Thursday, September 17, 2020

Hunting, trapping license sales break records

In-Person Hunter Education Courses Are Resuming, Online Courses Extended
The DEC is experiencing record-breaking sales of hunting and trapping licenses for upcoming seasons. Sales for big game hunting and trapping licenses and Deer Management Permits (DMPs) were nearly triple prior years’ sales on opening day, more than double on the second day and nearly double the first two weeks.

DEC also announced that in-person Hunter Education, Bowhunter Education, and Trapper Education courses have resumed with appropriate social distancing and other precautions to limit the community spread of COVID-19.

DEC transformed the Hunter Ed program at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to offer online certification, resulting in a dramatic 105-percent increase in participants completing the course compared to the traditional in-person courses offered in 2019.

DEC launched the State’s new automated system for selling fishing, hunting, and trapping licenses in July, and on Aug. 10, the system was activated for big game license sales and DMPs. The new DEC Automated Licensing System (DECALS) includes user-friendly information to help locate vendors, receive instant copies of a license, enter and view harvest information, and more. On the first day of big game sales this year, DEC reported $922,444 in sales, compared to $347,103 in 2019. Over the first two weeks of license sales, sales have reached more than $6.2 million compared to approximately $3.5 million for the first two weeks in 2019.

Purchasing a hunting or trapping license helps to support DEC conservation projects and ensures natural resources are protected for generations to come. Through the purchase of New York sporting licenses, hunters and anglers help generate an estimated $75 million to help conserve fish and wildlife, enhance habitat, and protect natural resources. Hunting and fishing build a sense of stewardship of fish and wildlife resources and habitats, provide an opportunity for experienced hunters and anglers to share their knowledge with others, and promote participation in hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting through the mentoring of young hunters and anglers. New York’s hunters and anglers contribute an estimated $4.9 billion to the economy in spending, which supports more than 56,000 jobs and $623 million in state and local taxes.

Licenses and permits can be purchased at any one of DEC’s license-issuing agentsonline, or by telephone at 866-933-2257. The new hunting and trapping licenses are valid from Sept. 1, 2020, through Aug. 31, 2021, while annual fishing licenses are valid for 365 days from date of purchase. DMPs are also available at all license-issuing outlets, by phone, or online through Oct. 1, 2020.

DMPs are used to manage the deer herd and are issued through an instant random selection process at the point of sale. The 2020 chances of selection for a DMP in each Wildlife Management Unit are available online, through license issuing agents, or by calling the DMP Information 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. DEC reminds hunters that lifetime license tag sets for the 2020-21 license year are currently being mailed and should be received by all hunters by Sept. 1. Hunters do not need tags in hand to apply for DMPs or to purchase additional privileges. Lifetime information is stored in the DECALS database.

The new Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide, an easy-to-read compendium of pertinent rules and regulations, is available on the DEC Hunting Regulations webpage. A summary of hunting and trapping regulations is currently available at license issuing agents, and copies of the full hunting and trapping regulations guide are available at license issuing agents.

Hunter Education

With the cancellation of in-person courses earlier this year during the State’s response to COVID-19, DEC quickly innovated to help prospective hunters planning to take cancelled in-person hunter safety courses and created a new online Hunter Education course. The results were dramatic, more than doubling certifications from 2019, with more than 76,800 people registered for the online Hunter Ed course and 40,278 completions. Nearly 70 percent of those completing the online course are 21 or over, and almost 40 percent of participants are women. The new online Bowhunter Ed course has seen more than 20,980 registered participants and 10,934 have completed the course. Both courses can be accessed at DEC’s website. The online courses have been extended indefinitely.

As all of New York has now entered Phase 4 of reopening, in-person Hunter Education, Bowhunter Education, and Trapper Education courses are resuming. While the popularity of the online Hunter Ed and Bowhunter Ed courses has been unprecedented, some potential new hunters want to take the traditional course, which offers a field day component. Social distancing, health and safety, and disinfectant protocols have been put in place to ensure courses are conducted in a way that minimizes risk to participants. The online courses will remain available for those who prefer an online course. For more information about taking a traditional field-based course, visit DEC’s website.

Habitat Stamp

DEC also encourages outdoor enthusiasts to consider purchasing a Habitat & Access Stamp each year. Support for the Habitat Stamp has also skyrocketed this year, with a nearly 300 percent increase—7,337 in 2020 compared to 2,559 in 2019—in sales over the first two weeks of big game license sales. Funds from the $5 Habitat & Access Stamp support projects to conserve habitat and improve public access for fish- and wildlife-related activities. This year’s Habitat & Access Stamp features a northern leopard frog. Last year’s stamp featured a bull moose (pictured at top) and was the most popular stamp in DEC history, with more than 25,000 sold.

Related Stories

Community news stories come from press releases and other notices from organizations, businesses, state agencies and other groups. Submit your contributions to Almanack Editor Melissa Hart at

16 Responses

  1. M Leybra says:

    Yup, the ‘legal’ animal slaughter business is booming in NY state (and others) while we keep reading about the decline of North American wildlife during the last 50 years. Primarily from wildlife’s loss of habitat given over to development of human activity & population growth during the same period.
    While seven states so far have banned “kill as many as you can ” wildlife contests, NY still allows hunters to indulge in that pastime for animals not on the seasonal menu, e.g. crows, fox, coyotes, etc., to make sure no species slips though the cracks of not being hunted.

  2. joeadirondack says:

    M Leybra , Please back up your post with facts. First please define ” legal ” animal slaughter. I am a life long hunter and fisherman. I kill and eat two deer some rabbits and grouse and lots of fish ( bass mostly) a year. Am I a part of the ” slaughter ” ? Second the decline of wildlife? Wildlife is at an all time high in all 50 states because of sound environmental and resource management tools ( logging for example). As for the seventh states that have banned kill as many as you can, please site what states and what they are trying to kill( I maybe wrong but I don’t know of any ) enlighten us.

    • Ethan says:

      Joe, you likely refer to your hunting as being for subsistence purposes.
      Not so in regard to “wildlife killing contests” which, shamefully, NY still allows.  The wildlife is killed for “fun” and prizes of guns and/or money.  Victims are most often coyotes, red and gray foxes, bobcats, raccoons, etc.  Kill all you can, because the more entries submitted, the better the chances of winning in one of multiplel categories. More or less sounds like gambling with our wildlife to me.
      Frankly, as a hunter yourself, it’s surprising you know nothing of the topic. I do hope the following will enlighten you:

       Arizona, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and Vermont, Washington have all banned wildlife killing contests.
      More here –

    • M Leybra says:

      Legal equals, any NY or out of state hunter can purchase a yearly hunting license to kill NY wildlife & the 11% Fed tax on guns & ammo is divided up between states depending on how many licenses they sell under the P/R ACT. There’s ample info available for anyone who cares to read on their own, reg. the decline of North American wildlife For starters can look up the situation for America’s diminishing elk herds & if truly interested there’s plenty of info on many species in decline available. Here’s one link about the state of “some rabbits.”
      (“New England cottontail populations have dwindled for decades due to habitat loss”) & (“By the late 1970’s, not a single Canada lynx was found in Colorado”) & (“Nearly half of our fish species are struggling.”)
      As for grouse, here’s another link, (“The abundance of ruffed grouse has declined over a broad region in the Appalachian Mountains in the last 3 decades”),is%20reduced%20when%20forests%20mature.
      Hope this is somewhat helpful.

    • M Leybra says:

      Joeadirondack, For your info, I did my best send you a reply w/ back-up info but as of now it appears the comment moderator has wiped out my reply to you.

      • Your comment is now live. FYI, comments with links tend to get placed into a “needs review” que, as they could be spam. And sorry, I wasn’t awake when you posted it, so just reviewed now. 🙂

    • AG says:

      “at an all time high” is false. it has just rebounded from when so many species were decimated up until the last quarter of the 20th century

  3. Walt Paul says:

    M Leybra
    The sportsmen and women of north america are the are the reason you are able to enjoy nature viewing. Google north american wildlife conservation. Ignorance is only eradicated through education.

    Walt Paul

    • M Leybra says:

      Dear Walt, sport hunting is not the primary reason for declining species. The reasons are loss of & fragmented habitat. Along w/ increased pollution, pesticides, logging, agriculture, ranching, resource extraction & all forms of human activity since the 1970’s, when U.S. population went from 205 million to 330-plus million today & is continuing to increase.
      The state labeling hunters w/ the honorary degree of ‘conservationists’ because they’re forced to ‘conserve enough today to have to kill for tomorrow’ is ludicrous. But since wildlife biologists salaries are paid directly from hunting license income, it’s like a token offering of respect, one would guess. Wildlife maintains itself & is a totally free commodity, ‘to harvest’….outside of pheasants voluntarily raised by hunters. Until their release, hand-raised & totally oblivious to foraging food or avoiding predators & w/ ‘conservationists’ awaiting them at the release site. Kinda reminiscent of the Higgins, PA pigeon shoot, isn’t it?.

  4. Con says:

    Nothing to do but go play with guns and murder wildlife
    just sick!!! Animals have no chance with this nasty vile human race and Shameful is our Government pushing this guns are the leading cause of death in the U.S.

    • JohnL says:

      Guns, shootng, and hunting are fun. They’ve supplied me with many beautiful memories with my father and my kids. 3 generations so far, and soon a 4th will join in the fun. That’s the beauty of being a shooter and a hunter. Plus guns allow you to protect yourself and particularly your family, from the crazies of the world.
      P.S. Did you (Con) really say guns are the leading cause of death in the U.S.?? Wow, if you did, you couldn’t be more wrong. Better check your stats.

  5. Todd says:

    You are wrong as well. Most of my harvesting of animals is done with a bow and arrow

  6. Ed says:

    M Leybra , make sure you never engage in something that has directly or indirectly caused an animal’s or insect’s demise . Like driving down a road , or going to a store , or using the internet . Don’t forget that high horse of yours either , his back needs a break occasionally.

  7. Richard says:

    Most people who hate hunting & fishing or Guns are usually the ones who know the least about it as with other things in life

Wait! Before you go:

Catch up on all your Adirondack
news, delivered weekly to your inbox