Licenses and permits can be purchased at one of DEC's 1,500 license sales outlets statewide. Sporting licenses can also be ordered by telephone or by visiting the DEC website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/6101.html. The 2012-13 sporting licenses are valid beginning October 1, 2012. The new Hunting & Trapping and Freshwater Fishing regulation guides are available at all license issuing outlets as well as from the DEC website at www.dec.ny.gov.
DEC's Automated Licensing System (DECALS) is New York State's computerized system for issuing sporting licenses and tracking license sales and revenues. DECALS may also be used for donations to the Habitat Access Stamp Program, Venison Donation Coalition, Conservation Fund and the Trail Maintenance Program. DEC continues to improve and enhance DECALS to better meet the needs of sportsmen and women. For questions regarding license purchases, please call DECALS Call Center at (1-866-933-2257). Hours of operation for the Call Center are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday from August 13 to October 13, 2012. Regular weekday hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. will resume on October 15, 2012.
License buyers should have the following items ready when applying: complete name and address information, customer ID number if you have it, proof of residency information (driver's license number or non-driver's ID number with a valid NYS address to qualify for a resident license), and, if purchasing by phone or internet, credit card and card expiration date. Hunting license purchases require individuals to provide proof of hunting education certification or a copy of a previous license, or this information must already be contained in their DECALS file.
Sales of all sporting licenses are deposited into the Conservation Fund which is used for the management of New York's fish and wildlife populations and for protection and management of wildlife habitat.
New Regulations for 2012-2013
Hunters should be aware of several new laws and regulations in effect for 2012-13:
The Southern Zone bowhunting season and the regular season in Westchester County (bowhunting only) begin on October 1.
A late bowhunting season will run concurrent with the late muzzleloader season in the Northern Zone.
The Northern Zone regular season will now begin on the 2nd Saturday after Columbus Day each year (October 20, 2012 this season).
- Deer Management Permits (DMPs, "doe tags") may be used in all seasons in the Northern Zone. DMPs may only be used in the Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) for which they are issued.
- Mandatory antler restrictions (3 points on one side minimum) are now in effect in WMUs 3A, 4G, 4O, 4P, 4R, 4S, and 4W during all seasons for all hunters 17 years and older.
- All of Suffolk County will be open for the special January firearms season, subject to local discharge ordinances.
- A Deer Management Focus Area in central Tompkins County will intensify use of hunting to assist communities in the Ithaca area with the burden of overabundant deer populations.
- Bear hunting seasons will run concurrently with the newly adjusted deer seasons.
- New legislation now allows use of rifles for big game hunting in Cayuga County.
More detail for each of these regulation changes is available in the 2012-2013 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide (http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37136.html).
Anglers should be aware that while the majority of fishing regulations have not changed, some changes were made for the 2012-13 season. Some of these changes were made on popular fishing waters such as Lake Erie, the Upper Niagara River, the Salmon River, Great Lakes tributaries and Oneida Lake. Anglers are advised to review the 2012-13 Fishing Regulations Guide (http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/fishing.html) to determine if regulations changes have occurred on waters they intend to fish.
Deer Management Permits
Deer Management Permits (DMPs) will be available at all license issuing outlets and by phone, internet or mail, from August 13, 2012 through close of business October 1, 2012. DMPs are issued through a random selection process at the point of sale, and customers who are selected for DMPs will receive their permits immediately. Chances of selection (http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/30409.html) in each WMU are available at License Issuing Agent locations, or on the DMP Hotline at 1-866-472-4332. Chances of getting a DMP remain the same throughout the application period - hunters do not need to rush to apply for a DMP on the first day of sale.
If a significant number of DMPs are still available in a WMU after October 1, leftover DMP sales will commence on November 1, 2012 and will continue on a first-come/first-serve basis until the end of the hunting season or until all DMPs have been issued in the WMU. Additionally, Bonus DMPs will be available in the bowhunting-only WMUs 3S, 4J, and 8C and in WMUs 1C, 9A and possible others. For information about Bonus DMPs see http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/10001.html.
The target DMP allocation for 2012 varies by unit depending on the management objective, but overall DEC intends to issue about 10 to12 percent more DMPs than in 2011. In addition to the Adirondack and Tug Hill units where DMPs are not aut