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.


About Jacquie

"Live in the Sunshine. Swim the Sea. Drink the Wild Air."  - Emerson

Top 10 site for Steelhead Fishing

Cattaraugus Creek has been listed in the top 10 sites for Steelhead Fishing (rainbow trout fishing) by 2 outdoor magazines. Steelhead Trout AKA Rainbow trout are very similar to Salmon in both taste and habits. Unlike other areas of the United States, our native Rainbow trout (Steelhead Trout) spend a majority of time in Lake Erie a freshwater lake and spawn in the Cattaraugus Creek and other tributaries.

The following is from the New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation's article "Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries"

Lake Erie's tributary streams, both big and small, receive an annual run of migratory rainbow trout called "steelhead." From October through April, thousands of steelhead ascend New York's Lake Erie tributaries on their mission to spawn. Excellent fishing opportunities await any angler who wishes to try their hand at steelhead fishing. Between the acrobatic leaps, long drag-screaming runs and rod quaking head shakes, the fight of an early run steelhead is a truly exhilarating experience.

Read more about Steelhead/Rainbow fishing on the Cattaraugus Creek

Read more