NY Big Game and Small Game Seasons are Underway

Giant gray squirrels are not uncommon in the southern tier forest lands of New York State. Forrest Fisher Photo

Hunters and Trappers Favorite Time of Year…Open Season

Hunting seasons for big game like whitetail deer and black bear are underway with the archery season. Likewise, many small game species, like ruffed grouse, pheasant, rabbit, squirrel, and wild turkey, are also open and in progress.

Hunting and trapping seasons for bobcat, raccoon and fox, and trapping seasons for fisher and mink began in some regions of the state on October 25th. Be sure to check the New York State Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide for the season dates and regulations for your hunting or trapping area.

Wild turkey hunting in the Southern Zone began October 20th and runs through Nov. 2nd. Hunters are required to have a turkey permit, and the statewide season bag limit is one bird of either sex.

Remember, harvest reporting is critical to wildlife management, and by regulation, hunters must report their harvest of a turkey within seven days of taking the animal. DEC encourages hunters to, “Take it, tag it, and then report it.

Trappers should note special permit requirements are required for fisher and marten trapping seasons. Fisher season began on October 25th in many WMUs and fisher and marten season began today in the Adirondacks. All fisher and marten trappers must obtain a special, free permit from their regional wildlife office, submit a trapping activity log, and submit the skull or jaw from harvested fishers and martens.

Giant gray squirrels are not uncommon in the southern tier state forest lands of New York State. Forrest Fisher Photo

DEC’s wildlife managers rely on the information supplied by trappers to help manage populations of these popular furbearers. To obtain a free fisher or fisher/marten permit, trappers should contact their regional wildlife office or apply by e-mail at wildlife@dec.ny.gov.

Only one fisher or fisher/marten permit is needed to trap these species anywhere in New York where the season is open. For more information, see page 54 in the Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide. 

As always, please follow the basic rules of hunter safety to protect yourself and other hunters this season.