There are many small game seasons organized in Long Island that you can take advantage of. Several special seasons are open for beginner and experienced hunters throughout the year. However, a New York hunting license is necessary to hunt on preserves managed by The Nature Conservancy. Hunting on preserves is subject to special limitations and needs TNC’s explicit consent. This is why the maintenance of preserve paths and other ecological management tasks are frequently performed by hunters as part of large volunteer efforts. Deer populations are dispersed throughout eastern Suffolk County and have increased to the point that some regions of Nassau County have also seen them in recent years.
White-tailed deer hunters predominate the big game hunting on Long Island. However, there are other opportunities to hunt fox, turkey, and other modestly sized species. On Long Island, the Department of Environmental Conservation is in charge of managing public hunting grounds, and access is restricted. During Suffolk County’s January open season, hunters must have a day access permit to the Rocky Point Natural Resources Management Area and some areas of the Otis Pike Preserve. Access authorizations are free.
Public Hunting Areas
White-tailed deer are widely distributed throughout Suffolk County. Between October 1 and January 31, there is an archery season for deer hunting, and in January, there is a shotgun and muzzleloader season. The shotgun season is strictly controlled, and each hunter must have formal authorization from the landowner in addition to a big game license. During the two seasons, more than 3,000 deer are killed each year.
On state-owned land and via cooperative agreements with state and county parks, DEC offers public hunting opportunities (permit required). There are initiatives to help novice hunters locate hunting opportunities.
According to the Suffolk County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Conservation, waterfowl and deer hunting programs are available in parts of the county’s parks. The South Haven County Park’s county waterfowl program is primarily designed with the population of the waterfowler in mind. Waterfowl hunting is permitted from the Fire Island National Seashore with permission from the National Park Service.
The Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge is situated in Suffolk County on the southern tip of Long Island. Deer and young turkey hunting are available here. Permits from the state and the refuge are needed. Contact the Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge at 340 Smith Road, Shirley, or go to the refuge’s website for the most up-to-date details on seasons, permits, maps, and regulations. All restricted hunting sites require special access licenses. Before hunting on private property, people need to get the landowner’s permission. Although private lands are frequently marked, it is possible to locate open places with some effort.
On Sunday, the first whole week of January marks the start of the January firearms deer shooting season, which lasts the whole month. On all DEC-managed properties where it is permitted, firearms deer hunting is done with daily licenses drawn on the first Tuesday of December. The entry deadline is at 4 pm on the day prior. The rules for participating in the drawing have changed from the previous year, so you can visit their website for updated timings.
Hunters must now submit a registration form in order to be eligible for the drawing. Hunting license holders must provide their name, email address, DEC customer ID, and county of residence to complete the survey and be eligible for the drawing.
After the drawing date, your drawing number will be sent to you through email. Call the DEC Region 1 Wildlife office with any general inquiries or if you cannot access the survey online. Any messages left by callers will be returned as soon as feasible. Call the Region 1 Wildlife office if you have already mailed in an entry for more information. Avoid entering the drawing more than once since duplicate entries will be discarded.
The majority of TNC preserves are secure places to enjoy recreation and are open throughout the hunting season. On the kiosks, the park displays closure notices for preserves. In general, during hunting season, hikers and dogs should wear blazing orange or bright pink. To protect the security of tourists and hunters, some preserves, especially smaller preserves, will be closed during the hunting season.
The 1,550 acres that make up the Brookhaven State Park Cooperative Hunting Area are administered under a cooperative management agreement and include NYSDEC property, State parkland, and County parkland. Go north on the Floyd Parkway for about 5 miles after exiting I-495 at exit 68. Parking lots may be found south of the property on Middle Country Road/Route 25 and west of the site on William Floyd Parkway. At the Ridge Hunter Check Station, every deer taken must be verified.
Access to 461 acres of state property is possible because of a cooperative arrangement with Suffolk County Parks. North of Middle Country Road/Route 25, on Sound Avenue in Wading River, is where the area is situated. Numerous hunting options are available on Long Island thanks to public areas’ accessibility and cooperative hunting arrangements with the county, townships, and state parks. While hunting possibilities on state land frequently adhere to the hunting regulations indicated, other locations may have more restricted season dates or methods of taking animals (archery-only) for each game species.
Bow Hunting Season Dates
The opening day of the normal hunting season in New York State is October 23, and early bowhunting begins on September 27 in a few zones. Some of the critical dates to keep in mind are as follows;
Depending on the permits and privileges acquired, a hunter may take a certain number of deer. A licensed hunter can kill more than one deer daily if they have the appropriate tags. The tags that come with each license type are described here. For an explanation of how to utilize each tag, see the chart below.
You will be given a Regular Season Deer Tag as your hunting license. Bowhunting and muzzleloading privileges need the purchase of a hunting license. You will be given a Bow/Mz Season Either Sex Deer Tag if you want to hunt with a muzzleloader or a bow.
Reservations can be made by calling ahead of time for new and junior hunters within two years after finishing a Hunter Education course. From 7 am until 8 am, bookings for new and young hunters will be accepted for both estates. You must provide your Hunter Education certificate or a junior license on the day of the hunt to prove that you are a novice or young hunter. Reservations for novice or young hunters are limited to two per month. There will only be five new or junior hunter bookings accepted each day per property.
Hunting License Cost
When purchasing a hunting license, a bear tag is not required separately. The yearly hunting license for both locals and non-residents now covers both small game and large game hunting. While non-residents must spend $100 for a hunting license, locals may get one for just $22.
So there you have it! This was everything you needed to know about deer hunting on Long Island!