Thinking about getting your hunting or trapping license? With licenses now on sale for 2018-2019, the DEC is reminding all new hunters and trappers to register for the required education courses. Read on to learn how you can get certified.
Taking Your Course
Before heading out into the field, you’ll want to make sure you have the proper sporting license. But to earn yours, you must first complete the mandatory hunter, bowhunter, or trapper education course. Classes fill up quickly, with more than 45,000 New Yorkers signing up for the program each year, so new hunters and trappers are reminded to register as soon as possible. To find an education course near you,
- Visit DEC’s website at dec.ny.gov, or
- Contact a local DEC office.
And here’s a tip: before registering, keep in mind that all course homework should be completed beforehand. To give yourself enough time, be sure to register well in advance of the course date. According to a recent DEC press release, the homework requirement may take several hours to complete.
Training courses are not only free of charge, but are led by expert instructors dedicated to their sport. Prospective students can register for the course of their choice on DEC’s website, which is updated with new courses throughout the year.
“DEC’s hunter education program provides future sportsmen and sportswomen training about how to be safe, responsible and ethical hunters and trappers,” said Commissioner Basil Seggos in a statement. “We are grateful to the volunteer instructors who continue to provide their expertise and support to deliver this program. I encourage all prospective hunters and trappers to sign up for one of the hundreds of courses offered across New York State.”
To find course manuals and homework sheets, check in with your local DEC wildlife office or online at dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7860.html.
Obtaining Your License
Hunting and trapping licenses are valid from September 1, 2018 through August 31, 2019. According to a statement by the DEC, the following items are required when buying a new license:
- Complete contact information (name, address, email address, telephone number),
- DEC customer ID number (if applicable),
- Proof of residency (such as a driver’s license or non-driver’s ID with a valid NYS address) and,
- If purchasing by phone or internet, a valid credit card.
If you are not already entered in the DEC’s automated licensing system, you should also provide proof of a hunter or trapper education certification or a copy of your previous license.
To obtain your license, you can visit any one of DEC’s license-issuing outlets or online at the DECALS website. Find an outlet near you by visiting the online License Center at licensecenter.ny.gov, or contacting the DEC Call Center 1-866-933-2257.
You may also purchase a license through the Call Center. To provide assistance on evenings and weekends, DEC Call Center hours have been extended through October 1, now accessible from 8:30 AM to 7 PM, Monday through Friday, and from 9 AM to 5 PM on Saturdays. Regular call center weekday hours (8:30 AM to 4:30 PM) will resume on October 2.
For a complete list of Hunting and Trapping regulations, be sure to read the new Hunting & Trapping Regulations Guide. The Guide can be viewed at any license issuing outlet or online at dec.ny.gov/outdoor/28182.html. Learn more about general sporting licenses at dec.ny.gov/permits/95452.html.
Once you’ve been certified, why not head over to Family Fishing Days at the New York State Fair? On August 23 and 26, admission to the Fair is free for anyone presenting a valid New York State hunting or fishing licence! DEC will be operating free fishing clinics in the New York Experience festival grounds pond.
No license? No problem! You can purchase your hunting or fishing license at the Fair, or even apply for your deer management permit. DMPs are also available at license-issuing outlets, by phone, and online through October 1. For more information on DMPs, visit dec.ny.gov/outdoor/6403.html.
Outdoor enthusiasts are also encouraged to give back by purchasing this year’s Habitat & Access stamp. For $5, you can help fund projects that will help conserve the environment and improve access to fish and wildlife-related activities. You should also consider donating to the Venison Donation Program, which provides more than 330 tons of venison — about 2.8 million meals — to those in need. A dollar or more goes a long way! You can learn more about the Venison Donation Coalition at dec.ny.gov/outdoor/8351.html.