Deer and Bear Hunting Regulations
The following are a summary of hunting laws and regulations for big game hunters. For complete reference consult the New York State Environmental Conservation Law and Volume 6 of the Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York.
Hunting Hours[Link to Game Harvest Reporting]
Click Here to Report!Big game hunting hours are sunrise to sunset. Sunday hunting is allowed in all areas of New York. There are some local exceptions. Check the area that you hunt carefully. For hunting on state parks, confirm regulations with the park before hunting.
Legally Antlered Deer
A legally antlered deer must have at least one antler that is three inches or longer measured from the base of the burr. Special regulations apply in the Antler Restriction area.
"Early" and "Late" Seasons for Deer and Bear
When you see the term "early" muzzleloader or archery season, it means before the regular deer season for that particular zone. "Late" means after the regular deer season for that zone.
Rifle, Shotgun and Bow Areas
The portions of New York where rifles, shotguns and bows may be used during the regular firearms seasons are set in law by the state legislature. See Rifle, Shotgun and Bow Areas for a map of where various hunting implements may be used in the state.
Resident and Nonresident hunters may take one bear by gun or bow each license year.
In the Southern Zone, you may not shoot a cub or a bear that should be known to be a cub, shoot any bear from a group of bears, or shoot or take a bear from its den.
The number of deer a hunter may take depends upon the licenses and privileges purchased. 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.