List of Recent Hunting Rule Changes from the DEC

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Recent Hunting Rules Changes from the DEC.  Another very helpful link for charts of NY hunting and dates see:

This is a summary of recent significant changes. Check the annual Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide for other changes such as season dates.


New License Structure

Effective February 1, 2014, changes were made to the types of licenses available and the fees associated with those licenses. These changes include reduced fees, reduced number of license types, changes to valid license dates and more. If you previously purchased combination licenses, such as Super Sportsman, you will now have to purchase each privilege separately.

License Year Adjusted

Starting with the 2014-15 season, the license year will run from September 1 to August 31. Previously the license year was from October 1 to September 30. For this year only, when hunting species with open seasons in September, you may use either last year's license or this year's license for a successful harvest.

Crossbows Allowed Again

New legislation now allows use of crossbow for hunting big and small game under certain circumstances. See Crossbow Hunting for details about license and training requirements, general rules, and specific hunting season opportunities.

Setback Distances Reduced

Setback distances have been changed from 500 feet to 150 feet for vertical bows and 250 feet for crossbows.

New Bear Hunting Opportunities

DEC has expanded bear hunting areas throughout all of upstate New York (north of New York City), created an early firearms season for bears in the Catskills and Western Hudson Valley, and established a uniform start date for bowhunting and early bear seasons in the Northern Zone. See Bear Hunting Seasons for details.

Hunting with Rifles Allowed in Albany and Livingston Counties

Legislation was passed that makes rifles legal hunting implements for big game in Albany and Livingston counties.


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