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Domestic Game Bird Breeder License

License Details

This license authorizes an individual to breed, release, transport or sell select game bird species. Licensees must be the owner or lessee of the breeding facility premises.


The Class A (Commercial) license is $200. The Class B (Private/Personal Use) license is $40.

License Duration

The duration of either license is 5 years.

What This License Allows:

Class A (Commercial):

  • All the same activities as Class B below, plus: Selling and transporting captive-bred game birds (defined below), dead or alive, and their eggs to other licensed domestic game bird breeders.

Class B (Private/Personal Use):

  • Purchasing captive-bred birds (defined below) from Class A license holders.
  • Breeding captive-bred game birds species on licensed premises.
  • Releasing/stocking captive-bred species into the wild; except Canada geese, wild turkey or swan.
  • Taking/killing captive-bred birds by means other than shooting for licensees own personal use, except when liberated on the licensees premises during open hunting seasons for those species.

What This License Does Not Allow:

  • Releasing Canada geese, wild turkey, or swan at any time.
  • Operating a hunting preserve. (A Shooting Preserve License is required to operate a domestic game bird shooting preserve).
  • Class B license holders only: selling or shooting of the birds.

Other Pertinent Information

"Captive-bred game birds" include the following species:

  • Ducks
  • Geese
  • Brant
  • Swans
  • Pheasants
  • Quail
  • Wild turkey
  • Ruffed grouse
  • Chukar partridge
  • Hungarian partridge
  • European gray-legged partridge

How to Apply

Complete and submit the Domestic Game Bird Breeder License Application (PDF)

Renewing & Reporting

License Renewal

Licenses expire on March 31 every fifth year after the license was issued. 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.

Annual Reporting

Complete the Annual Report and Continuous Record of Operations (PDF) and submit by April 5 each year.

Carcass Identification Form

A Carcass Identification Form (PDF) is required to complete when any bird or carcass leaves the licensed premises.

Laws & Regulations

Environmental Conservation Law (ECL)

Please visit New York State Legislature (Leaves DEC website)

  • 11-1901: Breeding of Domestic Game Birds
  • 11-0103(4)(a)(c): Fish and Wildlife Definitions

New York Codes Rules and Regulations (NYCRR)

Contact Information

DEC Special Licenses Unit
Address: 625 Broadway, Albany NY 12233
Phone: 518-402-8985

Other Related or Similar Licenses

DEC also issues the following licenses for permitting breeding or shooting captive animals:

  • Shooting Preserve: authorizes an individual to operate a commercial or private shooting preserve for hunting captive-bred game birds.
  • Captive Bred White-tailed Deer: authorizes individuals to breed captive white-tailed deer and operate a commercial or private deer hunting preserve.
  • PDF Help
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    Albany, NY 12233-4752
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