Welcome to our detailed guide on the Deer Season in New York! It is essential for all hunters to familiarize themselves with the hunting dates and regulations for the upcoming hunting season.

The purpose of this article is to give you the essential information and the latest updates to help you prepare for the hunting season around the corner.

In addition to deer hunting, New York provides opportunities to hunt a variety of other game animals. Let's now explore the various Hunting Seasons in New York.

Deer Season New York

Deer season in New York is divided by different zones as specific hunting seasons can vary based on location.

The New York deer season starts on September 27 and ends on December 15. The following are the exact details:

Northern Zone

  • Early Bowhunting: September 27 to October 25, with crossbows allowed from October 16 to October 25.
  • Columbus Day: Monday, October 14.
  • Early Muzzleloading: Starts on the Saturday following Columbus Day and lasts from October 19 - October 25.
  • Regular Season: Starts on the second Saturday following Columbus Day and lasts from October 26 - December 8.
  • Late Bow and Muzzleloading: Starts immediately following the regular season, which is from December 9 - December 15.

Southern Zone

  • Early Antlerless (some WMUs): Saturday, September 14 to Sunday, September 22.
  • Early Bowhunting: Tuesday, October 1 to Friday, November 15(with crossbows allowed from November 2 to November 15).
  • Regular: Saturday, November 16, and end on Friday, December 8.
  • Late Bow and Muzzleloading: December 9 to December 17, and then from December 26 to January 1.

Northern and Southern Zone

  • Youth (ages 12-15): October 12 to Monday, October 14

Westchester County

Regular (bowhunting only): October 1 to December 31

Suffolk County

Regular (bowhunting only): October 1 to December 31

Special Firearms Season: January 5 to Jan 31.

New York Bear Season

Northern Zone

The bear season is the same as the deer season and the dates vary from different zones.

Season opens at Unit 5A, 5C, 5F, 5G, 5H, 5J, 6C, 6F, 6H, and 6J:

  • Regular Season: September 14 to December 8

Season opens at Unit 6A, 6G, 6K, 6N:

  • Early Bowhunting: September 14 to September 13 (with crossbows allowed from September 4 to September 13)
  • Early Muzzleloading: October 19 to October 25
  • Regular Season: October 26 to December 8

Southern Zone

Early Firearms (some WMUs): September 7 to September 22.

Early Bowhunting: October 1 to November 15(with crossbows permitted from Saturday, November 2 to Friday, November 15).

Regular: November 16 and December 8.

Late Bow and Muzzleloading: December 9 to December 17.

Northern and Southern Zone

  • Youth (ages 12-15): October 12 to Monday, October 14

Westchester County

Regular (bowhunting only): October 1 to December 31

New York State Waterfowl Seasons

Migratory game birds, known as "migratory waterfowl" include wild ducks, geese, and brant. Additional migratory waterfowl species are coot, Virginia rails, sora rails, gallinules, American woodcock, and snipe.

Western Zone:

  • Oct 12 - Nov 3
  • Dec 7 - Jan 12

Southeast Zone:

  • Oct 12 - Oct 20
  • Nov 9 - Dec 29

Northeast Zone:

  • Oct 12 - Dec 1
  • Dec 14 - Dec 22

Long Island Zone:

  • Nov 23 - Dec 1
  • Dec 7 - Jan 26

Some information that hunters should know:

  1. Legal hunting hours begin half an hour before sunrise and end at sunset.
  2. Every year, all waterfowl hunters in New York must sign up for the Harvest Information Program (HIP).
  3. Using a rifle or handgun to hunt pheasant or migratory game birds is prohibited.

Turkey Season In New York

Spring Turkey Season: May 1-31, 2024

Youth Turkey Season: April 20 - 21, 2024

Hunting hours: 30 minutes before sunrise to the moon.

The bag limit for the Spring season is each hunter can take one turkey each day and two in total. For the Youth season, you can only take one bearded turkey.

When hunting turkey, it is crucial to follow all rules and regulations for a secure and legal hunt. Hunters are required to have their hunting license and turkey permit with them at the time of hunting.

Turkey hunting is allowed with a bow, crossbow (excluding Northern Zone in the fall with dogs and WMU 1C), shotgun, handgun, and muzzleloading shotgun.

When hunting with a shotgun or handgun, only shot sizes between #2 and #9 are permitted.

Dogs are only allowed in the Fall season. And using bait or electronic calling devices during the hunting period is not allowed. Nevertheless, decoys and scopes of any kind are allowed.

Right after harvesting a turkey, the hunters must tag it with the date of the kill, and then fasten it safely to the carcass.

Coyote Season New York

Oct. 1 - Mar. 31

The season is closed on Units 2A and 1C.

Furbearer Season In New York

Raccoon, Red & Gray Fox, Skunk, Opossum & Weasel Hunting Seasons

  • 1 - Feb.25
  • 25 - Feb. 15

MINK Hunting Season:

  • Eastern Southern Zone WMUs: 10 - Apr. 7
  • Western Southern Zone WMUs: 10 - Feb. 15
  • WMUs 1A, 1C and 2A: 15 - Feb. 25
  • Northern Zone WMUs: 1 - Apr. 15

Muskrat Hunting Season:

  • 1 - Apr. 15

New York Hunting Regulations

Big Game Hunting Regulations

Hunting Hours:

Big game hunting is permitted in New York State from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. Hunting on Sundays is allowed statewide.

Bag Limits:

Resident and nonresident hunters can each hunt one bear per license year. While, for deer hunting, there are various types of tags available for purchase and each licensed hunter can shoot multiple deer in one day if they have the proper tags.

Legal Methods:

Hunters pursuing large game in New York can have a .22 caliber rim-fire pistol with them during deer or bear hunting seasons if they have a valid New York State pistol permit. Nevertheless, a .22 caliber rim-fire is not suitable as a primary or secondary firearm for hunting deer or bears.

Illegal Methods:

Big game hunting is not allowed with automatic guns, guns that can hold more than six shells (except short-barreled pistols), guns with silencers, air guns, or air bows.

Hunters cannot hunt big games, like deer with dogs, aircraft or bait.

Hunter Safety

Big game hunters must have at least 250 square inches of bright hunter orange or pink material above the waist that can be seen from every direction. On the other hand, you can also wear an equal amount of patterned material in these colors, with at least 50% being fluorescent orange or fluorescent pink. An alternative choice is a hat or cap with 50% or more solid fluorescent orange or pink fabric.

Field Dressing:

A legal deer must have at least one antler that is a minimum of three inches long, measured from the base of the burr.

Hunters should not bring the whole dead deer into New York. Hunters need to field dressing the deer and correctly label those allowed parts. This tag must contain the type of animal, the location where it was captured, and the hunter's name and address.

The Allowed Parts include:

  • Deboned meat
  • Cleaned skull cap
  • Antlers with no flesh
  • Raw or processed cape or hide
  • Cleaned teeth or lower jaw
  • Finished taxidermy products

Small Game Hunting Regulations

  1. Bobcat, coyote, red fox, grey fox, raccoon, opossum, and skunk can be hunted at any hour, whether at day or at night.
  2. Hunters are allowed to pursue furbearer animals with a handgun, shotgun, rifle, bow, or crossbow.
  3. Hunters can hunt furbearers with a shotgun that is loaded with shots (of any size).
  4. Air guns can be used for hunting
  5. Hunters can utilize a call, including an electronic call for small game hunting.
  6. Mandatory harvest reporting is required only for bobcats.

Where To Hunt In New York State?

In New York, there are many public and private lands open for hunting.

Public lands such as Wildlife Management Areas, State Forests, Forest Preserve, and State Parks. These lands are available for hunting and trapping within the designated seasons.

Private land makes up 85% of the state, and more than 90% of hunters will hunt on private lands during hunting seasons.

When preparing to hunt on private property, it is crucial to request permission, regardless of whether or not the land is marked as private.

Keep in mind that trees and plants located on private property are considered private assets. Without the landowner's permission, it is illegal to damage anything on the property.

Aside from state-owned lands, hunting is also allowed in different locations, like New York City Watershed Lands, Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge, Fort Drum Military Base, Finger Lakes National Forest, Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, and Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge.

Conclusion

As we wrap up this 2024 Deer Season guide in New York, we hope that you have found the information useful for your hunting plans.

Safety and following hunting rules are essential for a successful hunting trip. Make sure to be familiar with the rules and requirements of the location, whether you are hunting on public or private land. Enjoy your hunt and stay safe!

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