Deer Hunting in New York

Written by Deer Hunting by State

deer hunting new york

What kind of opportunities are available when deer hunting in New York?

Whenever someone mentions deer hunting in New York to me, I automatically 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 in the city and making your way up the woods. Deer hunting in New York was huge back then—and the Adirondacks were the hub of it all.

New York is more than just the Adirondacks. The western counties of Steuben, Cattaraugus, and Allegany are your best bets for deer hunting in New York. They possess higher deer densities and plenty of public land. In addition, they traditionally have the highest deer harvests in the entire state. The Adirondack National Park may be the most well known park for deer hunting in New York, but right now the western part of the state is producing the greatest amount of big deer.

What many people don’t realize is how many suburban hunting opportunities New York has to offer. Westchester County north of New York City and Suffolk County on Long Island are two great examples of suburban places worth hunting. The people of Westchester County have money and lots of it. This equates to giant mansions with botanical gardens, suburban subdivisions with manicured lawns, and small woodlots in between.

Some of the most successful hunters in this part of the state attest to how big a buck will grow when living around the plots of these mansions. The hardest part is gaining access. Apparently the best way to do that is to find unposted pieces of land. In certain areas in states like New York, you may assume that you can hunt unposted properties. Of course, you must leave if the landowner asks you to.

Long Island is another area with an exploding whitetail deer population and minimal land to hunt them. Hunting is much needed in order to combat crop and garden devastation, limit harmful tick populations, and decrease the chances of vehicle collisions. The hardest part in Long Island is finding somewhere to hunt. There is little to no public hunting land. If you are hunting the limited shotgun season they have, you must have a gun license and  receive written permission from the land owner. Long Island offers both a bow and gun season.

Licenses for Deer Hunting in New York

The licenses and tags for deer hunting in New York are pretty simple. After passing a hunter education course for your state, you can obtain a general annual hunting license for the state of New York. The license allows you to gun hunt for big and small game species during the general hunting seasons. You may purchase privileges after that for either archery or muzzleloader.

New York offers deer management permits for certain zones. Apply before October 1. These are antlerless-only permits that offers hunters a further opportunity to fill the freezer.

Allowed weapons for deer hunting in New York varies depending on the hunting season and location. Some regions only allow bow, while others allow only shotguns and muzzleloaders during gun seasons. After harvesting an animal, you may drag the animal out before tagging it. You must, however, fill the tag out right away with a cut for the month and date of harvest. You have seven days to report the harvest either online or by phone.

If deer hunting in New York is in the cards for this year, good luck! It’s a great state for enjoying the outdoors. Whether you’re hunting the suburbs, farmlands, or the big woods, the state promises great adventure.

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Last modified: October 1, 2018

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