Hunting and trapping licenses, and Deer Management Permits (DMPs) for the 2014-15 season are now available for purchase, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens announced today.
“New York is home to some of the best hunting, trapping and fishing opportunities in the nation,” Commissioner Martens said. “Governor Cuomo’s NY Open for Fishing and Hunting initiative is creating new and improved, year-round recreation opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts, and DEC continues to develop and manage programs to enhance the outdoor experience while protecting our state’s natural resources. Hunting and trapping licenses and the DMPs will enable sportsmen and sportswomen to enjoy these outdoor opportunities for the 2014-15 season.”
Sporting licenses and permits can be purchased at one of DEC’s 1,100 license sales outlets statewide. Licenses can also be ordered by telephone or online. The 2014-2015 hunting and trapping licenses are valid for one year beginning September 1, 2014. (Under a new law that took effect in February, fishing licenses and recreational marine fishing registrations are now valid for 365 days from date-of-purchase.) Funds from the sale of all sporting licenses are deposited into the Conservation Fund, which is used to manage New York’s fish and wildlife populations and protect and manage fish and wildlife habitat.
As part of the NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, New York streamlined the hunting and fishing license structure, made it consistent for resident and non-residents, and reduced license fees. Some hunters and anglers may not be familiar with these license changes, but licensing-issuing agents are prepared to provide assistance and ensure the license buyers secure all the desired permits and privileges. Highlights of the changes are available on DEC’s website.
In addition, the new Hunting & Trapping regulation guides are available at all license issuing outlets, as well as on DEC website. New Fishing regulations guide will be available next spring.
Individuals may donate to the Habitat Access Stamp Program, Venison Donation Coalition, Conservation Fund or the Trail Maintenance Program via DEC’s sporting license system. The DEC Call Center at (1-866-933-2257) is accessible from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday through October 4 for people with questions regarding license purchases. Regular Call Center weekday hours from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. will resume on October 5.
To facilitate the purchase of a sporting license, individuals should have the following items ready when buying a license: complete name and address information, DEC customer ID number if you have it, proof of residency information (driver’s license number or non-driver’s ID number with a valid NYS address to qualify for a resident license), and, if purchasing by phone or internet, a credit card and card expiration date. Hunting license purchases require individuals to provide proof of a hunting education certification or a copy of a previous license, if this information is not already contained in their sporting license system file.
With the introduction of a new computerized system this year, it may take license-issuing agents some additional time to find previous license holders in the system. DEC asks that license purchasers remain patient as these agents gain experience with this new system.
Important updates for 2014-2015
Upon finalization of regulations, crossbows will be allowed to be used to take big game and small game for the 2014-15 seasons. For more information on crossbow hunting, visit DEC’s website;
Set back distances for the discharge of a bow and crossbow have been reduced to 150 feet and 250 feet, respectively;
Expanded bear hunting opportunities are available this fall, with bear hunting allowed in additional wildlife management units (WMUs) that are open to bear hunting and the establishment of an early bear season in the southern zone.;
The Youth Firearms Deer Hunt will take place over Columbus Day weekend, October 11-13, 2014. For more information vist the DEC website.;
New legislation allows the use of rifles for big game hunting in Albany and Livingston counties. See Rifle, Shotgun, and Bow Areas on DEC’s website for other counties where rifles can be used.
Mandatory Antler Restrictions (3 points on one side minimum) remain in effect in WMUs 3A, 3C, 3H, 3J, 3K, 4G, 4O, 4P, 4R, 4S, and 4W during all seasons for all hunters 17 years and older.
Additional details are listed in the 2014-2015 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide which can be found on the DEC website.
Deer Management Permits
Because too few female deer are being taken to reduce populations as needed across the Lake Plains, Finger Lakes Region, Mohawk Valley, and Long Island, DEC will be issuing approximately 17 percent more Deer Management Permits (DMPs; tags for antlerless deer) this year. DEC issues DMPs to control antlerless harvest and move the deer population closer toward objective levels in each Wildlife Management Unit (WMU).
DMPs will be available at all license issuing outlets and can also be obtained by phone, internet, or mail, through close of business October 1, 2014. DMPs are issued through a random selection process at the point of sale, and customers who are selected for DMPs will receive their permits immediately.
For planning purposes, review the 2014 chances of selection for DMPs in each WMU on DEC’s website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/30409.html. Charts of the chances of selection are also available at License Issuing Agent locations, or on the DMP Hotline at 1-866-472-4332. The chances of obtaining a DMP remain the same throughout the application period – hunters do not need to rush to apply for a DMP on the first day of sale.
If a significant number of DMPs are still available in a WMU after October 1, the sale of the remaining DMPs will commence on November 1, and continue on a first-come, first-served basis until the end of the hunting season or until all DMPs have been issued in the WMU. Additionally, Bonus DMPs will be available in the bowhunting-only WMUs 3S, 4J, and 8C and in WMUs 1C. For information about Bonus DMPs, visit DEC’s website.
An outline on how DMP targets are set and permits are issued is available on DEC’s website. Hunters are reminded that DMPs are only valid for antlerless deer in the WMU specified on the permit. To learn more about what to expect for deer hunting throughout the state this fall, see Deer Hunting Season Forecasts on DEC’s website.
Contribute Via Habitat Stamps, Trail Supporter Patch, or Donate Directly to Support the Conservation Fund or the Venison Donation Program
DEC encourages all outdoor enthusiasts to consider purchasing a Habitat/Access Stamp and/or a Trail Supporter Patch. These stamps and patches support DEC’s efforts to conserve habitat, increase public access for fishing and wildlife-related recreation, and maintain non-motorized trails. Buying a $5 stamp or patch or donating directly to the Conservation Fund is a simple way to help conserve New York’s rich wildlife heritage and enhance outdoor recreation in the state.
Additionally, anyone – not just hunters and anglers – can help feed the hungry by making a monetary contribution to the Venison Donation Program at any license issuing outlet. Individuals should inform the license sales agent if they are interested in making a donation of $1 or more to support the program. Since 1999, the Venison Donation Coalition has paid for the processing of more than 330 tons of highly nutritious venison, the equivalent of 2.8 million meals served. For more information about the Venison Donation Coalition program, visit DEC’s website.
Participate in Citizen Science to Benefit Wildlife Management
Each year, thousands of hunters, trappers and anglers help DEC monitor wildlife populations by recording their wildlife observations while afield. Information on how to participate in the Cooperator Ruffed Grouse Hunting Log, Bowhunter Sighting Log, Winter Wild Turkey Flock Survey and other Citizen Science programs is available on DEC’s website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/1155.html.
The latest updates on New York’s fish and wildlife can be easily accessed on the Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources E-mail News, a free online e-mail list that visitors can subscribe to are available on the DEC website.