Submitted by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos announced hunting and trapping licenses and deer management permits (DMPs) for the 2023-24 season are now on sale.
"An estimated half a million New Yorkers enjoy hunting each year,” Seggos said. “Recently expanded hunting opportunities bring even greater excitement to this old tradition. Hunter safety remains DEC’s top priority, and I encourage all hunters venturing afield this season to follow the key principles of hunter safety both on the ground and while in tree stands."
Licenses and permits can be purchased online, at any of DEC's license-issuing agents, or by telephone at 866-933-2257. Hunting and trapping licenses are valid from Sept. 1 through Aug. 31 each year, while annual fishing licenses are valid for 365 days from date of purchase.
New York's habitat serves a vital role in maintaining healthy and sustainable fish and wildlife resources. Purchasing a hunting, fishing or trapping license helps support DEC's conservation projects and ensures the future of natural resources for generations to come. DEC also encourages outdoor enthusiasts to consider purchasing a Habitat & Access Stamp each year. Funds from the $5 Habitat & Access Stamp support projects to conserve habitat and improve public access for fish-and-wildlife-related activities. This year's Habitat & Access Stamp features an opossum.
Beginning this week, the DEC call center is accessible from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays through Nov. 30. Regular call center weekday hours resume Dec. 1. Purchasers should allow 14 business days for receipt of hunting licenses purchased by phone.
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);
√ If purchasing by phone or internet, a valid credit card; and
√ 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.
The 2023-24 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide, which provides an easy-to-read collection of pertinent rules and regulations, is available on the DEC hunting webpage. Copies will be available at license issuing agents.
•Buying your license at the Great New York State Fair? DEC sells hunting, fishing and trapping licenses in the DEC aquarium building at the New York State Fair from Aug. 23 through Sept. 4. Fairgoers are advised that only credit and debit cards are accepted for these purchases as cash is no longer being accepted at this license sales location.
•Deer management permits (DMPs – tags for antlerless deer) 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 2023 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 DMPs is available on DEC's website.
•HuntFishNY mobile app: DEC’s HuntFishNY app mobile app provides hunters and anglers with an easy way to display sporting licenses and privileges and view important hunting- and fishing-related information through the convenience of a smartphone. In addition to providing instant mobile access to electronic versions of sporting licenses and privileges, the app offers the ability to report game harvests immediately while afield even when not in cell service, as well as links to useful information like season date summaries, regulations guides, a DEC contact list, and much more.
•Online and in-person hunter education training courses: All first-time hunters, bowhunters and trappers must pass one or more courses before they can purchase a license. Online and in-person courses are available.
In-person courses include 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 be sure to sign up early. Visit DEC's website for more information, including a list of courses, registration instructions, and ways to obtain study materials.
All the requirements to earn a New York state hunter education certificate can also be met by completing DEC's online hunter education course and passing the exam. Upon passing, participants will receive a hunter education certificate so they can purchase a hunting license. Participants must be New York state residents, and the cost of the course is $24.95. The online course can be accessed at https://www.hunter-ed.com/newyork/.
New York state is also offering an online bowhunter education certification course. Upon passing, hunters will receive their bowhunter education certificate so they can purchase a bowhunting privilege. Participants must be New York residents. The cost of the course is $30. The online course can be accessed at https://www.bowhunter-ed.com/newyork/.
Additional Hunting Opportunities Continue
Additional deer hunting opportunities initiated in 2021 continue in 2023. A special early season for antlerless deer runs from Sept. 9-17 in select wildlife management units. Twelve- and 13-year-old hunters may pursue deer with a firearm or crossbow under the supervision of a licensed adult hunter in counties that opt in to the program (see junior big game hunting map and details), and the new holiday deer hunt provides a second portion of the late bow and muzzleloader season from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1 in the southern zone. These opportunities contribute to deer management, allow for young hunters to be mentored by experienced adults, and let families hunt together during the holiday season.
Opportunities for Junior Hunters and Trappers
To foster the next generation of hunters and trappers in New York, DEC expanded opportunities for junior hunters (licensees aged 12-15) by designating special youth hunts for deer, wild turkey, pheasants and waterfowl; and opportunities for junior trappers (younger than 12 years old) through a trapper mentoring program. 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!
The number of hunting-relating shooting incidents is declining, but even one incident is too many. 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.
√ Wear hunter orange.
Tree stand falls are a major cause of hunting injuries. These hunting-related injuries and fatalities are easily preventable. Hunters are advised to use a full-body harness and fall-arrest system, and stay connected from the time you leave the ground until the time you return. Check your stand (including straps and chains) every season, and replace any worn or missing parts. The proper use of tree stands and full-body harnesses will help prevent injuries and fatalities. For more information, visit DEC’s website and watch a tree stand safety video.