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New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos recently announced hunting and trapping licenses and deer management permits (DMPs) for the 2021-22 seasons are on sale. In addition, DEC announced new opportunities for hunters this year, including expanded hunting seasons and allowing youth ages 12 and 13 to hunt deer with a firearm or crossbow in upstate counties that have passed a local low and “opted in” to participate.
“Hunting is a longstanding tradition for many, and an estimated half a million New Yorkers enjoy the sport each year. The upcoming, expanded hunting seasons bring even greater excitement and opportunities to encourage greater participation in the sport,” Seggos said. “As always, DEC encourages hunters to plan ahead, get outdoors responsibly, and follow the principles of hunter safety."
Licenses and permits can be purchased online, at any one of DEC's license-issuing agents, or by telephone at 866-933-2257. New hunting and trapping licenses are valid from Sept. 1, 2021, through Aug. 31, 2022; annual fishing licenses are valid for 365 days from date of purchase.
A press release stated, “New York's habitat serves a critical role in maintaining healthy and sustainable fish and wildlife resources. Purchasing a hunting, fishing or trapping license helps support conservation projects and ensures the protection of the state’s natural resources. In addition, DEC encourages outdoor enthusiasts to consider purchasing a habitat and access stamp each year. Funds from the $5 habitat and access stamp support projects to conserve habitat and improve public access for fish- and wildlife-related activities. This year's habitat and access stamp features a bobcat.”
Expanded Call Center Hours
The DEC call center’s hours of operation are from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays through Nov. 30. Regular call center weekday hours will resume Dec. 1.
Individuals should have the following items ready when buying a license:
√ Complete contact information (e.g., name, address, email address, telephone number);
√ DEC customer ID number (if applicable);
√ Proof of residency (e.g., driver's license or non-driver's ID with a valid New York state address); and
√ If purchasing by phone or internet, a valid credit card.
√ If not already entered in DEC's automated licensing system, individuals are required to provide proof of hunter or trapper education certification or a copy of a previous license for all hunting and trapping license purchases. For additional information, visit the general sporting license information webpage on DEC's website.
Deer Management Permits
DMPs are available at all license-issuing outlets, by phone, or online through Oct. 1. DMPs are used to manage the deer herd and are issued through an instant random selection process at the point of sale. The chances of obtaining a DMP remain the same throughout the application period; hunters need not rush to apply. The 2021 chances of selection for a DMP in each wildlife management unit are available online, through license-issuing agents, or by calling the DMP hotline at 1-866-472-4332. Detailed information on deer management permits and this fall's deer season forecast is available on DEC's website.
The 2021-22 hunting and trapping regulations guide, which provides a collection of pertinent rules and regulations, is available on the DEC hunting webpage. Copies will be available at license-issuing agents.
Online and In-Person Hunter Education Training Courses
All first-time hunters, bowhunters and trappers must pass one or more courses before purchasing a license. Online and in-person courses are available. In-person courses have a field day where new hunters can get hands-on experience. All in-person courses are free of charge, but space may be limited. Courses fill quickly, so early sign-ups are encouraged. Visit DEC's website for more information on materials, including a list of courses and course registration.
The requirements to earn a New York state hunter education certificate can be met by completing DEC's online hunter education course and passing the exam. Upon passing, participants will receive a hunter education certificate, enabling the purchase of a hunting license. Participants must be New York residents and the cost of the course is $19.95. The online course can be accessed at DEC's website.
New York also offers an online bowhunter education certification course. Upon passing, hunters receive their bowhunter education certificate so they can purchase a bowhunting privilege. Participants must be state residents. The cost of the course is $30. The online course can be accessed at DEC's website.
New Hunting Opportunities
Deer hunters will have several new opportunities this year, with a law change that allows 12- and 13-year-old hunters to pursue deer with a firearm or crossbow under the supervision of an experienced adult hunter in upstate counties that opt-in to participate (see the junior big game hunting map). In addition, DEC created a new holiday deer hunt, an extended portion of the late bow and muzzleloader season from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, in the Southern Zone. These are new opportunities for young hunters to be mentored by experienced adults and for families to hunt together during the holiday season.
DEC is also proposing additional hunting-related changes, which are currently out for public review and comment. If these proposals are adopted, DEC will notify the public by means of a press release and email newsletters.
Opportunities for Junior Hunters and Trappers
To foster the next generation of hunters in New York, DEC has expanded opportunities for junior hunters (licensees aged 12-15) and trappers (under 12 years old) by designating special youth hunts for deer, wild turkey, pheasants and waterfowl. These opportunities allow youth hunters and trappers to spend time in the field with experienced adults and gain the necessary knowledge and skills to become safe and responsible members of the hunting and trapping community. More information about these programs and other opportunities for junior hunters and trappers is available on DEC's website.
Remember: Hunt Safe, Hunt Smart!
A press release stated, “The number of hunting-relating shooting incidents is declining, but even one incident is too many.” DEC said hunters can prevent injuries and fatalities by following the cardinal rules of hunting safety:
√ Assume every gun to be loaded;
√ Control the muzzle in a safe direction;
√ Keep your finger off the trigger until firing;
√ Be sure of your target and beyond; and
√ Wear hunter orange or pink.
Tree stand falls are a major cause of hunting injuries. These hunting-related injuries are preventable. Hunters are advised to use a full-body harness and fall-arrest system and stay connected from the time they leave the ground until the time they return. Hunters are advised to check their stands (including straps and chains) every season and replace worn or missing parts. The proper use of tree stands and full-body harnesses helps prevent injuries and fatalities.
Keep Chronic Wasting Disease Out of New York
The press release noted, “Hunters should take the threat of chronic wasting disease (CWD) seriously. CWD is always fatal to deer, elk, moose and caribou. If introduced, CWD could spread rapidly and be practically impossible to eliminate once established, threatening the future of New York's deer population, hunting tradition, and many of the other benefits associated with deer. The most effective disease management strategy is to prevent CWD from entering New York. A recent detection of CWD in a captive deer herd in Pennsylvania near the New York state border is a reminder that the disease can be unintentionally moved to new locations.”
DEC said hunters can help protect New York's deer herd from CWD by following these tips:
√ If hunting any type of deer, elk, moose or caribou outside of New York, debone the animal before bringing it back, and follow the law about importing carcass parts from outside of New York. See CWD regulations for hunters. DEC will confiscate and destroy illegally imported carcasses and parts;
√ Avoid products containing real deer urine, like scent lures. Prions are shed in the bodily fluids (saliva, feces, urine) of infected deer before they appear sick. Prions bind to soil and plants where they remain infectious for years. There is no way to ensure that products containing deer urine are free of prions. Choose synthetic alternatives;
√ Dispose of carcass waste in a landfill, not on the landscape;
√ Hunt only wild deer and support fair chase hunting principles; and
√ Report any deer that appears sick or is acting abnormally.
Hunters, Want Older Bucks in New York? It's Your Choice
The press release said, “Many deer hunters dream of seeing and shooting a large buck, but there is great temptation for a hunter to take the first buck they see, often a young buck, when the opportunity presents itself. New York hunters can increase the likelihood of harvesting an older, larger buck, by choosing to pass up shots at young, small-antlered bucks. Older bucks create more rubs and scrapes, are more challenging to hunt, and yield more meat.
“Many New York hunters are already voluntarily choosing to pass on young bucks. As a result, the availability and harvest of older, larger antlered bucks is increasing. To see and take more older bucks, DEC encourages hunters to work with neighbors and hunting partners to cooperatively reduce harvest of young bucks, improve habitat conditions, and ensure adequate harvest of antlerless deer.”