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DEC Reports Record Sales for Big Game Hunting
and Trapping Licenses, Nearly Triple 2019 Opening Day Sales

September 09, 2020   09:00 p.m.
    Press Release from NYS DEC:


    In-Person Hunter Education Courses Are Resuming, Online Courses Extended

    New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
    Commissioner Basil Seggos today reported that 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. 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. DEC transformed the Hunter Ed program at
    the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to offer online certification, resulting in a
    dramatic 105-percent 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 Commissioner 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.”

    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

    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 DEC’s license-issuing
    agents, online, or by telephone at 866-933-2257. The new hunting and trapping
    licenses are valid from Sept. 1, 2020, 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, 2020.

    DMPs are used to manage the deer herd and are issued through an instant
    random selection process at the point of sale. The 2020 chances of selection for
    a DMP in each Wildlife Management Unit are available online, through license
    issuing agents, or by calling the DMP Information Hotline at 1-866-472-4332.
    Detailed information on Deer Management Permits and this fall’s Deer Season
    Forecast is available on DEC’s website. DEC reminds hunters that lifetime
    license tag sets for the 2020-21 license year are currently being mailed and
    should be received by all hunters by Sept. 1. Hunters do not need tags in hand
    to apply for DMPs or to purchase additional privileges. Lifetime information is
    stored in the DECALS database.

    The new Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide, an easy-to-read compendium
    of pertinent rules and regulations, is available on the DEC Hunting Regulations
    webpage. A summary of hunting and trapping regulations is currently available at
    license issuing agents, and copies of the full hunting and trapping regulations
    guide are available at license issuing agents.

    Hunter Education

    With the cancellation of in-person courses earlier this year during the State’s
    response to COVID-19, DEC quickly innovated to help prospective hunters
    planning to take cancelled in-person hunter safety courses and created a new
    online Hunter Education course. The results were dramatic, more than doubling
    certifications from 2019, with more than 76,800 people registered for the online
    Hunter Ed course and 40,278 completions. Nearly 70 percent of those
    completing the online course are 21 or over, and almost 40 percent of
    participants are women. The new online Bowhunter Ed course has seen more
    than 20,980 registered participants and 10,934 have completed the course. Both
    courses can be accessed at DEC’s website. The online courses have been
    extended indefinitely.

    As all of New York has now entered Phase 4 of reopening, in-person Hunter
    Education, Bowhunter Education, and Trapper Education courses are resuming.
    While the popularity of the online Hunter Ed and Bowhunter Ed courses has
    been unprecedented, some potential new hunters want to take the traditional
    course, which offers a field day component. Social distancing, health and safety,
    and disinfectant protocols have been put in place to ensure courses are
    conducted in a way that minimizes risk to participants. The online courses will
    remain available for those who prefer an online course. For more information
    about taking a traditional field-based course, visit DEC’s website.

    DEC also encourages outdoor enthusiasts to consider purchasing a Habitat &
    Access Stamp each year. Support for the Habitat Stamp has also skyrocketed
    this year, with a nearly 300 percent increase—7,337 in 2020 compared to 2,559
    in 2019—in sales over the first two weeks of big game license sales. Funds from
    the $5 Habitat & Access Stamp support projects to conserve habitat and improve
    public access for fish- and wildlife-related activities. This year’s Habitat & Access
    Stamp features a northern leopard frog. Last year’s stamp featured a bull moose
    and was the most popular stamp in DEC history, with more than 25,000 sold.

    Through initiatives like NY Open for Hunting and Fishing and Adventure NY,
    DEC is making strategic investments to expand access to healthy, active,
    outdoor recreation, connect more New Yorkers and visitors to nature and the
    outdoors, protect natural resources, and boost local economies. Read more
    about Adventure NY on DEC's website.