Department of Environmental Conservation

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For Release: Tuesday, November 12, 2019

January Deer Season to Open in Suffolk County

DEC-Managed Land Entries due December 2

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today that the 2020 firearms deer season in Suffolk County will begin Sunday, Jan. 5, and continue through Jan. 31, 2020, including weekends.

DEC regulations require that lands eligible for firearms deer hunting must be at least 10 acres in size, and hunters must possess a valid big game hunting license, a signed landowner's endorsement, and a town permit where required (towns of Southampton, Islip, and Smithtown). Deer may be taken only by:

  • Shotgun, using a single ball or slug; or
  • Muzzleloading rifle or pistol, shooting a single projectile having a minimum bore of 0.44 inches.

Shotgun barrels may be rifled, and telescopic sights may be used. Crossbows are not a legal hunting instrument in Suffolk County. Hunters should check with local towns and villages to determine any local restrictions or discharge ordinances prior to going afield.

Hunters who wish to hunt on state-managed lands in Suffolk County will be able to take advantage of the expanded special firearms deer season, as well the extended archery season. The following state-managed properties will be open for shotgun deer hunting:

  • Rocky Point Natural Resources Management Area;
  • Westhampton Dwarf Pine Plains Preserve;
  • Henrys Hollow Pine Barrens State Forest;
  • Barcelona Neck Cooperative Hunting Area;
  • David Sarnoff Cooperative Hunting Area;
  • Otis Pike Preserve;
  • East Hampton Cooperative Area (opens Jan. 6, weekdays only); and
  • Noyac Cooperative Hunting Area (opens Jan. 6, weekdays only).

To hunt for deer on DEC-managed lands, during the firearms season, hunters must enter a drawing. Entries must be received at NYSDEC-Deer Drawing, PO Box 659, Ridge NY 11961-0659, by 4:45 p.m., Monday, Dec. 2, 2019. Entries can also be hand-delivered to the Ridge Hunter Check Station by the above date. There are no applications for this drawing. To enter, hunters must send a No. 10 (4 1/8" x 9 ½") envelope. This envelope must contain a self-addressed, stamped, No. 10 or No. 9 return envelope. The hunter must write his/her back tag number on the back of the return envelope. Entries submitted in other than No. 10 envelopes, or including other than No. 10 or No. 9 return envelopes, will be rejected.

Hunters may only send one entry. Individuals that send more than one entry will have all their entries removed from the drawing. Each member of a two-hunter party may send one entry.

Drawing entrants will receive a notice telling them when to appear at the Ridge Hunter Check Station to make a reservation to hunt on DEC-managed lands. Reservations will be made Dec. 16-19, 2019.

Additional shotgun deer hunting opportunities may be available to Suffolk County residents. Please contact Suffolk County Department of Parks (leaves DEC website) at (631) 854-4949 for additional information on opportunities within Suffolk County Parks.

The regular (bow hunting) season for deer in Suffolk County will also continue through Jan. 31. Hunters looking to archery hunt on state-managed lands during the extended season can hunt at Brookhaven State Park Cooperative Hunting Area, Calverton Pine Barrens State Forest, Carmen's River Pine Barrens State Forest, East Bartlett Conservation Area, Ridge Conservation Area, Wildwood State Park Cooperative Hunting Area, and DEC tidal wetlands that are currently open to archery hunting. All hunters are required to have a DEC-Managed Lands Access Permit to hunt on these properties.