Hunting and Trapping Newsletter

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
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Hunting and Trapping Newsletter

In This Issue:

  • Leftover Deer Management Permits Available Nov. 1
  • Harvest Reporting & the HuntFishNY App
  • Youth Hunters - Featured Photos
  • DEC Encourages Hunter Safety
  • Tips for Hunting and Trapping on Private Lands

Leftover Deer Management Permits Available November 1

Deer Management Permits (DMPs), which allow hunters to harvest antlerless deer, are issued for specific Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) to control deer populations. In some WMUs, all applicants received permits during the initial application process, and the DMP target has not been reached. In these units, hunters may apply for up to two additional DMPs on a first-come, first-served basis at any DEC license sales outlet beginning November 1.

Leftover DMPs are available in the following WMUs: 1C, 3M, 3R, 3S (bowhunting-only), 4J (bowhunting-only), 6P, 7F, 7H, 7J, 7R, 8A, 8C (bowhunting-only), 8F, 8G, 8H, 8J, 8M, 8N, 8R, 9A, 9F, and 9G.

Additionally, Bonus DMPs are available for hunters who successfully take an antlerless deer in WMUs 1C, 3S, 4J, or 8C.

Deer and DMPs are plentiful in these units. We encourage hunters to focus on does and let the young bucks go. Take a doe or two or three. Treat yourself to some jerky and sausage and share your extra venison with friends or the Venison Donation Coalition.

The HuntFishNY Mobile App

Check out DEC’s mobile app, HuntFishNY, which allows users to view their active sporting licenses and privileges on their mobile device, as well as report the harvests of deer, bear, and turkey immediately while afield. The App is available for download now from the Apple App and Google Play stores.
With the recent implementation of a new DECALS sporting license sales system, we have had to update the HuntFishNY mobile app to connect to the new system. If you have an older version of the HuntFishNY mobile app, please uninstall the original app and download the new version from your app store. Once the new version is installed, you may access your file by using the same username and password that you use for our online DECALS system. If you have not yet claimed your account and created a login to the new DECALS, you can do this by going to and clicking ‘Sign Up’. Should you have any difficulty locating your existing record or establishing a login, please call the DECALS customer service line at 866-933-2257.

Hunt Fish NY App logoOnce signed into the HuntFishNY mobile app, you can report your game harvest by going to the ‘New Harvest’ tab and selecting the appropriate carcass tag, verifying that the document number matches the tag in their hand, filling out the harvest information, and submitting it. This can be done even if you do not have cell service. The app will send the information once you do have service, and you will receive confirmation that your harvest has been successfully submitted. You will also be able to view previously reported harvests by selecting the History tab. Additionally, there are helpful links to season dates, sunrise/sunset times, and DEC contact phone numbers.

Take It, Tag It, Report It!

Remember that you must report your harvest within seven days of taking it. It’s required by law and it’s important for good wildlife management. While the HuntFishNY App provides the quickest and easiest way to report your harvest, you may also report your harvest by phone at 866-426-3778 or online through the DECALS website.

Youth Hunters - Featured Photos

DEC offers congratulations to these young hunters, and much appreciation to their supportive families and hunting mentors. It's great to see the next generation of outdoors people enjoying the sport while practicing safety. Please enjoy these photos from this year's Youth Big Game Hunt, which took place October 9-12, 2020. If you would like your photos featured in DEC publications, send us an email at to provide permission to use the photo, name, date, and county. Thanks!

Glen Moffat with his whitetail buck

Glen Moffat, 14, Livingston County

Piper Emo with her black bear

Piper Emo, 15, Allegany County

DEC Encourages Hunter Safety

While statistics show hunting in New York State is safer than ever, people make mistakes every year. Every hunting-related shooting incident is preventable, and DEC encourages hunters to use common sense this season and remember what they were taught in their DEC Hunter Education Course.two hunters in blaze orange

Follow the cardinal rules of firearms safety:

  • Treat every firearm as if it is loaded.
  • Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
  • Keep your finger off the trigger and outside the trigger guard until you are ready to shoot.
  • Always be sure of your target and what is beyond. Once you pull the trigger, you can't take the bullet back.

DEC also encourages all hunters to wear blaze orange or blaze pink to make themselves more visible to other hunters. Hunters who wear hunter orange are seven times safer than those who do not.

When hunting in tree stands, use a full-body safety harness and a lifeline, and stay connected from the time you leave the ground to the time you get back down, as most tree stand accidents occur when hunters are climbing in and out of the stand. Also, use a haul line to raise and lower your hunting implement- never climb in or out of a tree stand with a loaded firearm. See our Tree Stand Safety Video for more tips on avoiding accidents.

DEC would like to remind hunters that the legal hours for big game hunting across the state run from official sunrise to sunset. It is the responsibility of hunters to know when those times are in their locations. Consult the DEC hunting guide, see the Sunrise-Sunset Table, or search weather data on the internet to find the official sunrise and sunset times for your area. Not only is it unsafe, but it is illegal to hunt deer and bear in the dark.

For more information on these and other important hunting safety tips, please visit DEC's website and watch a video about hunter safety and tree stand safety for more tips on how to prevent accidents.

Tips for Hunting on Private Lands

For decades, hunter and trapper access to private lands has been on the decline. As properties subdivide, develop, and transfer, more land has been labeled as posted. Trespassing is illegal whether the land is posted or not, but there is a certain stigma associated with posted property that deters many hunters and trappers from even asking. Some landowners may be resistant to providing access due to fears of liability, safety concerns, unruly guests, or personal objection to hunting and/or trapping, but many others readily allow hunting to occur on their land. Declines in access can reduce the ability to manage wildlife populations (e.g. deer, Canada geese, beavers) and negatively impact hunter/trapper enthusiasm. When hunters and trappers ask for permission and landowners grant access, it’s a win-win! But hunters and trappers must start this relationship by asking.

Instructions for asking permission to hunt on private landDuring these unprecedented times of COVID-19, landowners may not be comfortable with someone knocking on their door. One way to avoid a negative reaction from an unsuspecting landowner is to write them a letter with your contact information so they can decide how or if they’d be willing to discuss hunting access with you. They may prefer a phone conversation rather than a face-to-face meeting. If you do knock on someone’s door, be sure to respect the property owner’s space by maintaining a distance of six feet or more and wearing a mask.

An online survey conducted by DEC revealed something interesting about hunters’ attitudes toward access. More than 55 percent of respondents believed that the lack of access was directly linked to their lack of hunting success. Yet, more than 40 percent of these same respondents admitted they did not spend time seeking permission. Opportunities for hunters to gain access to private property exist, but many hunters are simply not asking. Hunters wanting to increase their success must take initiative. Though past research indicates that landowners are most comfortable only allowing family and friends to hunt their property, 15-35 percent of landowners did grant hunting access to strangers who asked permission. This should be encouraging for hunters hoping to find a new piece of ground.