Hunting and trapping licenses and Deer Management Permits (DMPs) for the 2021-2022 seasons are on sale now. In addition, DEC announced new opportunities for hunters this year, including expanded hunting seasons and allowing youth ages 12 and 13 to hunt deer with a firearm or crossbow in upstate counties that have passed a local low and ‘opted in’ to participate.
Licenses and permits can be purchased online, at any one of DEC’s license-issuing agents (leaves DEC’s website), or by telephone at 866-933-2257. New hunting and trapping licenses are valid from Sept. 1, 2021, through Aug. 31, 2022; annual fishing licenses are valid for 365 days from date of purchase.
New York’s habitat serves a critical role in maintaining healthy and sustainable fish and wildlife resources. Purchasing a hunting, fishing, or trapping license helps support conservation projects and ensures the protection of the State’s natural resources. In addition, DEC encourages outdoor enthusiasts to consider purchasing a Habitat & Access Stamp each year. 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 bobcat.
Expanded Call Center Hours
Beginning this week, the DEC Call Center’s hours of operation are from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays through Nov. 30. Regular call center weekday hours will resume on Dec. 1.
Individuals should have the following items ready when buying a license:
- Complete contact information (e.g. name, address, email address, telephone number);
- DEC customer ID number (if applicable);
- Proof of residency (e.g., driver’s license or non-driver’s ID with a valid New York State address); and
- If purchasing by phone or internet, a valid credit card.
If not already entered in DEC’s automated licensing system, individuals are required to provide proof of hunter or trapper education certification or a copy of a previous license for all hunting and trapping license purchases. For additional information, visit the General Sporting License Information webpage on DEC’s website.
Deer Management Permits (DMPs)
DMPs are available at all license-issuing outlets, by phone, or online through Oct. 1. DMPs are used to manage the deer herd and are issued through an instant random selection process at the point of sale. The chances of obtaining a DMP remain the same throughout the application period; hunters need not rush to apply. The 2021 chances of selection for a DMP in each Wildlife Management Unit are available online, through license-issuing agents, or by calling the DMP 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.
The 2021-22 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide, which provides an easy-to-read collection of pertinent rules and regulations, is available on the DEC Hunting webpage. Copies will be available soon at license-issuing agents.
Online and In-Person Hunter Education Training Courses
All first-time hunters, bowhunters, and trappers must pass one or more courses before purchasing a license. Online and in-person courses are available. In-person courses have a field day where new hunters can get hands-on experience. All in-person courses are free of charge, but space may be limited. Courses fill quickly, so early sign-ups are encouraged. Visit DEC’s website for more information on materials, including a list of courses and course registration.
The requirements to earn a New York State hunter education certificate can be met by completing DEC’s online hunter education course and passing the exam. Upon passing, participants will receive a hunter education certificate, enabling the purchase of a hunting license. Participants must be New York State residents and the cost of the course is $19.95. The online course can be accessed at DEC’s website.
New York State also offers an online bowhunter education certification course. Upon passing, hunters receive their bowhunter education certificate so they can purchase a bowhunting privilege. Participants must be New York State residents and the cost of the course is $30. The online course can be accessed at DEC’s website.
New Hunting Opportunities
Deer hunters will have several new opportunities this year, with a law change that allows 12- and 13-year-old hunters to pursue deer with a firearm or crossbow under the supervision of an experienced adult hunter in upstate counties that opt-in to participate (see the Junior Big Game Hunting map). In addition, DEC created a new holiday deer hunt, an extended portion of the late bow and muzzleloader season from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, in the Southern Zone. These are new opportunities for young hunters to be mentored by experienced adults and for families to hunt together during the holiday season.
DEC is also proposing additional hunting-related changes, which are currently out for public review and comment. If these proposals are adopted, DEC will notify the public by means of a press release and email newsletters.
Opportunities for Junior Hunters and Trappers
To foster the next generation of hunters in New York, DEC has expanded opportunities for junior hunters (licensees aged 12-15) and trappers (under 12 years old) by designating special youth hunts for deer, wild turkey, pheasants, and waterfowl. These opportunities allow youth hunters and trappers to spend time in the field with experienced adults and gain the necessary knowledge and skills to become safe and responsible members of the hunting and trapping community. More information about these programs and other opportunities for junior hunters and trappers is available on DEC’s website.