Sunday, September 27, 2020

Small Game Hunting Season begins Oct. 1

thomas houghton turkeySmall game hunting season starts Oct. 1 across New York State. Special youth hunts and new opportunities for active-duty military members and veterans are also available this hunting season.

There are several youth-only hunting seasons for pheasants and waterfowl prior to the start of the regular season. Dates, bag limits, and other regulations for small game can be viewed in the Hunting and Trapping Regulations guide, which can be obtained from a license-issuing agent or on the DEC’s website.

Hunting seasons for ducks, geese, and brant (waterfowl) begin early October in several parts of New York State, but young hunters can get the jump on the season opener with the following youth waterfowl days and locations:

  • 19 and 20 in the Northeast and Southeast zones;
  • 26 and 27 in the Lake Champlain Zone;
  • 3 and 4 in the Western Zone; and
  • 7 and 8 in the Long Island Zone.

Junior hunters must be accompanied by a licensed adult hunter, and both must be registered with the Harvest Information Program HIP. Adult hunters also need a federal migratory bird stamp, and the adult hunter who is supervising a youth may not possess a firearm, bow, or crossbow afield.

Active duty servicemen and veterans will also be provided with special hunting opportunities for the early hunting of waterfowl. Participating hunters must carry identification that verifies active duty or veteran status. The hunting days and locations are:

  • 19 and 20 in the Northeast Zone;
  • 10 and 11 in the Southeast Zone;
  • 11 (Veterans Day) and Nov. 14 in the Western Zone; and
  • 14 and 15 in the Long Island Zone.

Rugged Grouse Hunting will take place from Oct. 1 until the last day of Feburary in most areas of the state. In Northern New York, the season will open on September 20. Pheasant hunting will be open October 1 in northern and eastern portions of New York, October 17 in central and western portions of New York, November 1 on Long Island. Squirrel rabbit and hare hunting will take place on September 1 in Upstate New York, and November 1 on Long Island. Snowshoe hare season will begin on October first in the Northern Zone. Wild turkey season will be October 1 through October 14 in the Northern Zone. To learn more, visit the DEC Website.

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Information attributed to NYSDEC is taken from press releases and news announcements from New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation.

2 Responses

  1. Timothy Curtis says:

    What is the rationale for having open season on pheasants? Also, why is it so long in most of the state? I travel all around Central NY, and I never see pheasants. I’ve seen 2 in the last two years. There used to be groups of them showing at this time of year until around 40 years ago; they have been in decline ever since. I cannot fathom why the DEC takes these types of actions. Do the wildlife biologists ever spend time in the field?

    • Boreas says:

      They are strictly game birds, not native species. They are usually bred and released just for hunters. They rarely survive a northern winter.

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