What kind of opportunities are available when deer hunting New York?
Whenever someone mentions deer hunting New York, automatically I think of old black and white pictures of giant bucks, meat poles, wool clothes and .30-30 lever actions. Those were the days of packing up your belongings from the city and making you way up to the woods to be a true American. Hunting was huge, and the Adirondacks were the hub of the Northeast. But that was then, and deer hunting New York is much more than just one park.
Steuben, Cattaraugus, and Allegany Counties in the western part of the state are your best bets for deer hunting New York. They have the high deer densities, plenty of public land, and traditionally have the highest deer harvests in the state. The Adirondack National Park may be the best known park for deer hunting New York, but these are the best known counties, and right now, the Western part of the state is producing the greatest amount of big deer.
That’s not the end all be all for deer hunting New York though. What many people don’t realize is the amount of suburban hunting opportunities deer hunting New York has to offer. Two of those are Westchester County, just north of New York City and Suffolk County, on Long Island. The people of Westchester County have money, and lots of money. What this equates to is giant mansions with botanical gardens, suburban subdivisions with manicured lawns and fancy landscapes, and small woodlots mixed in between. Some of the most successful hunters in this part of the state will attest to how big a buck will grow hiding in plain sight of humans; living around the plots of these mansions. Hardest part is finding access, and apparently the best way to do that is to find pieces of land that are not posted and walk on. Certain areas of certain states, such as New York, you are allowed to assume that you can hunt on properties that are not posted, with the understanding that if the landowner does ask you to leave, you must.
Long Island is another area of the state that has an exploded white-tailed deer population and minimal land to hunt them. It’s a true suburban hunt, and a very much needed hunt to combat crop and garden deprivation, as well as limit harmful tick populations, and limit deer-vehicle collisions. Once again the hardest part of deer hunting New York on Long Island is finding somewhere to hunt. There is little to no public deer hunting land, and if you are hunting the limited shotgun season they have, written landowner permission is required along with a gun license. Long Island has both a bow season and a gun season for deer hunting New York.
The licenses and tags for deer hunting New York are pretty simple. After passing a Hunter Ed. course for your state, you will then obtain a general, Annual Hunting License for the state of New York. That license allows you to gun hunt for big game and small game species with a gun during the general hunting season. After that you can purchase privileges; archery, or muzzleloader in order to hunt those seasons. New York also offers deer management permits (DMP) for certain zones, which must be applied for by October 1st. These are antlerless only permits that allow hunters a further opportunity to fill the freezer while deer hunting New York.
Allowable weapons for deer hunting New York vary depending upon which season you are hunting, of course, but also whereabouts in the state you are located. Some regions are bow only, some allow just shotguns and muzzleloaders during gun seasons, and others allow all rifles as well. After harvesting an animal the DEC allows you to drag the animal out before having to affix a tag on it, however you must fill the tag out right away, including making a cut for the month and date of harvest. After harvesting you have 7 days to report the harvest either online or by phone.
If deer hunting New York is your cards for this year, good luck! It’s a great state to enjoy the outdoors in and whether you’re hunting the suburbs, the farmlands, or hunting the big woods, looking for an adventure, it can be a great experience. Remember to thoroughly know all the rules and regulations before going afield and always work on creating a good image for us fellow hunters.