About Hunting in New York

Looking to plan a hunt in NY? We’ve put together all the information about the NY hunting season.

2021 New York Active Hunting Seasons

Big Game

  • Deer
  • Black Bear

Small Game

  • Cottontail Rabbit
  • Varying Hare
  • Grey, Black and Fox Squirrel


  • Wild Turkey
  • Waterfowl
  • Migratory game birds

New York Hunting Season Dates

Early bowhunting in NY state starts on September 27 in a few zones and October 23 is the first day of the regular hunting season.

That said, hunting seasons depend on the following:

  • The sporting arm (ie weapon)
  • Animal
  • Zone (location)

Once you know what you want to hunt, with what and where you can reference the tables below to know when the seasons begin and end and what the bag limits are (what sex and how many you can harvest).

NY Regular & Bowhunting Deer Hunting Seasons 2021

Northern Zone

Northern ZoneDatesNotes
Early BowhuntingSept 27 – Oct 22
CrossbowOct 13 – Oct 22
RegularOct 23 – Dec 5
Late BowhuntingDec 6 – Dec 12Only 5A, 5G, 5J, 6A, 6C, 6G, 6H

*Antlered bucks must have at least one antler with 3 or more points that are at least 1 inch long.

Southern Zone

Southern ZoneDates
Early BowhuntingOct 1 – Nov 19
CrossbowNov 6 – Nov 19
RegularNov 20 – Dec 12
Late BowhuntingDec 13 – Dec 21
Dec 26 – Jan 1

Bag Limits

The number of deer a hunter may take depends upon the licenses and privileges purchased. If a licensed hunter has the proper tags, they are permitted to shoot more than one deer in a day. Here is a description of the tags received with each license type. Refer to the chart below for a description of how each tag can be used.

If you purchase:

  1. Hunting License
    • You will receive a Regular Season Deer Tag.
  2. Muzzleloading or Bowhunting Privilege*–
    • You will receive a Bow/Mz Season Either Sex Deer Tag.
  3. Muzzleloading and Bowhunting Privilege*–
    • You will receive one Bow/Mz Season Either Sex Deer Tag and one Bow/Mz Season Antlerless Deer Tag, both of which may be used in either season.

* A hunting license must be purchased to be eligible for Bowhunting and Muzzleloading Privileges.

New York Muzzleloading Deer Seasons 2021

MuzzleloaderDatesZonesBag Limit
Northern ZoneOct. 16 – Oct. 22
Dec. 6 – Dec. 12
5A, 5G, 5J, 6A, 6C, 6G, 6HDeer of either sex
Oct. 16 – Oct. 226NAntlered Deer Only
Southern ZoneDec. 13 – Dec. 21Except bowhunting only WMUs 4J and 8C)Deer of either sex
Dec. 26 – Jan. 1 Except bowhunting only WMUs 4J and 8CDeer of either sex

NY Black Bear Hunting Seasons 2021

Nortnern Zone

Northern ZoneDatesArea
BowhuntingSept. 18 – Oct. 22Brown shaded portion
CrossbowOct. 13 – Oct. 22Brown shaded portion
MuzzleloaderOct. 16 – Oct. 22Brown shaded portion
RegularOct. 23 – Dec. 5Brown shaded portion
Sept. 18 – Dec. 5Yellow shaded portion

Southern Zone

Southern ZoneDatesArea
Early BearSept. 11 – Sept. 26Green Shaded Portion
BowhuntingOct. 1 – Nov. 19
Dec. 13 – Dec. 21
Orange and green shaded portions
CrossbowNov. 6 – Nov. 19
(Not in WMUs 3S, 4J or 8C)
Orange shaded portion
Nov. 6 – Nov. 19Green shaded portion
RegularNov. 20 – Dec. 12Orange and green shaded portions
MuzzleloadingDec. 13 – Dec. 21Orange and green shaded portions

Early Season bear hunters may use a bow (with appropriate bowhunting eligibility), crossbow, muzzleloader, handgun, shotgun, or rifle (where allowed). For legal implements in other bear seasons, please see Rifle, Shotgun, and Bow Areas.

Understanding New York’s hunting season

Before you can hunt in NJ, you will need to do the following:

  1. First buy an annual NY hunting license
  2. Buy applicable permits

NY Annual Hunting License Costs


(Note: It is not necessary to purchase a separate bear tag when buying a hunting license. Small game and big game hunting is now included in the annual hunting license for both residents and nonresidents.)

Additional NY Hunting Privileges/Permits

PermitResident CostNonresident Fee
Bowhunting Privilege$15 (ages 16-69)
No fee (ages 70+)
$4 (ages 12-15)
$30 (ages 16+)
$4 (ages 12-15)
Muzzleloading Privilege$15 (ages 14-69)
No fee (ages 70+)
$30 (ages 14+)
Turkey Permit$10 (ages 12+)$20 (ages 12+)
Deer Management Permit$10 (ages 16+)
No fee (ages 12-15)
No fee (holders of lifetime sportsman
licenses purchased prior to
October 1, 2009)
$10 (ages 16+)
No fee (ages 12-15)
No fee (holders of lifetime sportsman
licenses purchased prior to
October 1, 2009)

Annual hunting licenses and privileges are valid from September 1 through August 31 each year.

Where to buy: https://decals.licensing.east.kalkomey.com/

NY Hunting Lottery Application Dates

PermitApplication Date
Fall Turkey10am Sept 14, 2021
Spring TurkeyJan 25-Feb 22, 2021
Bear Segment A10am Sept 9 – Oct 19, 2021
Bear Segment B10am Nov 1, 2021 until end of season or sold out

Permit Tip:

Some permits go on sale ‘over the counter’ if they don’t sell out.

Find a hunting guide in New York

  • Guided Deer Hunts
  • Guided Bear Hunts
  • Guided Pheasant Hunts
  • Guided Turkey Hunts

New York Hunting News

We’re currently researching news articles.

Tips for Hunting in NY

No hunting on sunday, must wear orange, must have license, hours vary, earn a buck


Do I need a license to hunt in NY?

How long is a NY hunting licenses valid for? Licenses are for the calendar year and expire on December 31. Deer permits are valid into the following year if a season extends into it.

Links to Official Sites

Hunting Licenses and Permits

State Regulation Site

New York Hunting Regulations PDF