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The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has added a link to a translation service developed by Microsoft Inc., entitled Bing Translator, as a convenience to visitors to the DEC website who speak languages other than English.

Additional information can be found at DEC's Language Assistance Page.

Deer and Bear Hunting Seasons

Important Note: DEC currently has a regulation change pending that would affect deer hunting in certain WMUs for 2015. Please continue to check our website before the deer season opens for the most current information.

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Deer Hunting Seasons

Map of New York depicting hunting areas and season dates for the muzzleloading deer season.

2015 Deer Hunting Season Dates

Deer Hunting Season Dates
Area Bowhunting Crossbow Regular Season Muzzleloading Special Firearms
Season
Northern Zone

Sept. 27 - Oct. 23
Dec. 7 - Dec. 13 (WMUs 5A, 5G, 5J, 6A, 6C, 6G, 6H only)

Oct. 14 -Oct.23 Oct. 24 - Dec.6 Oct. 17 - Oct. 23
Dec. 7 - Dec. 13 (WMUs 5A, 5G, 5J, 6A, 6C, 6G, 6H only)
Southern Zone Oct. 1 - Nov. 20
Dec. 14 - Dec. 22
Nov. 7 - Nov. 20
(Not in WMUs 4J or 8C)
Nov. 21 - Dec. 13 Dec. 14 - Dec. 22 (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, 2015 - Jan. 31, 2016
(bowhunting only)

Jan. 3 - Jan. 31, 2016
(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

A map of the Black Bear Hunting seasons in New York State for the 2015-2016 season.

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.

2015 Bear Hunting Season Dates
Area Early Bowhunting Crossbow Regular Muzzleloading
Northern Zone Yellow shaded portion Sept. 19 - Oct. 16 Sept. 19 - Oct. 23 Oct. 14 - Oct. 23 Oct. 24 - Dec. 6 Oct. 17 - Oct. 23
Brown shaded portion Sept. 19 - Oct. 23 Oct. 14 - Oct. 23 Oct. 24 - Dec. 6 Oct. 17 - Oct. 23
Southern Zone Orange shaded portion Oct. 1 - Nov. 20
Dec. 14 - Dec. 22
Nov. 7 - Nov. 20
(Not in WMUs 4J or 8C)
Nov. 21 - Dec. 13 Dec. 14 - Dec. 22
Green shaded portion Sept. 12 - Sept. 27 Oct. 1 - Nov. 20
Dec. 14 - Dec. 22
Nov. 7- Nov. 20
Nov. 21 - Dec. 13 Dec. 14 - Dec. 22
Westchester County
(lt. blue shaded)
Same as Regular Season Oct. 1 - Dec. 31
(bowhunting only)
A photo of the Black Bear Management Cooperator patch for 2014

Become a NYS Black Bear Management Cooperator

  1. Report your bear harvest.
  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.