Before you go hunting be sure that you know the Essex County hunting regulations and have your license! Hunting seasons differ between different states, and between different regions of a state. Seasons are broken up by types of game, and further broken down into what types of weapons allowed during that game’s season. For example, several seasons are separated into bow hunting, muzzle-loading (black powder), and the regular season.
Different seasons exist for the following game in New York State. The links will take you to a map of NY where you can better observe the dates and places that apply for each season and more information:
- White-tailed Deer (Shooting Hours: sunrise to sunset)
- Bear (Shooting Hours: sunrise to sunset)
- Wild turkey (Shooting Hours: sunrise to sunset)
- Small game seasons include: cottontail rabbit, hare, squirrel, ruffed grouse (sometimes called partridge), pheasant, and certain frogs and turtles. (Hunting Hours: sunrise to sunset for all except frogs may also be hunted at night but not with guns!)
- Furbearer seasons. Only 10 game in this category in NY, but our region just includes: bobcat, coyote, raccoon, red & gray fox, skunk, opossum & weasel. (Shooting Hours: Any time day or night)
- Migratory game bird & Waterfowl (Shooting Hours: one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.)
A federal migratory bird hunting stamp (“duck stamp”) is needed to hunt most migratory birds, however it is not needed for woodcock, crow, rail, snipe, or gallinule.
You must register with the Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP) if you plan to hunt woodcock, ducks, geese, brant, rails, snipe, coots, gallinules, or sea ducks. “Failure to carry proof is a violation equal to hunting without a license” (NYDEC).
Examine the full schedule of hunting seasons in New York State. You can also print out a convenient summary of all 2013-14 Hunting Seasons. If you want to plan for next year see the NYDEC’s future game hunting page, calculate the dates, and figure out when you can hunt.
Reporting Kills & Restrictions
Certain game hunting requires you to report your kills in a successful hunt.
“All successful hunters are required by law to report their take of deer, bear, and turkey within 7 days of kill. You may report via our new online reporting system or call the toll-free automated reporting system at 1-866-GAME-RPT (1-866-426-3778).” (NYDEC)
Sometimes there is a limit on the amount of game allowed to be killed in a season, and some game have age or gender restrictions (for example: deer). This helps to keep track of game management efforts. This system is often known as tagging or a bag limit.
“Hunting big game typically requires a tag for each animal harvested. Tags must be purchased in addition to the hunting license, and the number of tags issued to an individual is typically limited. In cases where there are more prospective hunters than the quota for that species, tags are usually assigned by lottery. Tags may be further restricted to a specific area or wildlife management unit.” (Wiki)
The reason that hunting seasons are limited to certain times of year, and some game species have a limit on how many are allowed to be killed is to enable the conservation of these animals and the ecosystems they are a part of.
On the flip side, some animals that are not endangered and are seen as pests or threats will have a much larger season to try to limit their numbers.
For example, coyote hunting is allowed statewide (except Long Island and New York City) from Oct. 1 to Mar. 31–that is 6 months–with no bag limits for coyotes, and kills don’t have to be reported. They may also be hunted during any time of the day or night which is unusual. (NYDEC)
Finally I want to leave you with some hunting safety tips to guide you into being a safe and responsible hunter. If you use tree stands watch the following video to learn some safety precautions for their use.
Finally here are some basic but important safety tips for every hunter:
Safe Hunting Rules 1-2-3-4 Orange
- Assume every gun is loaded.
- Control the muzzle. Point your gun in a safe direction.
- Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
- Be sure of your target and beyond.
- Hunter Orange ~ 7 times safer (NYDEC)
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