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2021-22 Hunting Seasons in the Adirondacks

With so many species of animals available to hunt in the Adirondacks, there is almost always an open season! Hunters must have proper permits, and be within their season to take game in New York State. If you are not sure where to start, consider a guided hunting trip under the tutelage of an experienced Adirondack hunting guide.

New York State hunting seasons are categorized by hunting zones. The majority of the Adirondack Park is located in the Northern Zone, and regulations for the Northern Zone are shown below.

New for 2021

The DEC has adopted new rules for deer and bear hunting. Rule changes include extending hunting hours and dress code requirements when afield to improve hunter safety.

The changes are:

  • 9-Day Season for Antlerless Deer September 11 - 19, 2021 using firearms in Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) 3M, 3R, 8A, 8F, 8G, 8J, 8N, 9A, and 9F, and using bowhunting equipment in WMUs 1C, 3S, 4J, and 8C.
  • Permit (DMAP) tags in this season: Restore antlerless harvest during the early muzzleloader season in Northern Zone WMUs 6A, 6F, and 6J. 
  • Extended hunting hours for deer and bear to include the full period of ambient light from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.
  • Anyone hunting big game with a firearm, or accompanying someone hunting big game with a firearm, needs to wear a solid or patterned fluorescent orange or fluorescent pink hat, vest, or jacket.
  • Bear hunting season is now simplified by extending the regular season to cover the entire hunting period.
  • Outdated language relating to deer tag use during the September portion of the early bowhunting season has been removed.

Youth Big Game Hunt 2021

New York State's annual Youth Big Game Hunt is Columbus Day Weekend, October 9 to 11. New this year, 12- and 13-year-old hunters may join 14- and 15-year-olds participating in Upstate counties that have passed a local law for these juniors to hunt deer with firearms.

During this time, youth ages 12 to 15 may use a firearm to hunt big game while accompanied by an experienced, licensed hunter. All eligible junior hunters may take one deer of either sex, and 14- and 15-year-olds may also take one bear. 

During the Youth Big Game Hunt, antlerless deer taken with a firearm may be tagged with a regular season tag, DMP, or a Deer Management Assistant Program tag. (Junior hunters may only take one deer with a firearm during the Youth Big Game Hunt, even if they have multiple deer tags.)

Find more info from the DEC's Hunting & Trapping Regulations Guide >>

Military & Veteran Hunting Days 2021

Northeast Zone: September 18 - 19
Southeast Zone: October 9 - 10
Western Zone: November 11 & 13
(No special Military/Veteran days for Lake Champlain Zone)

White-Tailed Deer

white-tailed deer with autumn leaves

Early Bowhunting Season: September 27 - October 22

Crossbow Season: October 13 - October 22

Youth Hunt: October 9 - 11

Muzzleloader Season: October 16 - October 22 (also December 6 - December 12 in some areas)

Regular Season: October 23 - December 5

Late Bowhunting Season: December 6 - December 12 (only applies in some areas)

Hunting Hours: Sunrise - Sunset

Black Bear

black bear with background of trees

Early Bear Season: September 18 - October 15

Bowhunting Season: September 18 - October 22

Crossbow Season: October 13 - October 22

Muzzleloader Season: October 16 - October 22

Regular Season: October 23 - December 5

Hunting Hours: Sunrise - Sunset

Wild Turkey

two turkeys close-up

Fall Season: October 1 - 14, one bird per season, either sex

Spring Season: May 1 - 31, two bearded birds per season, one per day.

Youth Hunt: April 23 - 24 (2022), one bearded bird.

For both seasons, you must report taking a turkey. Call 1-866-GAME-RPT within 7 days to report.

Hunting Hours: Sunrise - Sunset


duck swimming in the lake

Ducks, Coots & Mergansers Season: October 2 through October 24 and October 30 through December 5 - daily limit 6 ducks, 15 coot

Snow Goose Season: October 1 through April 15 - daily limit 25

Brant Season: October 2 through November 20 - daily limit 2

Canada Goose Season: September 1 through September 25 - daily limit 15; October 23 and 24 - daily limit 1; October 30 through November 26 - daily limit 1

Shooting Hours: 1/2 hour before Sunrise - Sunset in all hunting zones

Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days: Northeast Zone: September 18 - 19Southeast and Lake Champlain Zones: September 25 - 26Western Zone: October 2 - 3Long Island Zone: November 6 - 7  

Migratory Game Birds

crow flying above the grass

American Woodcock Season: October 1 through November 14 - daily limit 3

Crow Season: September 1 through March 31 (Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays only)

Snipe, Rail and Gallinule Season: September 1 through November 9 - daily limit 8

Shooting Hours: Sunrise - Sunset

Small Game

hare looking out over tall grass

Ruffed Grouse Season: September 20 through February 28 - daily bag limit 4 (September 20 date for Northern New York; season opens on October 1 for most of the state)

Pheasant Season: October 1 through February 28 - daily bag limit 2 

The DEC will release approximately 30,000 adult pheasants on lands open to public hunting for the 2021 pheasant hunting season.

Youth Pheasant Hunt: September 25 & 26 - daily bag limit 2

*Squirrel Season: September 1 through February 28 - daily bag limit 6

Cottontail Rabbit & Snowshoe or Varying Hare Season: October 1 through March 20 - daily bag limit 6

**Frog Season: June 15 through September 30 - any time of day or night

Snapping Turtle Season: July 15 through September 30 - daily limit 5 / season 30 - any time of day or night

Shooting Hours: Sunrise - Sunset

*Red Squirrels are unprotected and may be hunted at any time without limit.**A fishing or hunting license is required to take frogs with a spear, club, hook, or by hand. A hunting license is required to take frogs with a gun or bow.


A red fox in the Adirondacks

Bobcat Season: October 25 through February 15

Coyote Season: October 1 through March 27

Raccoon, Red Fox, Gray Fox, Skunk, Opossum & Weasel Season: October 25 through February 15

Shooting Hours: After sunrise on opening day - any hour, day or night until season closes (except weasel, which may only be hunted from sunrise to sunset).

Visit the DEC website for more information on different hunting zones and hunting seasons »

Game Species in the Adirondacks »

Hunting License Information »

Adirondack Hunting Gallery »