New York's estimated 823,000 hunters and trappers are officially returning afield to enjoy the variety of recreational hunting and trapping opportunities that abound across St. Lawrence County and upstate New York.
Bowhunting season opened in northern New York on Sept. 27 and the rest of upstate on Oct. 1. A special muzzleloader season in northern New York opens Saturday, Oct. 19, followed by the regular firearms season for deer and bear that opens on Oct. 26 and runs through Dec. 8.
The season for small game, such as squirrels, opened Sept. 1, and for cottontail rabbits, opened upstate Oct. 1.
Coyote hunting season opened across all of upstate New York Oct. 1, whereas seasons for other furbearing species (raccoon, fox, bobcat, and others) generally open on October 25, when trapping seasons open as well.
Grouse season in northern New York opened Sept. 20, and for a variety of upland game birds, including wild turkey, pheasant, and woodcock. opened Oct. 1 in most of eastern New York.
September Canada goose seasons have come and gone, but waterfowl hunters have plenty of opportunities to look forward to. Duck hunting season began Oct. 5 in the Northeastern Zone. Canada goose seasons will re-open in most of upstate New York on Oct. 26.
All new hunters or trappers planning to go afield for hunting and trapping must first complete a mandatory hunter or trapper education course before they can obtain the appropriate sporting license. Training in safe handling of firearms and hunting is a legal requirement for anyone hunting in New York. Courses are free to take and are taught by DEC-certified instructors. Although primarily offered for first-time hunters or trappers, anyone is welcome to attend a sportsman education course, whether it is for a refresher or an interest of the topic.
For more on basic hunting safety rules visit DEC's website.