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This entry was published on 2022-07-08
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SECTION 11-0903
Open hunting seasons and bag limits fixed by regulation
Environmental Conservation (ENV) CHAPTER 43-B, ARTICLE 11, TITLE 9
§ 11-0903. Open hunting seasons and bag limits fixed by regulation.

* 1. Open seasons and bag limits with respect to migratory game birds
shall be those published annually in the federal register by the U.S.
Department of the Interior, unless the department adopts regulations
pursuant to section 11-0307. Notice of such open seasons and bag limits
shall be provided by department press release and any other means that
the department determines to be appropriate and effective, including
posting on the department's public website.

* NB Effective until December 31, 2024

* 1. Open seasons and bag limits with respect to migratory game birds
shall be those fixed by the department in regulations pursuant to
section 11-0307, to conform with federal regulations made under
authority of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of July 3, 1918 (16 U.S.C.
§§ 703-711).

* NB Effective December 31, 2024

2. The department may fix annually by regulation the open seasons and
bag limits for wild game of the following species, until the date

a. Hungarian partridge;

b. black, gray and fox squirrels, bobcat, lynx, coyote, fox, European
hare, varying hare and cottontail rabbits, and may regulate or prohibit
the use of dogs in hunting varying hare during any regular open season
for deer;

c. pheasants anywhere in the state other than Long Island;

* c-1. pheasants on Long Island, but only for those individuals who
hold a junior license, and provided that such youth pheasant hunting
days are held prior to the start of the open season as indicated in
paragraph d of subdivision two of section 11-0905 of this title;

* NB Repealed December 31, 2025

d. raccoon;

e. wild turkeys;

f. frogs, salamanders, turtles, lizards and snakes.

Such open seasons and bag limits may be fixed for the entire state,
except on Long Island in the case of pheasants, or for any county or
part thereof, giving due regard to abundance of the species and
potential hunting pressure. The department may regulate the taking,
possession and disposition of wild turkeys.

3. Any open season for pheasants, fixed by regulation of the
department in the counties of Albany, Clinton, Columbia, Delaware,
Dutchess, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis,
Montgomery, Oneida, Orange, Oswego, Otsego, Putnam, Rensselaer,
Rockland, St. Lawrence, Schenectady, Sullivan and Ulster shall include
the intervening Sundays as part of such open season.

4. The department shall fix annually by regulation open seasons and
bag limits for ruffed grouse and, whenever possible, and in its opinion
it is in the public interest, shall make such seasons run concurrently
with open seasons for taking woodcock.

5. Whenever in its opinion deer shall become numerous enough, on state
or federal lands closed to the hunting of deer with firearms, to require
population control for proper deer management, the department may by
regulation permit the taking of deer of either sex, by long bow only, on
such lands or any parts thereof during the regular open season for the
surrounding area as provided in subdivision 2 of section 11-0907,
provided, however, that no regulation adopted pursuant hereto shall
include within its provisions any of the areas set forth in subdivision
5 of section 11-0907. Only persons properly licensed to hunt during the
special archery season established in paragraph a of subdivision 1 of
section 11-0907 shall be eligible to hunt pursuant to this subdivision.

6. a. Whenever investigation made by the department within the
Adirondack park shows that deer have become numerous enough to cause
overbrowsing of the range within any "Wilderness Hunting Area" defined
in section 11-0103, the department may fix by regulation an open season
for taking antlerless deer in a tract within such area. The boundaries
of any such tract shall not be less than three miles from any state,
county or township road. Any such open season shall be fixed within the
open season established by law, in the county or part of the county
affected, for deer having antlers not less than three inches in length.
For the purposes of this subdivision and of other provisions referring
thereto, "antlerless deer" means deer having no antlers or having
antlers measuring less than three inches in length.

b. Subject to this section and other applicable provisions of the Fish
and Wildlife Law, the department shall have power to fix the conditions
for taking "antlerless deer" in any such open season, and of possession,
transportation and tagging thereof, and to regulate the issuance of
special antlerless deer licenses applicable to the tracts in which such
open season is fixed and of seals to be issued to licensees.

c. The department shall issue special antlerless deer licenses, in
such form as it shall prescribe, for each tract in which an open season
is fixed pursuant to this subdivision and shall have power to limit the
number of such licenses to the number necessary in its judgment for
proper management with respect to deer in the Area in which such tract
is situated. Announcement of the opening of a tract to the taking of
antlerless deer and of the number of licenses to be issued for such
tract shall be made not later than August 1 of the year in which such
open season is fixed. Application for such licenses shall be made not
earlier than September 1, and the method of application for and issuance
of such licenses, including eligibility and allocation among applicants,
shall be specified in the regulations fixing the open season for the
tract. No person shall be entitled to hold more than one special
antlerless deer license in a calendar year.

7. Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, the department
may, by regulation fix open seasons for taking wild deer of either sex
in the counties of Westchester and Suffolk, or any part thereof, and may
fix the conditions of such season provided the regulations pertaining
thereto shall conform to the following:

a. In Westchester county, such season shall not include Saturdays or

b. Such season shall not commence earlier than during the first full
week in January nor shall it continue later than January 31 in any year;

c. Deer may be taken only by holders of a license authorizing the
taking of big game who have also obtained a special permit provided by
the department and issued by the town clerk of each town where such
season is fixed; provided, however, in Suffolk county a town may, by
local law, waive the requirements that a permit is necessary to take
deer during such seasons;

d. Permits issued by a town clerk shall authorize hunting only within
the town where issued and only on property where permission of the owner
or lessee is granted to the permittee for such hunting;

e. Applications for permits shall be only on forms provided by the
department, and each application, before being presented to a town
clerk, shall be endorsed by a person who owns or leases ten or more
acres of land in the town where application is to be made, certifying
that such owner or lessee gives consent to the applicant to hunt deer on
his premises in accordance with the conditions of such season;

f. The number of permits to be issued in each town shall be fixed by
the department and the town clerk shall issue permits in the order in
which valid applications are received until the number fixed for the
town is exhausted;

g. Town clerks shall be entitled to charge and receive a fee of one
dollar for each permit issued;

h. Such a season shall be fixed only in towns or parts thereof where
the discharge of firearms is not prohibited by town ordinance, and deer
shall be taken only by means of shotguns using a single ball or slug or
muzzle loading firearms, provided, however that a deer may also be taken
by long bow in Suffolk county.

8. Notwithstanding any provision of law, rule or regulation to the
contrary, the department may, until December thirty-first, two thousand
twenty-four, fix by regulation the open seasons, open areas, bag limit,
manner of taking, possession and disposition of bear and parts of bears,
and the intentional and incidental feeding of bears. Such regulations
shall implement the provisions of this article. Such regulations, as the
department deems appropriate, may provide for special permits and permit
quotas. When a special permit is required, the department may fix by
regulation a fee for each such permit issued.

9. a. Until December thirty-first, two thousand twenty-four, whenever
in its opinion deer shall become numerous enough in any area to cause
substantial damage to property or overbrowsing of deer range, the
department may fix by regulation special open seasons for taking wild
deer of either sex. Subject to this subdivision, the department may fix
the conditions of such seasons.

b. Such seasons may be fixed only in counties or parts of counties in
which an open season for taking deer by the use of firearms is
established by law.

c. Such seasons may be fixed for any number of days during the period
beginning on the eleventh day after the close of a regular open season
for deer established by law and ending on February 10 immediately

d. The department shall designate by regulation areas of the state
consisting of a county, a part of a county, or any combination of
counties or parts of counties, excluding the northern zone as defined in
subdivision sixteen of section 11-0103 of this chapter, for which
separate special open seasons are fixed, and shall issue separate
special permits for hunting in each such area so designated, and for
each permit shall receive a fee of three dollars to cover the cost of
permit issuance and special deer tags.

e. A regulation fixing a season pursuant to this subdivision shall

(1) a requirement that hunting deer during such special season shall
be only by holders of both a license authorizing the taking of big game
and a special permit for the area where hunting is permitted,

(2) a limitation on the number of such special permits to be issued
for the area where such open season is fixed,

(3) the method of application for and issuance of such special

(4) suspension of the provisions of subdivision one of section 11-0911
with regard to the manner of reporting deer taken, provided an
alternative method of reporting is established, and

(5) such other rules and regulations as the department shall deem
necessary for the orderly and efficient conduct of such seasons.

f. This subdivision does not increase the limit of one deer per person
per license year.

10. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of subdivision 10 of
section 11-0901 or subdivision 2, subdivision 3 or subdivision 8 of
section 11-0907 of this title, until December thirty-first, two thousand
twenty-four, the department is authorized to adopt regulations with
respect to the manner of taking, possession, open seasons and bag limits
for deer. The authority to adopt such regulations is in addition to any
authority contained in this section or section 11-0913 of this title
respecting regulations fixing open seasons for deer and the issuance of
deer management permits.

11. The department shall have the authority to establish by
regulation, deer management assistance permits to allow land/resource
managers to meet the deer management needs of their property. Such
permits shall be valid only on the permittee's lands and shall address
site specific management goals including but not limited to agricultural
damage, areas where existing statutes do not allow for adequate harvest
and areas where public access may be limited for justifiable security
reasons. Deer taken under this subdivision are in addition to the one
deer per year authorized in section 11-0907 of this title.