New York Deer Hunting

Think of subways, and buildings stretching toward the sky. The Big Apple is a tourist attraction home to many firsts: car license plates, the railroad, newspaper, the capital of the United States. Is there deer hunting opportunity here? Niagara Reservation opened as the first state park, so there is hope.

Deer population was low in the early 1900’s. Early strategies where doe harvest was restricted has led to an imbalance in the herd. Many more does roam the land than bucks, and the latter seldom reach maturity. Wildlife resource agencies have multiplied the herd of 20,000 to over a million today. Over the last twenty years, the state has seen double the amount of harvested deer.

Though successful in populating the state, problems have arisen. The herd is concentrated to the middle and west portions of the state. With the number of hunters decreasing, and less land available to hunt, New York is depending on you to help get the herd to the levels desired.

At present, deer hunting licenses are given for areas that need thinning out or controlled. This management process is dependent upon data which is used to estimate harvest totals. The animal’s age, health and many other considerations are reviewed. Regulations are determined for each area in this manner.

There are plenty of deer in the state. With efforts in place to benefit the herd, New York hunters will collectively affect the outcome. Rut dates are late October to mid-November.

New York Deer Hunting Facts

  • Over 1 million deer
  • Around 200,000 deer harvested annually
  • Around 500,000 hunters, but numbers are falling
  • Top typical buck is 198 2/8, taken by Roosevelt Luckey in Allegany County with a gun
  • Top non-typical buck is 244 2/8, taken by Homer Boylan in Allegany County with a gun
  • New York, named after the Duke of York in England, hosts many deer hunting areas to choose from. Many stem from a collaboration of private hunting areas made publicly available.

    Popular Public Hunting Areas in New York
    Erwin Wildlife Management Area—Nearly 2,500 acres in Steuben County with a variety of game to hunt. For more information, check out the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation site.

    New York Private Hunting Areas
    Do you own private hunting land or offer guided hunts in New York? Contact us about a listing in this section!

    Other Resources
    For New York hunting license information, rules and regulations, visit the Permits and Licenses section of the Department of Environmental Conservation web site.