Best Places to Hunt in New York State

There’s no doubt that New York is a great place to hunt. With so much open space and so many different types of terrain, it’s no wonder that hunters from all over the country come to New York to take advantage of the excellent hunting opportunities.

Where should you start your search for the perfect hunting spot with so much territory to cover? The blog post will look at some of the best places to hunt in New York State!

10 Best Hunting Spots in New York

If you’re looking for the best place to hunt in New York State, you’ll want to check out some of these locations. These spots should be at the top of your list, with plenty of hunting and good terrain. Let’s discuss each in detail!

The Adirondacks

Whether you’re a novice hunter looking to bag your first deer or a seasoned pro searching for the perfect trophy buck, the Adirondacks offer some of the best hunting in New York. With miles of pristine forests and abundant wildlife, the Adirondacks are a paradise for hunters. Several species of deer can be found in the Adirondacks, including white-tailed deer, elk, and moose.

The Adirondack region also has black bears, coyotes, foxes, and numerous other small animals. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) manages hunting in the Adirondacks. The DEC sets hunting seasons and regulations to ensure the sustainability of Adirondack wildlife populations.

Adirondack Mountains Region

Adirondack mountains are another exciting destination for hunting, as this region boasts two expansive lands for hunting good game:

  • The Sentinel Range Wilderness Area
  • The High Peaks Wilderness Area

You’re sure to find big and small game during the hunting season in these areas.

The Adirondack mountains region promises a lot of adventure. It offers a wide assortment of game for hunting:

  • White-tailed deer
  • Ducks
  • Turtles
  • Black bears
  • Coyotes
  • Foxes
  • Waterfowl
  • Migratory game birds, such as crow, snipe, woodcock, and rail
  • Weasels
  • Pheasants
  • Squirrels

However, the hunting seasons for these animals differ.

For instance, you can hunt for black bears from September to October. You can also hunt different species during the bear hunting season, so check their websites for information on hunting seasons and the permitted hunting dates for different animals. Hunting in this region requires all necessary licenses as demanded by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Ensure you sort that out before setting out to hunt.

The Catskills

Hunting in the Catskills is a great way to experience some of the best wildlife in New York. The region is home to various animals, including deer, bears, and small game. With its large tracts of forestland and diverse habitats, the Catskills offer hunters a chance to pursue their quarry in different settings.

Whether you’re a seasoned hunter looking for a new challenge, or a novice seeking to learn more about the sport, the Catskills offer something for everyone. In addition, the Catskills also offers beautiful scenery and a wealth of recreational opportunities.

The Finger Lakes

The Finger Lakes region is known for the best hunting in New York State. The Finger Lakes offers various hunting opportunities with more than one million acres of forestland.

The Finger Lakes region provides ample opportunity to bag a deer or two with its many lakes and forests. The region also has a healthy population of black bears, making it a great place to bear hunting.

Allegany State Park

Allegany State Park is found in southwestern New York and is a great spot for hunting. The park offers vast land to explore, making it one of the largest state parks in New York. Some trails to follow to make your way deep into the woods in search of your prey.

Allegany State Park is the perfect place to hunt if you’re looking for a challenge. You can find deer, bears, turkeys, and other animals here, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to test your skills. There are also many different types of terrain to explore to find the perfect spot for your hunt.

Chautauqua-Allegheny Region

The place has many great hunting opportunities in the Chautauqua-Allegheny region of New York. Moreover, there are different ways to enjoy the area’s natural beauty. From hiking and camping to fishing and bird watching, there are outdoor activities for everyone to enjoy.

There are many opportunities to fill your freezer with an abundance of animals, including deer, turkey, and small game. The area’s diverse habitat also challenges even the most experienced hunters. With its wealth of natural resources and outdoor recreation, the region has something for everyone.

Lake Champlain

One of the great hunting spots in upstate New York is Lake Champlain. Located in the Adirondack region, this gorgeous lake teems with wildlife, making it a prime destination for hunters.

Many different species of animals can be found in the area surrounding Lake Champlain, including white-tailed deer, black bear, wild turkey, and waterfowl.  Lake Champlain also offers stunning scenery and is a popular spot for fishing, boating, and camping.

Long Island

Long Island is another spot for hunting in New York. Many kinds of animals are found here, including rabbits, squirrels, and quail. The island also has some bird species, making it a great spot for birdwatching.

Hunting on Long Island is allowed in certain areas, and several different hunting seasons occur throughout the year. If you’re interested in hunting on Long Island, check with the local authorities to find out what kinds of hunting are allowed and when the hunting season takes place.

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls is one of the top hunting destinations in New York. The falls offer a great opportunity to take down big games, small games, and waterfowl. There are a variety of lodges and campsites in the area that cater to hunters, so you can find the perfect place to stay while you’re in town.

The falls are perfect to start if you want to hunt big animals. There is plenty of deer in the area, elk, and moose. You can also find a bear, coyotes, and other predators. The Niagara Falls region is home to some of the best trophy hunting in New York.

Shawangunk Ridge

Shawangunk Ridge is a popular destination for hunting in New York. The Shawangunk Ridge extends from the Hudson River in the east to the Catskill Mountains in the west. It has several species, including grouse, turkey, and bear. Hunting on the Shawangunk Ridge is regulated by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

There are seasons throughout the year, and hunters must possess a valid New York State hunting license. The Shawangunk Ridge is a beautiful place to hunt, offering challenge and excitement for all levels of hunters.

St. Lawrence Seaway

The St. Lawrence Seaway is a large system of locks, canals, and channels in northeastern North America. The seaway was built jointly by the United States and Canada and opened in 1959. It has had a major impact on the economy of the Great Lakes region, making it possible for large ships to transport goods between the lakes and the Atlantic Ocean.

The seaway has also made it possible for hunters to access remote areas of upstate New York that were previously only accessible by foot or boat. Using the seaway, hunters can save time and energy when traveling to and from their hunting grounds.

Where the Game Are

Jerusalem, Yates County

If you’re a hunter interested in trying your hand at deer or bear, Jerusalem, Yates County, is the place for you, as it’s home to

  • Deer
  • The infamous black bear
  • Squirrels
  • Turkeys
  • Reptiles
  • Other animals

However, it’s most famous for deer hunting.

Hunters get an adventurous and satisfying hunting experience here during the fall. However, there are rules regarding hunting in Jerusalem. For example, regarding the time of the year, you can use a gun for different animals.

New York’s Public Wildlife Refuges

New York’s Public Wildlife Refuges are various locations for wildlife preservation so that some species don’t go extinct, so they are not open for hunting. However, sometimes the population of deer or other animals may become excessive.

During this period, the refuge will be open to hunters.

However, you’ll require a license to hunt here. There will also be information on the type of animals you can hunt and the particular permitted locations. The authorities will also provide other rules and regulations which you must obey.

Here are four Wildlife Refuges in New York:

  • Shawangunk National Wildlife Refuge
  • Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge
  • Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge
  • Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge

Shawangunk National Wildlife Refuge

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation permits deer hunting during different seasons. Only archery hunting is permitted, and all hunters must have a refuge hunting license.

The refuge is a place to preserve wildlife, so it’s only open when the number of animals increases. Therefore, if you want to hunt in this refuge, you must book on time ahead of the hunting season.

Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge

The Iroquois refuge is open to hunting during hunting seasons. Several game types are available for hunting at the Iroquois National Refuge, such as:

  • Turkey
  • Coyote
  • Fox
  • Waterfowl
  • Cottontail rabbit
  • Snipe
  • Rail
  • Skunk
  • Pheasant
  • White-tail deer
  • Woodchuck
  • Many other species

There are different days and months during fall assigned for hunting different animals, so check to know which is available at a particular time. The refuge also provides facilities for people with disabilities, but they also must be equipped with a specific license to hunt here.

Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge

The Wertheim refuge is open for hunting white-tailed deer from November – January. It’s open for archery and shotgun hunting during the season, so it’s recommended that all interested hunters buy and fill out an archery or shotgun refuge hunting form.

If you want to hunt with a shotgun and bows, you’ll have to buy and fill out both forms and submit them before the hunting season.

Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge

The Montezuma Refuge was originally not open for hunting, but when the deer population began to increase, they had to permit hunting.

Hunters can hunt deer as specified by the refuge’s management.

Aside from deer hunting, which is necessary to regulate the number of deer, hunters can also hunt geese and ducks for fun. Twelve percent of the refuge is open for hunting, but you’ll have to book early.

Call or check their website to find available hunting days.

New York State Parks

About 81 parks in New York are open to hunting different animals. You can hunt for deer, turkey, waterfowl, and small game, among others. While these parks are free for hunters, you’ll need a hunting permit before you can gain access.

Nevertheless, before you can gain a permit, you must undergo one or two hunting training sessions, but the permit and rules of individual parks will differ. Moreover, parents/guardians must accompany young hunters (12-15).

Here are seven parks that are open to hunting.

  • Storm King State Park: Storm King State Park is a great place for deer hunting during hunting season. You’re only permitted to hunt towards the West angle, as the East angle is off-limits.
  • Cherry Plain State Park: Cherry Plain State Park is open to all with a hunting permit from the park management. You can hunt deer and small game too. Ensure you’re not hunting on the trail or within 500’ (152 meters) of any building, street, or park.
  • Newtown Battlefield State Park: Newton Park is open during hunting season, so check with the staff to learn when the space will be open for hunting. Look for the signs throughout the park indicating restricted areas. You’ll need a New York hunter’s license, and you can only use a bow, as guns are not allowed.
  • Verona Beach State Park: You can hunt deer, waterfowl, and small game in Verona Beach State Park when it’s open. All you need is a DEC hunting permit unless otherwise stated.
  • Thacher State Park: Thacher State Park is open to hunters with great hunting skills and all of the necessary permits. You’ll need a Turkey/ Muzzleloading license, a New York State hunting license, an archery license, and a permit issued by the park itself. Only shotguns or Muzzleloaders are allowed. Bow areas also are indicated.
  • Wildwood State Park: Wildwood State Park is the perfect place for archery hunting during the season. You can hunt from sunrise to sunset if you have all the necessary permits. Check their site for more information on permits, rules, and regulations.
  • Minnewaska State Park: Minnewaska State Park is open to adventurous deer hunting. You can use a bow, shotgun, muzzleloader, pistol, crossbow, and riffle, but you’ll need an NYC permit and another from the park. Check their website for information on the permits and how you can get them.

Green Mountain & Finger Lakes National Forests

New York’s Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forests are home to many animals, such as:

  • Black bears
  • White-tail deer
  • Waterfowl
  • Wild turkeys
  • Birds

All hunters must have a license and abide by all the rules and regulations of the park. Hunters can hunt using a bow, rifle, shotgun, muzzleloader, or handgun during hunting season, which runs from October to December. You can also trap if you have a license.

For safety reasons, hunters cannot shoot close to any building or along trails. After hunting, ensure you clean up before leaving the forest. Fortunately, you don’t need a hunting permit to hunt deer, small game, or other animals.

You only have to obey the rules and regulations of hunting on the refuge.

Fort Drum Military Base, Jefferson County

Fort Drum is a military base camp used for training, but it’s also open for recreational purposes like hunting and fishing. Here, hunters can hunt game such as:

  • Black bear
  • Ruffed grouse
  • Woodcock
  • Turkey
  • Snow goose
  • Cottontail rabbit
  • Squirrels
  • Deer

The Cantonment Area is open for archery hunting, but all hunters require a Department of Defense identification to have access, with no exemptions. Remember that hunters must always carry their permits everywhere they go, so make sure to bring yours along if you decide to hunt here.

Wrapping Up

These are just a few of the best places to hunt in New York State. With so much open space and so many different types of terrain, you’re sure to find the perfect spot to set up camp and start hunting. No matter where you choose to hunt in New York State, you’re sure to have a great time.

So, get out there and start exploring. Who knows, you might find your new favorite hunting spot.

The McClain Family

We hope we helped. Please let us know of any place that you want to know about in NYS or if we did a poor job with any part of this. Our goal is to help as many people as possible.

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