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Deer and Bear Hunting Seasons

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Regulations were adopted in early August that:
  • Rescind an antlerless-only requirement established in 2015 during portions of the bow and muzzleloader season in some Wildlife Management Units (WMUs)
  • Reduce the take of antlerless deer in WMUs 6F and 6J by allowing hunters to only take antlered deer during the early muzzleloader season

Deer Hunting Seasons

Map of the 2016-2017 regular and bowhunting season dates

Map of the 2016-2017 muzzleloading deer season dates

2016 Deer Hunting Season Dates

Deer Hunting Season Dates
Area Bowhunting Crossbow Regular Season Muzzleloading Special Firearms
Season
Northern Zone Sept. 27 - Oct. 21
Dec. 5 - Dec. 11 (WMUs 5A, 5G, 5J, 6A, 6C, 6G, 6H only)
Oct. 12 -Oct.21 Oct. 22 - Dec.4 Oct. 15 - Oct. 21
Dec. 5 - Dec. 11 (WMUs 5A, 5G, 5J, 6A, 6C, 6G, 6H only)
Southern Zone Oct. 1 - Nov. 18
Dec. 12 - Dec. 20
Nov. 5 - Nov. 18
(Not in WMUs 4J or 8C)
Nov. 19 - Dec. 11 Dec. 12 - Dec. 20 (except bowhunting only WMUs 4J and 8C)
Westchester County
(WMU 3S)
same as Regular Season Oct. 1 - Dec. 31
(bowhunting only)
Suffolk County
(WMU 1C)
same as Regular Season Oct. 1, 2016 - Jan. 31, 2017
(bowhunting only)
Jan. 1 - Jan. 31, 2017
(Special Permit Required)

Antler Restriction Program

An antler restriction is in place to reduce harvest of young bucks in a portion of the Catskills in southeastern New York. The antler restriction REQUIRES that bucks taken in the antler restriction units have at least one antler with 3 points (or more) which are at least one inch long. This restriction applies to the archery, regular and muzzleloading seasons. Hunters aged 12-16 years are exempt from this restriction. For more information see Antler Restrictions in New York.

Black Bear Hunting Seasons

Map of the 2016-2017 bear hunting season dates

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.

2016 Bear Hunting Season Dates
Area Early Bowhunting Crossbow Regular Muzzleloading
Northern Zone Yellow shaded portion Sept. 17 - Oct. 14 Sept. 17 - Oct. 21 Oct. 12 - Oct. 21 Oct. 22 - Dec. 4 Oct. 15 - Oct. 21
Brown shaded portion Sept. 17 - Oct. 21 Oct. 12 - Oct. 21 Oct. 22 - Dec. 4 Oct. 15 - Oct. 21
Southern Zone Orange shaded portion Oct. 1 - Nov. 18
Dec. 12 - Dec. 20
Nov. 5 - Nov. 18
(Not in WMUs 4J or 8C)
Nov. 19 - Dec. 11 Dec. 12 - Dec. 20
Green shaded portion Sept. 10 - Sept. 25 Oct. 1 - Nov. 18
Dec. 12 - Dec. 20
Nov. 5- Nov. 18
Nov. 19 - Dec. 11 Dec. 12 - Dec. 20
Westchester County
(lt. blue shaded)
Same as Regular Season Oct. 1 - Dec. 31
(bowhunting only)

Become a NYS Black Bear Management Cooperator

  1. Report your bear harvest. Bear Management Cooperator 2016 patch
  2. Submit a premolar tooth from the bear for DEC to determine the bear's age.
  3. You will receive a commemorative patch as a NYS Black Bear Management Cooperator.

See Black Bear Tooth Collection for instructions and more information about becoming a NYS Black Bear Management Cooperator.

Hunting Zone Boundaries and Wildlife Management Units (WMUs)

If you need to know the boundaries of the different hunting areas, go to Legally Defined Areas for Big Game Hunting for a description of the hunting zones or Wildlife Management Units for a description of unit boundaries.

Make Plans for Next Year

Would you like to know the big game season dates for next year so you may schedule your vacation time accordingly? Go to our Future Big Game Season Dates page to calculate the season dates for your hunting area.