non-citizens to hunt, trap or fish on their land. Check with the respective Nation’s office to determine the requirements for hunting, trapping, and fishing within the territory boundaries. A special permit may be required.

Use of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and off-road vehicles (ORVs) is restricted on most state land.

ASK Permission

"ASK Permission" stickers, a brochure explaining the program, Landowner Permission forms, and information about fish and wildlife conservation are available for free from DEC Regional Wildlife Offices or by writing:

NYSDEC, 625 Broadway,
Albany, NY 12233-4754


DMAP on State Lands

DEC has enrolled several state lands in DMAP. Tag availability is limited and hunters must apply to participate. See for information. Properties include:

  • Bully Hill State Forest, WMU 9P
  • Doodletown Wildlife Management Area, WMU 4Z
  • Valcour Island, WMU 5A

Eurasian Boar

Eurasian boars are a destructive invasive species that damage habitat and crops, and threaten native wildlife and domestic livestock. DEC and USDA have worked hard to eradicate these animals from the state’s landscape. We are now working to prevent their reintroduction into New York.

  • It is illegal to possess, sell, distribute, trade or transport Eurasian boars or their hybrids.
  • It is illegal to import, breed or release Eurasian boars or their hybrids.
  • It is illegal to hunt, trap or take free-ranging Eurasian boar or their hybrids.

Although DEC’s eradication efforts have been very successful to date, we must remain vigilant. Anyone who sees a Eurasian boar should report it to DEC as soon as possible by emailing [email protected] or calling 518-402-8883.

Hunters: You Can Help Combat the Illegal Wildlife Trade

One of the biggest threats to New York’s turtles is illegal collection. What to look for: people with bags poking around wetlands and streams; unmarked traps in wetlands (a trap set for legitimate purposes will be clearly labeled); sheets of metal/plywood laid out on the ground to attract reptiles; cars with collection equipment like nets, containers, pillowcases visible inside; unattended backpacks/bags left in the woods along a trail or road. If you see or hear about suspicious behavior that may be connected to poaching call DEC Law Enforcement - 1-844-DEC-ECOS. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also has an anonymous tip line - 1-844-FWS-TIPS. For more visit: