Hunting and Trapping Newsletter

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
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Hunting and Trapping Newsletter

DEC Announces Furbearer Trapping and Hunting Seasons

Many furbearer trapping and hunting seasons have begun in New York State. New York's trappers play an important role in wildlife conservation and management efforts by providing important data to DEC's expert wildlife biologists, especially for fisher and marten management. DEC encourages all trappers to report harvested fisher and marten, and to provide required samples to help the state improve wildlife management efforts.

Boy poses with coyote he has hunted

Fisher and marten are medium-sized members of the weasel family, which also includes weasels, ermine, mink, and river otters. While fisher have been expanding their range throughout New York in recent decades, the state’s marten are restricted to the Adirondacks.

Coyote hunting season began Oct. 1 across much of the state and hunting seasons for other furbearers such as bobcat, raccoon, and fox began on Oct. 25. Season dates and zone boundaries for all furbearers can be found on DEC's website and in the Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide.

Trapping season dates vary by species and geography, with raccoon, fox, and bobcat opening on Oct. 25, and beaver opening on Nov. 1 in northern New York, Nov. 10 in eastern New York, and Nov. 25 in western New York. Trappers should check the regulations guide or DEC's website for opening dates in their area.

All fisher and marten trappers must obtain a special, free permit from their regional wildlife office, submit a trapping activity log, and submit the skull or jaw from harvested fishers and martens.

To obtain a free fisher or fisher/marten permit, trappers should contact their regional wildlife office or apply by e-mail (type "Fisher/Marten Permit" in the subject line). Only one fisher or fisher/marten permit is needed to trap these species anywhere in New York where the season is open. Trappers must provide the following information:

  • Name
  • DEC ID # (from license or back tag)
  • Mailing address
  • Phone or e-mail
  • Species (fisher or fisher/marten)
  • If requesting a permit by e-mail, include the county or WMU where you plan to trap fisher and/or marten.

Photo by Paul Morris. Devon Morris poses with a 42 lb. female coyote.

It’s Rut Time!

A tree trunk with a buck rub on it, with an archer's bow leaning against it.Year-in, year-out, the peak of deer breeding activity in New York falls around the 2-3rd week of November. These are exciting times to be in the woods, to hear a buck grunt from thick cover, to find a large rub or heavily used scrape, to witness an eager buck pursue an estrus doe nose to the ground. With bucks on the move, and the start of the Southern Zone gun season on the 16th, more than 60% of the total buck harvest will occur during the next 3 weeks.

The next few weeks, and the decisions hunters make during this time, will also critically influence the deer herd we see afield next year. In recent years, about 45% of the antlered bucks taken in New York were 1½ years old, weighing about 20% less and with 50% smaller antlers than they would have as a 2.5-year old. New York hunters can increase the likelihood they will harvest a 2.5-year or older buck next year, simply by choosing to pass up shots at young bucks this year. The choice is yours, and your choice makes a difference!

Photo by Jeremy Hurst


Leftover DMPs Available for Some WMUs

We didn’t reach our target allocation of Deer Management Permits (DMPs; antlerless tags) in some WMUs during the initial application period, despite issuing tags to all applicants. Leftover DMPs are available on a first-come, first-serve basis at license issuing outlets only. As of November 1, the list of WMUs with available DMPs included: 1C, 3M, 3R, 3S (bowhunting-only), 4J (bowhunting-only), 6P, 7F, 7H, 7J, 7R, 8A, 8C (bowhunting-only), 8F, 8G, 8H, 8J, 8N, 8R, 9A, 9F, and 9G. See Leftover DMPs for an updated list.

Protect NY Deer from Chronic Wasting Disease

Bucks in the back of truckTo further protect New York's deer and moose from Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), DEC will soon adopt a new rule that prohibits hunters from importing whole carcasses of CWD-susceptible animals (white-tailed deer, mule deer, black-tailed deer, sika deer, moose, caribou, red deer and elk) from anywhere outside of New York. Hunters who harvest these animals in other states or provinces may only return with the de-boned meat, cleaned skull cap, antlers with no flesh adhering, raw or processed cape or hide, cleaned teeth or lower jaw, and finished taxidermy products. See Big Game Importation Restrictions for more information.

Photo by McBeth-Flickr

A Hunter's Role in Wildlife Management: Take It, Tag It, Report It!

Hunter with a buckDid you know that only about 50 percent of hunters report their deer, bear and turkey harvests each year, even though it’s required by law? Hunters can be fined up to $250 for failing to report!

Reporting a harvest within seven days of take is not only your legal obligation, it’s also essential to proper wildlife management. Hunters who report their harvest provide important biological data which are used to help estimate the numbers of deer, bear, and turkey in each area of New York State and set management objectives.

The easiest way to report is via DEC’s HuntFishNY mobile app. Through this mobile app, hunters, anglers, and trappers can access an electronic version of their licenses and privileges and report the harvest of deer, bear and turkey immediately while afield on their mobile device. It takes seconds. Hunters may still use the phone report system, but the online and mobile systems are faster, more convenient, and easier for hunters to accurately enter information. Reporting your harvest is easier than ever, so this Fall please remember to Take It, Tag It, Report It!  Visit our website for details on Game Harvest Reporting

Caption: Cory Dente of Delmar NY with a 10 point buck he harvested in the 2018 early bowhunting season. Cory reported his harvest through the HuntFishNY mobile app.