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What Animals Can You Hunt in New York? 6 Common Game Species

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hunters resting in the field

Game hunting is a common pastime in New York State. In fact, there are dozens of legal species that you can hunt within the appropriate season. Let’s take a look at some of the most common game species based on hunting category. 

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Top 6 Animals You Can Hunt in New York:

1. Deer

white tailed deer
Image Credit: Daina Krumins, Pixabay
Season Fall
Species Whitetail

Whitetail deer is one of the most popular game species. The state manages the deer population carefully to ensure the deer population is stable. New York State provides a lot of education and opportunity relating to deer hunting.

2. Bears

louisiana black bear
Image Credit: 27707, Pixabay
Season Fall
Species Black Bear

If you’re up for a challenge, Black Bear hunting is legal in New York. Black Bear hunting is an exciting opportunity to hunt one of the most ferocious animals in the wild. You can hunt bears in certain areas of the state, including northern, southeastern, or central-western New York.

3. Turkey

Wild Turkey Closeup
Image Credit: ladymacbeth, Pixabay
Season Spring and fall
Species Wild Turkey

New York has some of the most exciting Wild Turkey hunting opportunities. With both spring and fall seasons, you can practice all of your calls. There are some important safety rules and laws to be aware of, though. Additionally, it’s important to learn about Turkey hunting by county and season.

4. Small Game

hunter holding pheasant bird
Image Credit: Steve Oehlenschlager, Shutterstock
Season Depends on species
Species Rabbits, squirrels, frogs, hares, pheasants, quail, etc.

New York is home to a variety of small game animals. Small game animals include migratory game birds, small mammals, furbearers, reptiles, and amphibians. We will look at migratory game birds and furbearers separately in a second.

Before hunting any small species in your area, it’s important to learn about the protected wildlife. The majority of species in the state are protected. There are only a few animals that you can hunt safely, including:

  • Pheasant
  • Ruffed grouse
  • American Woodcock
  • Bobwhite Quail
  • Gray Squirrel
  • Black Squirrel
  • Fox Squirrel
  • Cottontail Rabbit
  • Hares
  • Snapping Turtle
  • Frogs
  • Beavers

5. Migratory Game Birds

Wild motley waterfowl on the lake
Image Credit: Frezi Gate, Shutterstock
Season Depends on species
Species Migratory waterfowl, Coot, Rail, Snipe, American Woodcock, etc.

Migratory game birds refer to birds that migrate to New York. Although most migratory birds are protected, there are a few species that are up for grabs during the appropriate seasons. The vast majority of migratory game birds are waterfowl.

6. Furbearer

coyote in the wild
Image Credit: rauschenberger, Pixabay
Season Depends on species
Species Coyote, Raccoon, Bobcat, Gray fox, red fox, skunk, possum, weasel, muskrat, and mink

Furbearers are animals that are hunted for their fur specifically. There are 10 species of furbearers that can be hunted with a hunting license.

There are quite a few stipulations about what weapons you can use and which animals you can take. So, be sure to read up on New York laws relating to furbearer hunting.

What Do You Need to Hunt in NY?

In order to hunt in New York State, you will need a hunting license if you are over the age of 12. Anyone under the age of 12 is not allowed to hunt in the state. Certain animals also require a special permit.

Check with the New York Department of Environmental Conservation to learn about the exact laws and stipulations of the animal you are hunting.

What Are All the Animals I Can Hunt in NY?

coyote hunter scanning the site
Image Credit: CLP Media, Shutterstock

There are over 40 species that you can hunt legally in New York. Here is a list of all the animals that are fair game:

  • Whitetail Deer
  • Black Bear
  • Wild Turkey
  • Pheasant
  • Ruffed grouse
  • American Woodcock
  • Bobwhite Quail
  • Waterfowl
  • Snow Geese
  • Canada Geese
  • Bluebills
  • Mallards
  • American Black Duck
  • Northern Pintails
  • Common Mergansers
  • Sea Ducks
  • Wood Ducks
  • Gray Squirrel
  • Black Squirrel
  • Fox Squirrel
  • Cottontail Rabbit
  • Hares
  • Bobcat
  • Coyote
  • Red Fox
  • Gray Fox
  • Skunk
  • Raccoon
  • Opossum
  • Mink
  • Muskrat
  • Crow
  • Snapping Turtle
  • Frogs
  • Beavers

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If you are a hunter and live in New York State, you are in luck. There are dozens of game species that you can hunt in the area.

Always make sure that you are following the local laws and stipulations for hunting, though. Check with the New York State Department of Environmental conservation to learn about hunting season, hunting laws, and hunting permits before heading to hunt.

Featured Image Credit: Just dance, Shutterstock

About the Author Robert Sparks

Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.