Leashed Tracking Dog License
This license authorizes an individual to use a certified trained dog to locate dead or wounded white-tailed deer or black bear. Typically this license is used to assist hunters during big game hunting seasons.
- $50 - license fee
- $25 - application fee (for first-time applicants only; not for renewals)
18-years of age or older
What This License Allows:
- Using a certified dog (defined below) to track and recover deer or bear that are dead, wounded or injured during any big game hunting season (including on weekends and 24-hours after last day of the hunting season), or following a motor-vehicle collision.
- Using a firearm to humanely kill wounded or injured deer or bear.
- Possessing the deer or bear carcass until lawfully tagged by hunter or delivered to an Environmental Conservation Officer.
What This License Does Not Allow:
- Tracking without notifying an Environmental Conservation Officer of the location and hunter information, if applicable.
- Pursuing and taking big game with aid from certified tracking dog.
- Charging a fee for services without a valid outdoor guide license.
Other Pertinent Information
Certified Dogs and Breeds
A certified dog can be any breed of dog as long as they are licensed, collared, identified and vaccinated against rabies in accordance with the NYS Agriculture and Markets Law (Article 7) (link leaves DEC website).
Download a copy of the Leashed Tracking
Dog License Guide (PDF, 1 MB)
to prepare for the exam and learn more
about the program.
How to Apply
- Pass the leashed tracking dog license examination with a score of 80% or higher.
- Exam Registration Form (PDF) (172 KB): complete and submit at least three weeks prior to exam dates. You will be notified by DEC on the location and time to take the exam.
- Exam Dates and Locations: second Friday of April and August each year at DEC regional offices statewide.
- Exam Fee: No fee.
- Exam Study Materials: New York State Leashed Tracking Dog Study Guide (PDF) (1 MB)
- Have a current year hunting license.
- Complete and submit the Leashed Tracking Dog License Application (an application and instructions will be sent by mail after passing the exam).
Renewing & Reporting
Licenses expire 5 years from the date of issuance. A renewal form will be sent by mail prior to the license expiration date noted on the license. If a license renewal form is not received at least 2-weeks prior to the expiration date, please contact us.
Laws & Regulations
New York Codes Rules and Regulations (NYCRR)
- Part 175: Special Licenses and Permits - Definitions and Uniform Procedures (link leaves DEC website)
- Part 176: Leashed Tracking Dogs (link leaves DEC website)
Environmental Conservation Law (ECL)
- 11-0928: Tracking dogs (External Link)
- 11-0521: Destructive wildlife; taking pursuant to permit (link leaves DEC website)
DEC Special Licenses Unit
Address: 625 Broadway, Albany NY 12233
Other Related or Similar Licenses
DEC also issues the following licenses for permitting the use of tracking or hunting dogs on wildlife or game: