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New York Hunting License

Interested applicants must get a New York hunting license if they plan to hunt within the state’s boundaries. The Department of Environmental Conservation makes this mandatory. Therefore, before you plan any big hunting trip, it is crucial that you know about two factors: where to get hunting licenses and what license options are available to you. Options for hunting licenses abound, and the type of license one must obtain will depend on a number of different factors. For example, the NY DEC issues hunting licenses to youth, seniors, present and former military personnel as well as persons with disabilities. All hunting licenses are available at varying price points. Though, New York residents do enjoy hunting privileges at a lower rate than hunters who are visiting the Empire State. The process to get a license to hunt in NY is straightforward, as qualified candidates may purchase credentials in a number of ways. New York hunting license are sold online, in person and by telephone. Before committing to purchase a hunting credential, applicants may wish to find out if they are required to complete a hunter education course offered by the DEC. Hunter education programs are mandated for first-time NY hunting license candidates, regardless of their age. To learn more about the types of hunting permits at your disposal, as well as what is required to get them and the processes that you must follow to submit a hunting license application in NY, take a look at all of the details. New York hunting license information has been outlined for your convenience below:

  • Types of hunting licenses in New York
  • How to buy hunting licenses in New York
  • Hunter education in New York
  • Renewing hunting licenses in New York


What types of hunting licenses are available in New York?

Various hunting licenses are offered by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation to interested applicants. Hunters of all walks of life can enjoy hunting privileges at various price points. Hunting permits are categorized by an applicant’s age, veteran status and the length of license validation, among other factors. Typically, hunting licenses are issued for a one-year period, though avid outdoorsmen and women may be interested in obtaining a lifetime hunting license. The DEC also offers licenses for youth, seniors, military members, veterans and persons with disabilities. The following are some of the types of licenses available to applicants in New York:

  • Annual hunting licenses
  • Lifetime hunting licenses
  • Native American hunting permits

How do I purchase hunting licenses in New York?

To buy hunting licenses in New York, one must first become familiar with the different application methods offered. Whether a resident of New York or a visitor looking to go on a hunting vacation, applicants can apply for hunting stamps or licenses in all of the following ways: online, by phone and in person.

To apply online, applicants may log on and submit their NY hunting license application via the online licensing system. You can check in as a first-time user or as a previous license holder to begin. To utilize this option, you must possess a valid credit or debit card.

Applicants can also order a hunting license over the phone by calling a toll-free number. A live customer service representative will take your order of the exact type of license to hunt that you desire. Individuals who prefer a more personal touch, and would like to get their NY hunting license instantly, can visit one of the various sporting license issuing agent offices located throughout the state.

To get licensed at the rates that residents enjoy, applicants must prove that they are legal residents of the state of New York when applying. Documents that may be used to prove residency include an NYS driver’s license, a voter’s registration card or a current pay stub. The term “residency” means that you have lived in New York for more than 30 days in a permanent location.

Am I required to take any hunting classes to be eligible for a New York hunting license purchase?

Getting a hunting permit in New York requires a hunter’s education. First-time hunters, meaning those who have not previously held a hunting license in New York, are required to enroll in one or more hunting education courses, which must be approved by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation.

Hunting license applicants 11 years of age or older are welcome to participate in NY hunter education courses. The NY DEC offers five different courses for every type of hunter, including shooters, bowhunters and trappers. In addition to the basic and bowhunter certifications, the following is a list of hunter education courses required of hunters in their respective type of licensure:

  • Trapper education
  • Waterfowl hunter education
  • Crossbow hunting qualification

Archery hunters are required to complete both the basic hunter course and the bowhunter education course to obtain a license to hunt deer and bear with a bow and arrow. The course is not required for bowhunters who do not plan on obtaining a deer or bear hunting license.

The basic hunter education course is required for those wishing to hunt using a gun, muzzleloader, crossbow or bow. The seven-hour course covers subject matter ranging from weapon handling techniques to hunter ethics and wildlife management responsibilities. To receive certification, students must demonstrate the proper attitude of a safe hunter and also pass a final written exam consisting of 50 questions.

As previously mentioned, hunters who plan on using a bow and arrow to pursue deer and bear species are required to complete the bowhunter education course in addition to the basic hunter education training. Crossbow hunters will have to take the crossbow qualification. Meanwhile, bowhunter education covers various topics, including tree stand safety.

How can I renew a New York hunting license?

Hunters can replace a lost hunting license in New York for a reduced fee (compared to what you originally paid), but the state does not give applicants the option to renew an expired document. The NY Department of Environmental Conservation requires that individuals buy a hunting license once again instead. Therefore, you will have to pay full price if you intend to get a hunting credential for the upcoming season.

Regardless, hunting license applicants will be able to apply for NY hunting tags or licenses through the same means as before, but they will also be required to prove their residency or age when applying for discounted licenses.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. All throughout the United States, hunters safety classes must be completed in order for applicants to obtain their desired hunting permits and stamps. Failure to take this specific course will result in the rejection of your hunting license request, thus requiring you to start over.
Depending on your state of residence, you may be able to buy hunting licenses in a variety of ways, including online (through your state department’s portal), by mail, by phone or in person. Choose the option that is most convenient for you. Make sure to also have any type of official documentation and payment for fees on hand.
No. Different states have different limits and regulations on hunting licensure. Certain animals may be considered “prohibited species,” whereas other animals may be legal to hunt, so long as you have the necessary hunting permit/stamp. Keep in mind that if you do hunt for any type of prohibited species, you will be subject to serious consequences.
Yes. States typically offer various short-term hunters license options, such as one-day and one-week passes, to those who do not meet residency requirements. In order to receive issuance of a short-term hunting license, make sure to get in touch with your state/hunting wildlife department to find out the available methods you have to apply.
In the event your hunting credentials are lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed, contact your state hunting/wildlife department to order a hunting license replacement. You may have to make an in-person visit to a local office to complete the process. At the time of your replacement request, you may be asked to present your state driving license or another type of identification.
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