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DEC announces hunting and trapping licenses are now on sale

  • / Updated:
  • Concetta Durso 

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced hunting and trapping licenses and Deer Management Permits (DMPs) for the 2022-2023 seasons are now on sale. Expanded hunting opportunities offered last year are also available to hunters this year.

“Half-a-million New Yorkers enjoy hunting each year and DEC is excited to increase hunting opportunities again this season for long-time hunters and new participants to the sport,” Commissioner Seggos said. “As always, safety is a top priority and I remind all hunters to follow the key principles of hunter safety before heading afield.”

Licenses and permits can be purchased online, at license-issuing agents, or by phone at 866-933-2257. The new hunting and trapping licenses are valid from Sept. 1, 2022, through Aug. 31, 2023. Annual fishing licenses are valid for 365 days from the 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 and Access Stamp each year. Funds from the $5 stamp supports projects to conserve habitat and improve public access for fish- and wildlife-related activities. This year’s Habitat and Access Stamp features a red eft, a juvenile eastern newt.

Expanded Call Center Hours

Beginning this week through Nov. 30, the DEC Call Center is accessible from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. 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)

DMPs, the tags issued for antlerless deer, are available at all license-issuing outlets, by phone, or online through Oct. 1, 2022. 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 2022 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 2022-23 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide, which provides an easy-to-read collection of pertinent rules and regulations, is available on the DEC hunting regulations 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 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 participants are encouraged to sign up early. Visit DEC’s website for more information, including a list of courses, registration instructions, and how to obtain study materials.

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 to purchase a hunting license. Participants must be New York State residents. The cost of the course is $19.95. The online course can be accessed at DEC’s website.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

New York State is also offering an online bowhunter education certification course. Upon passing, hunters will receive a bowhunter education certificate. Participants must be New York State residents.  The cost of the course is $30. The online course can be accessed at DEC’s website.

Additional Hunting Opportunities Continue

Additional deer hunting opportunities initiated last year will continue in 2022. A special early season for antlerless deer runs from Sept. 10 to 18, 2022, 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 enable families and friends to hunt together during the holiday season.

Opportunities for Junior Hunters and Trappers

To foster the next generation of responsible 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, as well as opportunities for junior trappers (younger than 12 years old) by establishing the trapper mentoring program. These opportunities allow young 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 rules of hunting safety:

  1. Assume every gun is loaded;
  2. Control the muzzle in a safe direction;
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger until firing;
  4. Be sure of your target and beyond; and
  5. Wear hunter orange or pink.

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 they leave the ground until the time they return. Hunters are advised to check 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.

Recently-enacted legislation established new requirements for the purchase and transfer of ownership of semi-automatic rifles and the purchase, possession, storage, and transport of firearms and ammunition in New York. See the Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Recent Changes to New York State Firearm Laws on DEC’s website for initial guidance. More detailed information will be coming soon.

Keep Chronic Wasting Disease Out of New York

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. Hunters can help protect New York’s deer herd from CWD by following these tips:

  1. 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;
  2. 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. Instead, choose synthetic alternatives;
  3. Dispose of carcass waste in a landfill, not on the landscape;
  4. Hunt only wild deer and support fair chase hunting principles; and
  5. Report any deer that appears sick or is acting abnormally.

Hunters: Want Older Bucks in New York? It’s Your Choice

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 they will harvest an older, larger buck, simply 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 — all things that may enhance the deer hunting experience.

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. For more information, visit here.