Hunting in New York

New York Hunting at Glance

Believe it or not, the Empire State is a fantastic place to hunt, with plenty of wilderness and wildlife, rugged mountains, wide waterfowl-filled river valleys, and the shores of two of the Great Lakes. The state is home to many different species of big and small game, making it a popular destination for hunters from all over the country.

Over 60% of the state’s population is concentrated in the New York City metropolitan area, but that accounts for less than 30% of the state’s acres.  The rest of the state, known as “upstate” New York, is a more sparsely populated region of picturesque farmland, forest, and vast mountainous regions including the Allegheny Plateau, Catskill Mountains, and Adirondack Mountains.

The black bear population in New York is estimated at between 6,000 and 7,000. In recent years, the number of black bears has risen while their distribution across the state has widened. In the Fall is the season for bear hunting in northern, southeastern, and central-western New York. The Empire State’s excellent hunting possibilities include turkeys, small game, upland birds (primarily ruffed grouse and pheasants), and waterfowl.

If you obtain a regular-season hunting license in New York, you’ll receive one common-season deer tag that is generally valid only for an antlered deer. An either/sex deer tag is provided as part of the purchase of an archery or muzzleloader license, which is only valid in the corresponding archery or muzzleloader season.

New York ranks #33 in the nation for hunting license per capita with over 2.8% of the population classified as registered hunters.

Table of Contents

Hunters (Based on Hunting Licenses)
Population: 20,201,249
Hunters 565,635
Hunter % 2.80%
Hunters Rank 33
Land Types (Acres)
Acres % Rank
Total 30,223,400
Huntable Public 3,824,000 12.65% 20
Private Land 18,930,650 62.64% 38
Tribal Land 118,200 0.39% 19

New York ranks #38 for the percentage of private land vs total acres and number 19 in terms of acres of tribal land.

New York Hunting Seasons & Requirements

For the most accurate information on New York Hunting Seasons, along with the state’s requirements for tag and bag limits, it’s a good idea to check with the New York DNR.  We’ve provided their contact information below, along with links to helpful resources, including licensing.

New York DNR

625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-0001

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Popular Game to Hunt in New York

New York offers a variety of hunting experiences, with good opportunities for deer, black bear, turkey, small game, upland birds, and waterfowl. A general hunting license includes one deer tag, good for an antlered deer in most zones. An archery or muzzleloader license includes an either/sex deer tag good only in the respective season.

Small Game Hunting in New York

In New York, the most popular small game hunting targets are ruffed grouse, woodcock, red squirrel, snowshoe hare, and eastern cottontail rabbit. Ruffed grouse are particularly sought after by hunters due to their scarcity and the challenge they pose. Woodcock are also prized by hunters for their difficulty, as well as their deliciousness. Red squirrels are a popular target because they are relatively easy to find and generally considered to be good eating. Snowshoe hares are another common target, as they are relatively abundant and provide good sport. Eastern cottontail rabbits are perhaps the most popular target of all, as they are plentiful, relatively easy to hunt, and make for excellent table fare. Whatever the reason for hunting them, these five animals are the most popular small game targets in New York State.

Big Game Hunting in New York

Hunting is a popular pastime in New York state, with many residents enjoying the challenge of pursuing different types of big game. The most popular animals to hunt are whitetail deer, black bear, moose, turkey, and coyote. Each species offers its own unique challenges, and hunters can often find themselves spending hours in the woods in pursuit of their prey. Whitetail deer are the most commonly hunted animal in New York, and they can be found in all corners of the state. Black bear are another popular target, particularly in the northern Adirondack region. Moose are the largest game animal in New York, and they are most often found in the Adirondacks and along the St. Lawrence River valley. Coyote hunting has become increasingly popular in recent years, as these animals have become more prevalent in New York state.

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Where are the Best Areas to Hunt in New York

New York offers great hunting opportunities across the state, both on public and private land. We’ve included some of the best areas for public hunting below and as we have access we’ll be adding more private land too.

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We’re working with landowners all across New York to provide private land access for more activities. Add your information below to stay up to date.

Popular Public Hunting Land in New York

New York is home to some of the most popular hunting grounds in the country. The Adirondack and Catskill Parks are particularly well-known among hunters, as they offer a variety of game and scenic views. Allegany State Park is also a popular destination, as it is home to numerous deer and bear populations. Additionally, Letchworth State Park and the Chautauqua Institution offer unique opportunities for hunting waterfowl and other game. No matter what type of hunting you’re interested in, New York has a public hunting ground that will suit your needs.

1. Adirondack Park
2. Catskill Park
3. Allegany State Park
4. Letchworth State Park
5. Chautauqua Institution

Hunting Private Land in New York

Since the majority of New York is private land getting access for hunting can be very appealing. When you hunt private land, it’s not only less crowded, the animals also tend to be less skittish and this means you’ll have a better day out in the field.  Traditionally, accessing private land for hunting has been complicated and expensive.  You either needed to join a club, hire a guide, or start knocking on doors.

Fortunately Wing It is simplifying this for hunters and outdoor enthusiasts of all types. We’re adding new land every day and if we have some in your area, you’ll see some options great below.

More Private Hunting Land

• 80 acres •
  • Hunting
  • Others activities
    • Woodchuck and rabbit hunting
  • Hunting
  • Others activities
    • Woodchuck and rabbit hunting
• 552 acres •
• 79 acres •
• 152 acres •
• 343 acres •
Wing It - Access. Granted White

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We’re currently building the ultimate app for outdoor access.  Add your name and details below to save your spot and ensure you get access before the general public. 

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