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Public Input on Hunting Regulations

Current Changes to Hunting Regulations Being Considered

There are no current rule changes being considered; DEC will update this page when they are.

Public Input

Hunting activities in New York State are governed by laws enacted by the New York State Legislature (located in the Environmental Conservation Law or "ECL") and by regulations or "rules" adopted by DEC-located in the New York Code of Rule and Regulations (leaves DEC website) or "NYCRR". DEC may advise the Governor and Legislature regarding possible law changes, but DEC does not have the authority to make changes to the ECL. To provide input on any hunting laws that exist in the ECL, contact your local member of the NYS Senate or Assembly.

To provide input on any hunting regulations being considered by the Department, the public generally has two opportunities to do this: during the formal "rule making" process and before that process begins.

Formal Rule Making Process

To be adopted and put into effect, proposed hunting regulation changes must move through the State's formal rule making process as outlined by the State Administrative Procedures Act. This includes publishing the proposed rule or rule change in the State Register and a formal public comment period (generally 45 days) which provides opportunity for the public to submit written comments on the proposed regulation. At the end of the comment period, DEC reviews the comments submitted and then withdraws the proposal, modifies the proposed rule, and republishes it for another round of public comment or submits a final rule adoption package to the Department of State. The rule becomes effective upon publication in the State Register (leaves DEC website) as an adopted rule.

See Fish and Wildlife Proposed, Emergency and Recently Adopted Regulations for any hunting-related items currently in the formal rule making process.

Informal Comments on Regulation Ideas Being Considered

Prior to initiating the formal rule making process, DEC routinely seeks informal input from hunters, hunting groups, and other stakeholders regarding their concerns or interest in potential changes to hunting regulations. In many situations, DEC uses scientific surveys to gather public opinion about potential rule changes. In other cases, we may communicate informally through e-mails, letters, or meetings in response to ideas we have, as well as suggestions from others. DEC also invites public input on various game species management plans which often describe specific regulation changes being considered. In any of these situations, it is helpful to obtain informal feedback to gauge public interest and support. It is also helpful to learn of any concerns that may exist before we begin the formal rulemaking process. Check the top of the page for changes to hunting regulations that are currently under consideration, and we invite you to comment on any of these by the date(s) indicated.

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