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Hunting on Long Island

The rural eastern half of Long Island and the extensive bays and tidal wetlands surrounding the island provide excellent hunting opportunities.

Small Game Hunting on Long Island

Small game hunting consists primarily of a two-month season for stocked pheasants. Pheasants are stocked in various locations on DEC managed hunting areas throughout the season, which runs from November 1 through December 31. There is also a four-month season for cottontail rabbits and squirrels from November 1 through the end of February.

Eastern wild turkey provides and exciting hunting opportunity for hunters, with a fall hunting season and a youth spring season.

Seasons are also open at varying times for woodcock, crow, fox, and raccoon.

Check various hunting season dates and bag limits.

Each small game species offers a different challenge, and those familiar with a species' habits and habitat requirements will be most successful. A well-trained dog is also a beneficial companion and is almost a necessity for some species.

Waterfowl Hunting on Long Island

Long Island holds the majority of New York's wintering waterfowl. Tens of thousands of ducks and geese of at least 28 species are available to Long Island's waterfowlers. The various seasons run from early October through mid-February.

Most tidal areas are publicly owned and can be hunted without special permission; access, however, is often difficult. The successful hunt generally requires a seaworthy grassboat, well-camouflaged with salt hay, or a scooter painted to resemble waves or ice for open bay broadbill rigs. For the hunter willing to scout for land, some good freshwater shooting of puddle ducks can still be found in eastern Suffolk. The east end also provides excellent goose shooting from leased lands or guided blinds.

See the brochure An Introduction to Waterfowl Hunting on Long Island, available from the DEC Region 1 office in Stony Brook, for more information.

Check waterfowl and migratory game bird season dates, bag limits, and restrictions on certain species.

Deer Hunting on Long Island

There is an abundant population of white-tailed deer in Suffolk County. Deer hunting opportunities consist of an archery season from October 1 to January 31, and a shotgun and muzzleloader season in January. The shotgun season is closely regulated with written landowner permission required of each hunter in addition to his or her big game license. Annually, more than 3,000 deer are taken during these two seasons.

Public Hunting Areas

Public hunting opportunities are provided by DEC on state owned land and through cooperative agreements with state and county parks (permit required). Programs exist to assist new hunters in finding hunting opportunities.

Suffolk County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Conservation (631-854-4949) offers waterfowl and deer hunting programs in some of its parks. The county waterfowl program at South Haven County Park is especially geared toward the novice waterfowler. The National Park Service (631-281-3010) permits waterfowl hunting from the Fire Island National Seashore.

Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge is located on the south shore of Long Island in Suffolk County. This area offers deer and youth turkey hunting opportunities. State and refuge permits are required. For current information on seasons, permits, maps and regulations, contact: Refuge Manager, Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge, 340 Smith Road, Shirley, NY 11967; (631) 286-0485 or visit Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge's website (leaves DEC website).

Special access permits are required for all controlled hunting areas. Individuals should obtain landowner permission prior to hunting on private property. Private lands are often posted; however, with some work, open areas can be found.

Buy a Hunting License

A free 3-year Managed Land Access Permit is required. Visit DEC's nForm page if you need information on how to obtain a account, which is required for these permits.

More about Hunting on Long Island:

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    Bureau of Wildlife
    SUNY at Stony Brook
    50 Circle Road
    Stony Brook, New York 11790
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