Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

National Hunting and Fishing Day

This year National Hunting and Fishing Day is September 22, 2017
logo for National Hunting and Fishing Day

National Hunting and Fishing Day is celebrated the fourth Saturday of every September to promote outdoor activities like hunting, fishing, and target shooting.

There are many activities across the state you can participate in. Head out and enjoy one near you!

National Hunting and Fishing Day is a designated free fishing day in New York which means anyone can fish the freshwaters of New York and no fishing license is required. It is a great time to try it out.

Visit the National Hunting and Fishing Day website (leaving DEC's website) to find more events in New York. You can take the pledge to get someone out hunting or fishing on or before September 22nd and be entered to win prizes.

What else can I do?

father and son fishing
Foster participation in hunting, fishing, and shooting
by mentoring a young hunter or angler.

Try something new you have never done before

Attend a workshop

Get out and enjoy the outdoors this fall. Here are a few reasons why you should participate on September 22nd or any day during open hunting seasons or fishing seasons:

  • It builds comradery and it's FUN!
  • You can build a sense of stewardship of fish and wildlife resources and their habitats.
  • It provides an opportunity for experienced hunters and anglers to share their knowledge with others.

Hunting Opportunities (available on or before September 22nd)

Fishing Opportunities this Fall

mom and daughter with bass
Fishing is a great activity for children

Waters are cooling and trout are becoming more active again both in ponds and streams. Fall is the perfect time to seek brook trout in an Adirondack pond. Fast fishing can also be found in streams and rivers. Download these PDF maps for waters such as the Beaverkill, West Branch & East Branch Delaware River, West Branch Ausable River and Wiscoy Creek. Just remember that trout season closes on many waters October 15.

Salmon and Steelhead
Fall is the time to head to tributaries of Lake Ontario for Pacific salmon or Lake Champlain for Atlantic salmon. Fantastic steelhead fishing can also be found in many Lake Erie and Lake Ontario tributaries.

Walleye, Muskellunge and Northern Pike
The feeding switch turns on for these species in the fall. Here are some hotspots:

Large and Smallmouth Bass
Our most widely distributed sportfish, hot fall bass action can be found throughout the state from Montauk to Buffalo.

youth pheasant hunt
Youth pheasant hunt is September 23-34 in parts of NY

Where to Find Additional Information