New York Deer Season 2023-2024 What You Need to Know!

With regulations and guidelines in place, the New York Deer Season 2023-2024 ensures a safe and responsible hunting experience for all participants. Deer season in New York State provides ample opportunities for hunters to pursue whitetail deer. With separate Northern and Southern zones, early and late seasons for archery, muzzleloader, and firearms, and youth hunts, there are many options to choose from. However, regulations vary across the zones, so it is critical to check the specific dates, hunting implements, licensing, and other rules for the area you plan to hunt. This guide provides key information to help you have a safe, legal, and successful deer season in New York.

New York Deer Hunting Season Dates

New York splits the state into Northern and Southern zones, each with different season dates set by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) in its annual hunting regulations guide. Key dates for 2023 include:

Northern Zone

Early AntlerlessNA
BowhuntingSept. 27 - Oct. 20
BowhuntingDec. 4 - Dec. 10 WMUs 5A, 5G, 5J, 6A, 6C, 6G, 6H only
CrossbowOct. 11 - Oct. 20
Regular SeasonOct. 21 - Dec. 3
MuzzleloadingOct. 14 - Oct. 20
MuzzleloadingDec. 4 - Dec. 10WMUs 5A, 5G, 5J, 6A, 6C, 6G, 6H only
Special Late Firearms SeasonNA

Southern Zone

SeasonDatesAdditional Notes
Early AntlerlessSept. 9 - 17WMUs 3M, 3R, 8A, 8F, 8G, 8J, 8N, 9A, 9F (firearms, bows, crossbow) WMUs 4J, 8C (bowhunting only)
Early AntlerlessSept. 9 - 17WMUs 3M, 3R, 8A, 8F, 8G, 8J, 8N, 9A, 9F (firearms, bows, crossbow) WMUs 4J, 8C (bowhunting only)
BowhuntingOct. 1 - Nov. 17Dec. 11 - Dec. 19 Dec. 26 - Jan. 1
BowhuntingOct. 1 - Nov. 17Dec. 11 - Dec. 19 Dec. 26 - Jan. 1
CrossbowNov. 4 - Nov. 17(Not in WMUs 4J or 8C)
Regular SeasonNov. 18 - Dec. 10
MuzzleloadingDec. 11 - Dec. 19except bowhunting only WMUs 4J and 8C
MuzzleloadingDec. 26 - Jan. 1 except bowhunting only WMUs 4J and 8C
Special Late Firearms SeasonNA

Westchester County (WMU 3S)

Early AntlerlessSept. 9 - 17(bowhunting only)
BowhuntingOct. 1 - Dec. 31
CrossbowOct. 1 - Dec. 31
Regular SeasonOct. 1 - Dec. 31 (bowhunting only)
Special Late Firearms SeasonNA

Suffolk County (WMU 1C)

Early AntlerlessSept. 9 - 17Bowhunting only
BowhuntingSame as Regular Season
Regular SeasonOct. 1, 2023 - Jan. 31, 2024Bowhunting only
Special Late Firearms SeasonJan. 7 - Jan. 31, 2024Special Permit Required

Youth Hunt

Youth Deer SeasonDetails
DatesOctober 7 - 9, 2023
EligibilityJunior hunters aged 12 to 15 years old
RegulationsOne antlered or one antlerless deer with a firearm
AreaNorthern and Southern Zone excepth bowhunting only

Season dates can change annually, so verify current seasons in the DEC Hunting Regulations Guide before hunting.

Deer Hunting Regulations

Several important regulations govern deer hunting in New York:

  • For safety, hunters are required to wear neon orange or pink apparel.
  • Taking deer while in water is prohibited.
  • Specific licenses or privilege permits are required for bowhunting, muzzleloading, and crossbow use.
  • Antler point restrictions apply in some areas.
  • There are prohibitions on use of certain firearms in specific zones/counties.
  • Deer drives with two or more people are not permitted.
  • Hunters cannot use dogs to hunt deer in New York.

Review all deer hunting regulations thoroughly before the season opens.

New Changes in New York Deer Season 2023-2024 Regulation

  • Antlerless-Only Season in Specific Units: From September 9–17, 2023, prepare for a special antlerless deer season that will allow guns, crossbows, and vertical bows in designated WMUs 3M, 3R, 8A, 8F, 8G, 8J, 8N, 9A, and 9F.
  • Stricter Antler Restrictions for Bucks: Hunters must now make sure that bucks in antler limitation units have at least one antler with three points, each of which must be at least one inch long.
  • Expanded Youth Participation: Under the direct supervision of a licensed adult hunter, 12- and 13-year-old hunters in some counties with local legislation in place may now actively participate in the deer hunting scene using a rifle or crossbow.
  • Expanded Youth Participation: Extended Holiday Deer Hunting in the Southern Zone: From December 26 through January 1, only in the Southern Zone, experience the excitement of an extended late bow and muzzleloading season for deer.
  • Revised Daily Hunting Hours: To provide hunters a wider window, deer and bear hunting hours have been officially adjusted to 30 minutes before dawn and 30 minutes after sunset.
  • Mandatory Fluorescent Clothing for Firearm Hunters: Maintain compliance with the new rule mandating hunters using a weapon to pursue deer or bears to wear a bright orange or pink cap or vest while on their hunting adventures.

New York Deer Hunting Licenses

All hunters aged 12+ must have a valid New York hunting license appropriate for the season. Required licenses include:

  • Hunting License – to hunt deer during regular firearms seasons.
  • Bowhunting Privilege – to hunt deer during bow seasons.
  • Muzzleloading Privilege – required for muzzleloader season.
  • Deer Management Permits – provide tags for antlerless deer in certain WMUs.

First-time hunters must complete a Hunter Education Course. New bowhunters must pass a Bowhunter Education Course as well. More license details are available on the DEC website.

New York Deer Bag Limits

Bag limits help manage deer populations. In much of New York, the annual per hunter bag limit is:

  • 2 antlered deer
  • 2 antlerless deer (with Deer Management Permit)

Some Wildlife Management Units have more generous antlerless deer limits to reduce populations. Refer to the DEC’s deer hunting maps and regulation guide for WMU-specific bag limits.

Chronic Wasting Disease Monitoring

While not yet detected in New York, Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is concerning. To prevent CWD spread, New York restricts importing:

  • Whole deer carcasses from outside New York
  • Deer/elk urine-based lures from natural sources
  • Allowed: deboned meat, finished taxidermy, cleaned hides, antlers, cleaned skulls.

Follow all DEC rules and regulations.

A successful deer hunt will be made more likely by preparation and prudence in New York’s outstanding deer habitat. Review the hunting season dates for the region you’ll be hunting in, get the required permits and licenses, explore the area, get some practice with your hunting gear, and brush up on your shooting technique. You’ll stay on the right side of the law if you meticulously abide by the rules. You may enjoy the event to the fullest and offer venison for the table while being safe. New York provides a fantastic chance to hunt whitetails in 2023 with careful preparation, safety as the first priority, and respect for the deer.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the youth deer hunting weekend in New York?

The youth deer hunting weekend for 2023 is October 7-9, which is Columbus Day weekend. This 3-day season is open to junior hunters ages 12-15 who have a hunting license and tags. Youth ages 14-15 can hunt deer with a firearm, crossbow, or bow if they have passed a hunter education course. Youth ages 12-13 can hunt deer with a crossbow or bow if they have passed both hunter education and bowhunter education courses. Adults cannot hunt but must accompany junior hunters during this special weekend.

What are the crossbow requirements for hunting deer in New York?

To hunt deer with a crossbow in New York, you must have either a hunting license or junior hunting license along with a muzzleloading privilege permit. Crossbows must have a minimum width between limbs of 17 inches, be at least 24 inches long, have a working safety, and be able to fire a bolt at least 14 inches long. The draw weight must be between 100-200 pounds. Crossbows can be used during the last 10 days of bow season in the Northern Zone and the last 14 days of bow season in the Southern Zone. They are also legal during regular firearms seasons.

What type of broadheads can I use for deer hunting in New York?

Broadheads used for deer hunting in New York must have at least two sharp cutting edges and be a minimum 7/8-inch in diameter. The cutting edges must be aligned to allow both edges to easily penetrate a deer’s hide and flesh. Broadheads with mechanical moving parts are legal as long as the blades do not make the broadhead non-compliant once deployed. Barbed broadheads are prohibited.

Can a deer management permit in New York be used to harvest additional antlerless deer?

Yes, the deer management permit (DMP) program allows hunters to obtain tags for additional antlerless deer in specific wildlife management units. The DMP application period is August 1 – October 1 each year. Applicants are chosen through a random drawing. If selected, you can receive up to 2 DMP tags valid only for the specified WMU. The tags allow you to take extra antlerless deer beyond your regular season tag limits in that unit only.

Can an online hunter education class from Pennsylvania be used to purchase a hunting license in New York?

Yes, as long as your online hunter education course meets International Hunter Education Association (IHEA) standards, New York will accept it as proof you can legally purchase a hunting license. Most states’ official online hunter education courses meet IHEA requirements. Bring your hunter education certificate or card with you when buying your New York hunting license.

James Ellis

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