As the mountainsides come alive with color in the Great Western Catskills, hunters begin fletching arrows, sighting their scopes, and hiking the woods checking tree stands and tracking wildlife. From bear and bobcat, to deer, turkey and small game, hunting seasons are opening throughout the region. Whether you’re on public or private lands, knowing the area and your responsibilities makes for a more enjoyable hunting experience. Below are a few details to help you plan your excursion.
Have a smart phone?
Download the New York Fishing, Hunting & Wildlife App on the Apple App Store or Google Play store, or by going to the Pocket Ranger website. This cool new DEC app provides up-to-date information on fishing, hunting and wildlife watching. Find hunting locations nearest you and access species profiles, rules and regulations, and important permits and licensing details. With advanced GPS mapping and a built in compass, advisories and weather alerts, it’s more than just a planning tool.
When to hunt?
Print or download a convenient summary of all the 2014-15 Hunting Seasons (PDF).
Deer* & Black Bear – Bowhunting Seasons
- Early bowhunting: Oct. 1 – Nov. 14
- Crossbow: Nov. 1 – Nov. 14
- Late Bowhunting: Dec. 8 – Dec. 16
Deer* & Black Bear – Regular Season
- Nov. 15 – Dec. 7
Deer* – Muzzleloader Season
- Deer of Either Sex: Dec. 8-16
Turkey – Fall Season
- Oct. 1 – Nov. 14
- In 2-bird areas, you may take both birds in one day
* Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) with antler point restrictions: all of 3A, 3C, 3H, 3J, 3K, 4G, 4O, 4P, 4R, 4S and 4W. Bucks must have at least one antler with 3 or more points that are at least 1 inch long.
Where to hunt?
Many state lands, including Wildlife Management Areas, State Forests, Forest Preserve and State Parks are open for hunting and trapping during the appropriate seasons. DEC Wildlife Management Areas offering hunting in Delaware County include:
- Bear Spring Mountain - 7,186 acres, upland, hiking trails, boat access, parking lot, picnic area, rest rooms, birdwatching, camping, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hunting, fishing and trapping. This WMA is located in the Towns of Colchester and Walton. To reach the area from Walton, take NYS Route 206 south 3 miles to state land.
- Wolf Hollow - 52 acres, upland, hiking, hunting, trapping, photography and bird watching. This WMA is located in the Town of Andes. To reach the area, take County Road 1 South from the Town of Andes, turn onto Wolf Hollow Road and make a right onto Jennie Archer Road.
Other State Lands and conservation easements, by DEC region and county, offer hunting access and printable maps. The State Lands Interactive Mapper can be used to create custom maps of trails and hunting areas on state lands.
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) allows deer, bear, turkey, and small game hunting on designated City Water Supply lands as provided by New York State regulations. DEP is no longer issuing Hunting Tags for hunting on City Water Supply Lands. Hunters must possess the appropriate, valid New York State hunting license and a valid Access Permit to hunt on designated hunting areas on City Water Supply Lands. DEP Access Permits are not required on Public Access Areas. For more information, read "New York City Watershed Lands" and explore Delaware County properties that allow hunting.
First-time hunters must pass one or more Sportsman Education Courses before purchasing a hunting license in New York. DEC Regional Sportsman Education offices throughout the state offer sportsman education courses. For more information about classes in Delaware County, contact the Stamford DEC office at 607-652-7367. For classes throughout New York, register here.
If you’re looking for a guide to gain experience, education or just enjoy the hunt with, explore guide services available in the Great Western Catskills!
To learn more about hunting in the Great western Catskills, visit the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website.