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Rifle, Shotgun, and Bow Areas

Legal Implements for Regular Deer Season, Early and Regular Bear Seasons

A new law now authorizes some big game hunting with crossbows in the areas shown on the map below. See Crossbow Hunting for license and training requirements, general rules, and specific season opportunities.

Map displaying where rifles, shotguns, and crossbows can be used for big game hunting in NY
Implement Description
Bow Long (stick), recurve or compound bow with a draw weight in excess of 35 pounds. A legal arrowhead is non-barbed, has 2 or more cutting edges and is at least 7/8 inches wide.
Crossbow Consists of a bow, a string, and either compound or recurve limbs with minimum width of 17 inches (tip of limbs, uncocked), mounted on a stock. The stock shall have a trigger with a working safety that holds the string and limbs under tension until released. It shall have a minimum overall length from the butt of the stock to the front of the limbs of 24 inches and be able to launch a minimum 14 inch arrow/bolt, not including the legal arrowhead. It shall have a draw weight of 100 to 200 pounds.
Muzzleloader Firearm loaded through the muzzle, a minimum bore of .44 inches and shooting a single projectile. Scopes may now be used during the Special Muzzleloading Season in addition to the Regular Big Game Season and the Early Bear Season. See Muzzleloading section of regulations for special requirements during the muzzleloading season.
Handgun* any centerfire pistol or revolver. Barrel length maximum is 16 inches
(NOTE: Possession of handguns in New York State requires a NYS Pistol Permit. New York does not recognize permits issued by other states.)
Shotgun* Must be 20 gauge of larger and fire a single projectile, rifling in the barrel or choke is allowed
Rifle* any centerfire rifle.
Descriptions of Legal

* It is illegal to hunt with:

  • a fully automatic firearm;
  • an autoloading firearm that holds more than 6 shells (except an autoloading pistol with a barrel length under 8 inches);
  • any firearm equipped with a silencer.

Written Descriptions of areas on Legal Implements Map

Bow, Crossbow, Muzzleloader, Handgun, Shotgun and Rifle Areas:

All of Northern Zone (see description of Northern-Southern Zone Line).

All of Albany (except WMU 4J which is bow only), Allegany, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chemung, Chenango, Columbia, Cortland, Delaware, Fulton, Greene, Herkimer, Livingston, Madison, Montgomery, Oneida, Ontario, Orange, Oswego, Otsego, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schoharie, Schuyler, Steuben, Sullivan, Tioga, Ulster, Washington, Wayne, Wyoming, and Yates counties. Also that portion of Broome County east of the Susquehanna River and the portion of Chautauqua south of Rt. 20.

Bow, Crossbow, Muzzleloader, Handgun, and Shotgun Areas:

All of the following counties, except the areas listed in parentheses: Broome (except that portion of Broome County east of the Susquehanna River, where rifles are also legal), Chautauqua (except south of Rt. 20 where rifles are also legal), Dutchess, Erie (except WMU 9C which is closed to big game hunting), Genesee, Monroe (except WMU 8C which is bow only), Niagara, Onondaga, Orleans, Putnam, Rockland, Schenectady, Seneca, Tompkins counties.

Bow only areas:

Albany County (WMU4J). That part of Albany County lying within a continuous line beginning at the intersection of the Conrail Railroad and the Albany-Schenectady county boundary in the town of Guilderland; thence southeasterly along the Conrail Railroad to Route 32; thence easterly along Route 32 to Feura Bush Road; thence northeasterly along Feura Bush Road to Glenmont Road (in Bethlehem Center); thence easterly along Glenmont Road to Route 144 at Glenmont; thence southerly along Route 144 to the south bank of the Vloman Kill Creek; thence southeasterly along the south bank of the Vloman Kill Creek to the west bank of the Hudson River; thence southerly along the west bank of the Hudson River to the Bethlehem- Coeymans town boundary; thence easterly along the Bethlehem-Coeymans town boundary to the Albany-Rensselaer County boundary (middle of the Hudson River); thence northerly along the Albany-Rensselaer county boundary to the Albany-Saratoga county boundary (middle of the Mohawk River); thence northwesterly along the Albany-Saratoga county boundary to the Albany-Schenectady county boundary; thence southwesterly along the Albany-Schenectady county boundary to the point of beginning.

Monroe County (WMU 8C). Those parts of Monroe County lying within a continuous line beginning at the south shore of Lake Ontario at a point easterly of the southern tip of Manitou Beach Road; thence westerly to the southern tip of Manitou Beach Road; thence northerly along Manitou Beach Road to Route 261 (still Manitou Beach Road); thence southwesterly and southerly along Route 261 (Manitou Beach and Manitou Roads) to Manitou Road; thence southerly along Manitou Road to the Barge Canal south of West Greece; thence southeasterly along the south bank of the Barge Canal to the Genesee River southwest of Rochester; thence southwest along the west bank of the Genesee River to Route 252 (Jefferson Road) at the Ballantyne Bridge; thence easterly along Route 252 to Brighton-Henrietta Town Line Road; thence easterly along Brighton-Henrietta Town Line Road to Winton Road; thence northerly along Winton Road to the Barge Canal at Brighton; thence easterly along the south bank of the Barge Canal to the Pittsford-Henrietta Town boundary; thence southerly along the Pittsford-Henrietta Town boundary to Route 252 (Jefferson Road); thence easterly along Route 252 to Route 96 (still Jefferson Road) in the Village of Pittsford; thence southeasterly along Route 96 to the eastern boundary of the Town of Pittsford; thence northerly along the eastern boundary of the Town of Pittsford to the southern boundary of the Town of Penfield; thence easterly along the southern boundary of the Town of Penfield to Fellows Road; thence northerly along Fellows Road to Route 441 (Penfield Road); thence northwesterly along Route 441 to Dublin Road; thence northerly along Dublin Road to Sweets Corners Road; thence westerly along Sweets Corners Road to Route 250 (Nine Mile Point Road); thence southerly along Route 250 to Whalen Road; thence westerly along Whalen Road to Jackson Road Extension; thence northerly along Jackson Road Extension to Jackson Road; thence northerly along Jackson Road to the Penfield-Webster Town line; thence westerly along the Penfield-Webster Town line to the east shore of Irondequoit Bay; thence northerly along the east shore of Irondequoit Bay to the south shore of Lake Ontario; thence northwesterly along the south shore of Lake Ontario to the point of beginning.

Suffolk County (WMU 1C). All of Suffolk County. Except shotguns and muzzleloaders may be used during the Special January Firearms Season in Suffolk County.

Westchester County (WMU 3S). All of Westchester County.