Did you know that New York State is full of hunting opportunities, with over 700,000 residents hunting on state-owned lands every year? New York, from Westchester County to the Canadian border, has a plethora of natural settings ripe with hunting possibilities, which is why many hunters love to come back and explore the wilderness and magic of New York.
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The state lands that allow hunting in New York are spread throughout the state. This is where professional hunters find big game, and where amateurs practice using brand new rifle scopes on smaller prizes. It’s smart to check the regulations for each park before embarking on the hunt, but with 215 state parks, there is usually one in the vicinity. Many parks allow deer hunting, while others grant permits for rabbit, bear, waterfowl, and more. Each park includes separate rules for different types of hunting, such as muzzleloading or crossbow types of hunting.
Long Island and Fort Drum
Surprised? We were too! Suffolk County holds hunting lands, owned by the DEC. Avid hunters need special access for the land, but with only a few people obtaining permissions, this land is ripe with game. Fort Drum Military Base is another prime hunting ground, which again, seems surprising. However, unsurprisingly, hunting here includes outdoor recreation programs for soldiers and general citizens alike. A unique aspect of hunting here is the open snow goose season in the fall. As this is an active military base, all hunters must follow strict guidelines before stepping foot on the grounds. Begin obtaining hunting permissions at least a year before the hunt.
The Adirondack Mountains stretch across Northern New York, while the Catskill Mountains rest in the center. Both mountains provide ample hunting opportunity, with the Adirondacks supporting a growing black bear population. Each area has different designated hunting seasons, so again, it’s best to research areas before planning a trip. Both areas brag bears, coyotes, various waterfowl, and of course, deer.
Finger Lakes Area
Deer hunters often find themselves in Steuben County, which has the most deer per square mile of all the areas in the state. Geese and duck hunters favor the area, as it is rich with numerous waterways. The area has a range of state hunting lands, which include both water and land hunting opportunities. The northern range of this area offers winter hunts, such as bear or ice fishing opportunities. The best way to find premium hunting opportunities in the Finger Lakes is to research a Finger Lakes hunting organization specializing in your favorite hunting method.
New York has so many hunting opportunities that there is no reason to go anywhere else. As the state is spread out over 54,556 square miles, there is a reduced chance of over hunting on any land. Further, controlled hunting in most areas allows animal populations to rejuvenate, ensuring yearly hunting for everyone. Consider New York State for your next hunting excursion, and you’ll love it as much as we do.
Photo Credit: Hector Argüello Canals