New York’s hunting and trapping seasons are on their way, and if you haven’t heard, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is already selling sporting licenses and Deer Management Permits for 2016-17. If you want to purchase your first license, then you should be aware of the new addition to the required sporting education courses.
2016-17 Sporting Licenses
If you’ve had a hunting or trapping license in the past, then you can purchase this year’s at a DEC license-issuing agent, in person, by telephone, or online. If you’re not in the DEC’s automated licensing system, then you must have proof of a hunter or trapper education certification or a copy of a past license. Additionally, you must have the following:
1. Name and address information
2. Proof of New York State residency (such as a driver’s license or ID with NYS address)
3. A valid credit card (if purchasing via phone or online)
4. DEC customer ID number (if applicable)
All licenses purchased for the 2016-17 season will be valid for one year starting September 1, 2016, and license fees vary.
For more information about licenses, you can contact the DEC’s Call Center at 1-866-933-2257. From August 1 – October 1, the Call Center will be open from 8:30AM-7:00PM, Monday through Friday, and 9:00AM-5:00PM on Saturdays. Regular weekday hours (8:30AM-4:30PM) resume on October 2.
Furthermore, Deer Management Permits (DMPs) are also available through October 1, 2016. Anyone with a DMP may take one antlerless deer during the season. DMPs are issued at the point of sale through a random selection process, so you don’t need to rush to apply for one.
Changes to the Required Sporting Education Courses
If you haven’t been hunting or trapping before and want to get started this year, then you must take a mandatory hunter, bowhunter, or trapper education course. The DEC works with certified instructors to offer free training courses across the state.
“Our Sportsman Education Program is effective in producing safe, ethical hunters and we are grateful to the volunteer instructors that serve as the backbone to deliver our program,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos in a press release.
It’s easy enough to get started now. You can register for a course 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A list of all available courses and study materials are available on the DEC’s website.
However, there is a slight change to the education courses starting this year. Before you can take one of the DEC’s classroom and field sessions, you must first review specific course materials and complete a homework sheet. The homework requirement takes about three hours, and you must bring it with you to the sportsman course.
If you want to get your first sporting license this year, then it’s best to sign up for a course early because they fill up fast!