State hunting, trapping licenses go on sale Aug. 10


ALBANY, N.Y. (July 31, 2020) – New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today that hunting and trapping licenses and Deer Management Permits (DMPs) for the 2020-2021 season will go on sale Aug. 10. With some of the longest seasons around, New Yorkers can enjoy hunting continuously from Sept. 1 (squirrel) into April (snow geese).

"As more New Yorkers look for outdoor activities close to home, we have seen renewed interest in hunting and trapping for the quality recreational experiences these activities provide, especially here in New York state,” Seggos said. “Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers enjoy small and big game hunting, and this fall’s hunting and trapping seasons will help bring a sense of normalcy to an otherwise challenging year. As always, safety is a top priority, and we remind all hunters to follow the key principles of hunter safety.”

Licenses and permits can be purchased at any one of DEC's license-issuing agents, by telephone at (866) 933-2257, or online at https://decals.dec.ny.gov/DECALSCitizenWeb/citizen-home.htm.

The new hunting and trapping licenses are valid from Sept. 1, 2020, through Aug. 31, 2021, while annual fishing licenses are valid for 365 days from date of purchase.


Expanded Call Center Hours

Beginning Aug. 10, the DEC Call Center is accessible from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 1. Regular call center weekday hours will resume Oct. 2.

Individuals should have the following items ready when buying a license:

1. Complete contact information (e.g. name, address, email address, telephone number);

2. DEC customer ID number (if applicable);

3. Proof of residency (e.g., driver's license or non-driver's ID with a valid New York state address); and

4. If purchasing by phone or Internet, a valid credit card.

5. If not already entered in DEC's automated licensing system, individuals are required to provide proof of hunter or trapper education certification or a copy of a previous license for all hunting and trapping license purchases. For additional information, visit the General Sporting License Information http://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/95452.html webpage on DEC's website.

In July, DEC launched a new system for the sale of fishing, hunting, and trapping licenses. The new DEC Automated Licensing System (DECALS) – available at https://decals.vendor2.east.kalkomey.com – includes user-friendly information to help users locate vendors, receive instant copies of a license, enter and view harvest information, and more.

Previous DECALS logins will not work in the new system. To access current accounts, click on the “Sign Up” link on the new DECALS website and use date of birth and DEC customer ID number or a driver's license number to locate existing files and create a new login. Call DEC's customer service line at (866) 933-2257 with any questions.


Deer Management Permits (DMPs)

DMPs are available at all license-issuing outlets, by phone, or online through Oct. 1, 2020. DMPs are used to manage the deer herd and are issued through an instant random selection process at the point of sale. The chances of obtaining a DMP remain the same throughout the application period; hunters need not rush to apply. The chances of selection for a DMP in each Wildlife Management Unit are available online, through license issuing agents, or by calling the DMP Hotline at 1 (866) 472-4332. Detailed information on Deer Management Permits and this fall’s Deer Season Forecast is available on DEC’s website.

The new Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide, which provides an easy-to-read compendium of all pertinent rules and regulations, is available on the DEC Hunting Regulations webpage. A summary of hunting and trapping regulations is currently available at license issuing agents, and copies of the full hunting and trapping regulations guide will be available at license issuing agents beginning Sept. 1.


Online and in-person Hunter Education Training Courses

All first-time hunters, bowhunters, and trappers must pass one or more courses before they can purchase a license. Traditionally, hunter and trapper education have been in-person courses taught by trained volunteer instructors certified by DEC. In April 2020, DEC began offering online hunter education courses in response to COVID-19. Be sure to check the DEC website about the availability of both in-person and online courses before registering.

In-person courses have a field day where new hunters can get hands-on experience. All in-person courses are free of charge, but space may be limited. Currently, all in-person classes are cancelled through Aug. 31, but if and when they resume, they will fill quickly, so be sure to sign up early. Visit DEC’s website for more information on materials, including a list of courses and course registration.

All of the requirements to earn a New York state hunter education certificate also can be met by completing DEC’s online hunter education course and passing the exam. Upon passing, participants will receive a hunter education certificate so they can purchase a hunting license. Participants must be New York state residents, and the cost of the course is $19.95. The online course can be accessed at DEC’s website.

New York state also is offering a new online bowhunter education certification course. Upon passing, hunters will receive their bowhunter education certificate so they can purchase a bowhunting privilege. Participants must be New York state residents, and the cost of the course is $30. The online course can be accessed at DEC’s website.


Opportunities for junior hunters and trappers

To foster the next generation of hunters in New York, DEC has expanded opportunities for junior hunters (licensees ages 12-15) and trappers (younger than 12 years old) by designating special youth hunts for deer, wild turkey, pheasants, and waterfowl. These opportunities allow youth hunters and trappers to spend time in the field with experienced adults and gain the necessary knowledge and skills to become safe and responsible members of the hunting and trapping community. More information about these programs and other opportunities for junior hunters and trappers is available on DEC's website.


Remember: Hunt Safe, Hunt Smart!

The number of hunting-relating shooting incidents is declining, but even one incident is too many. Hunters can prevent injuries and fatalities by following the cardinal rules of hunting safety:

1. Assume every gun to be loaded;

2. Control the muzzle in a safe direction;

3. Keep your finger off the trigger until firing;

4. Be sure of your target and beyond; and

5. Wear hunter orange.


For more information on these and related topics, visit DEC’s website at www.dec.ny.gov.


(New York State Department of Environmental Conservation)