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Leashed Tracking Dog License

The Leashed Tracking Dog License authorizes an individual to use a certified trained dog to located white-tailed deer or black bear that have been wounded or injured during the big game hunting season, or that have been injured by a motor vehicle accident.

How to Get a Leashed Tracking Dog License

You must be at least 18 years old to apply for the Leashed Tracking Dog License; however, you may take the examination at any age.


Cover of the Leashed Tracking Dog License Guide
Download a copy of the Leashed Tracking
Dog License Guide
(PDF, 1MB) to prepare
for the exam and learn more about the
leashed tracking dog program.

To obtain this license, you must take and pass DEC's Leashed Tracking Dog License Examination with a score of 80% or higher. Details on the exam are provided below.

  • Exam Fee: $0
  • Exam Dates and Locations: Exams are held on the second Friday of April and August each year at most DEC offices statewide. Exams start at 10 AM, unless noted otherwise.
  • Exam Registration: To sign up for the exam, complete and submit the Leashed Tracking Dog Exam Registration Form (PDF) (192kb) at least two weeks prior to the exam date.
  • Exam Study Guide: The New York State Leashed Tracking Dog License Guide (PDF) (1MB) is helpful to review when preparing for the exam and to learn more about the leashed tracking dog program in New York State. It provides historical information on New York's leashed tracking dog program, information on successful tracking dog breeds, specific procedures to follow as a dog handler, details on training and much more.

License Application

A license application and instructions will be sent by mail if you have passed the exam. Follow the instructions to complete the application and any additional required documents. Once the application is submitted to DEC's Special Licenses Unit, it will take approximately 45 days to process your application and mail your license.

License/Application Fee: $75 ($25 application fee; $50 license fee)
Hunting License Requirement: You must have a valid New York State hunting license.

Current License Holders

License Renewal

Licenses expire 5 years from the date of issuance. A renewal form will be sent by mail approximately 30 days prior to license expiration. If you do not receive a renewal form, contact DEC's Special Licenses Unit (contact information is provided at the bottom of this page).

Applicable Laws and Regulations

New York Codes Rules and Regulations (6NYCRR)

New York Environmental Conservation Law (ECL)

Link leaves DEC's website:

Contact Us

Contact DEC's Special Licenses Unit at 518-402-8985, or by e-mail with any questions about this license.

  • PDF Help
  • For help with PDFs on this page, please call 518-402-8985.
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