State Department of Environmental Commissioner Basil Seggos reported that the DEC is experiencing record-breaking sales of hunting and trapping licenses for upcoming seasons.

Sales for big game hunting and trapping licenses and Deer Management Permits (DMPs) were nearly triple prior years’ sales on opening day, more than double on the second day and nearly double the first two weeks. The DEC also announced that in-person hunter education, bowhunter education, and trapper education courses have resumed with appropriate social distancing and other precautions to limit the community spread of COVID-19. The DEC transformed the hunter ed program at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to offer online certification, resulting in a 105% increase in participants completing the course compared to the traditional in-person courses offered in 2019.

“With New Yorkers looking for more ways to enjoy the outdoors during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing tremendous interest in outdoor recreation and in the sports of fishing, hunting, and trapping, including record sales of big game hunting and trapping licenses,” said Seggos. “New York is home to some of the best hunting and fishing opportunities in the nation. DEC’s efforts to make sure hunters and anglers are able to purchase fishing, hunting, and trapping licenses and take hunter safety courses from the comfort of their homes, are making the outdoors even more accessible and we will continue to offer our new online courses as we transition back to offering in-person courses.”

The DEC launched the state’s new automated system for selling fishing, hunting, and trapping licenses in July, and on Aug. 10, the system was activated for big game license sales and DMPs. The new DEC Automated Licensing System (DECALS) includes user-friendly information to help locate vendors, receive instant copies of a license, enter and view harvest information, and more.

On the first day of big game sales this year, DEC reported $922,444 in sales, compared to $347,103 in 2019. Over the first two weeks of license sales, sales have reached more than $6.2 million compared to approximately $3.5 million for the first two weeks in 2019.

Purchasing a hunting or trapping license helps to support DEC conservation projects and ensures natural resources are protected for generations to come. Through the purchase of New York sporting licenses, hunters and anglers help generate an estimated $75 million to help conserve fish and wildlife, enhance habitat, and protect natural resources. Hunting and fishing build a sense of stewardship of fish and wildlife resources and habitats, provide an opportunity for experienced hunters and anglers to share their knowledge with others, and promote participation in hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting through the mentoring of young hunters and anglers. New York’s hunters and anglers contribute an estimated $4.9 billion to the economy in spending, which supports more than 56,000 jobs and $623 million in state and local taxes.

Licenses and permits can be purchased at any one of the DEC’s license-issuing agents, online, or by telephone at 866-933-2257. The new hunting and trapping licenses are valid from Sept. 1, through Aug. 31, 2021, while annual fishing licenses are valid for 365 days from date of purchase. DMPs are also available at all license-issuing outlets, by phone, or online through Oct. 1.

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