DEC Call Center Hours Extended to Provide Assistance on Evenings and Weekends

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today that sporting licenses and Deer Management Permits for the 2018-19 season are now on sale. Licenses and permits can be purchased at any one of DEC’s license-issuing agents, by telephone (866-933-2257), or online at the DECALS website. The hunting and trapping licenses are valid from Sept. 1, 2018, through Aug. 31, 2019.

“New York’s vast landscape offers dozens of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors and participate in the proud traditions of hunting and trapping,” Commissioner Seggos said. “Governor Cuomo continues to prioritize investing in new lands and improving access for outdoor recreation. There are hundreds of thousands of acres of public land open to hunting and trapping across the state. Long seasons, liberal bag limits, and healthy wildlife populations make for great hunting and trapping experiences.”

Through the purchase of sporting licenses, arms and ammunition, and trip-related expenditures, New York’s nearly 600,000 licensed hunters contribute an estimated $1.5 billion to the state’s economy each year.

Expanded Call Center Hours

Through Oct. 1, the DEC Call Center is accessible from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Regular call center weekday hours (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) will resume on Oct. 2.

Individuals should have the following items ready when buying a license:

  • Complete contact information (e.g. name, address, email address, telephone number);
  • DEC customer ID number (if applicable);
  • Proof of residency (e.g., 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 not already entered in DEC’s automated licensing system, individuals are required to provide proof of hunter or trapper education certification or a copy of a previous license for all hunting and trapping license purchases. For additional information, visit the General Sporting License Information webpage on DEC’s website.

Habitat & Access Stamps

New York’s habitat serves a vital role in maintaining healthy and sustainable fish and wildlife resources for all to enjoy. DEC encourages all outdoor enthusiasts to consider purchasing a voluntary Habitat & Access Stamp each year. Funds from the $5 Habitat & Access Stamp help fund projects aimed at conserving habitat and improving public access for fish and wildlife-related activities. This year’s promotion features a barred owl.

“Habitat & Access Stamps support important projects around the state, so we are ramping up efforts to promote their purchase and have set a target to sell 25,000 stamps for the 2018 and 2019 seasons,” Commissioner Seggos said. “Please consider being a “Habitat Hero” through the purchase of a Habitat & Access stamp.”

Deer Management Permits

In addition, Deer Management Permits (DMPs) are now available at all license-issuing outlets, by phone, or online through Oct. 1. DMPs, which are used to ensure proper management of the deer herd, are issued through an instant random selection process at the point of sale. The chances of obtaining a DMP remain the same throughout the entire application period; hunters do not need to rush to apply. The 2018 chances of selection for a permit in each Wildlife Management Unit are available online, through License Issuing Agents, or by calling the DMP Hotline at 1-866-472-4332. Detailed information on Deer Management Permits is available on DEC’s website.

The new Hunting & Trapping Regulations Guide provides an easy-to-read compendium of all pertinent rules and regulations and is available at all license issuing outlets and on the DEC Hunting Regulations webpage. For a list of license-issuing agents, visit DEC’s online License Center or contact the DEC Call Center at 1-866-933-2257.

Venison Donation Program

Anyone-not just hunters and anglers-can help feed the hungry by making a monetary contribution to the Venison Donation Program at any license-issuing outlet. Individuals should inform the license sales agent if interested in making a donation of $1 or more to support the program. Since 1999, these funds have been used by the Venison Donation Coalition to process more than 330 tons of highly nutritious venison, the equivalent of 2.8 million meals served. For more information about the Venison Donation Coalition program, visit DEC’s website.

New York State Fair Aug. 22 – Sept. 3
Family Fishing Days: Thursday, Aug. 23 and Sunday, Aug. 26

Admission to the New York State Fair in Syracuse is free for anyone presenting a valid New York State hunting or fishing license at the gate on Family Fishing Days. On Thursday, Aug. 23 and Sunday, Aug. 26, DEC will operate free fishing clinics in the pond in the New York Experience festival grounds. Fairgoers that don’t already have a license are encouraged to stop by the Aquarium building, check out the fish, and purchase a license or apply for a deer management permit.