Get ready for the Spring 2017 Turkey hunting season. all of May throughout NY State.There are a a lot of changes, like higher license fees and changes in WMU - wildlife management area zone boundaries.. Remember, in the Adirondacks only there's one turkey bag limit for Fall season
Northern Zone regular gun deer season begins 10/25 and goes to 12/7, the same as the bear season. Archery starts on 9/27 and ends 10/24. Muzzle loading deer starts on 10/18 - 10/24 in the Northern Zone. In the parts of the Northern Zone bordering Lake Champlain and the St. Lawrence, there is an additional muzzle loading season from 12/8 - 12/14. Except in one small zone in the SW 'Daks, you can shoot either male or female with muzzle loaders..
Southern Zone: BOW 10/1 - 11/15 AND 12/9 - 12/17; GUN 11/16 - 12/8
NOTE: LEGALY ANTLERED DEER = A legally antlered deer must have at least one antler that is three inches or longer.
The Adirondacks is home to some of the most challenging hunting in America. In the past, Adirondack hunting camps like Whitehouse were famous. There are less deer than the more agricultural parts of the state, but they are a wily prey to hunt in the dense brush and swamps of the wilderness areas and are fairly plentiful lately. The Adirondacks is completely in the Northern - Rifle Zone of the hunting regulations, with the early, mid-October deer season. Unfortunately, there are no doe permits in the Adirondacks. But there are two black powder rifles seasons, before and after the regular gun season. Besides the much smaller Catskill and Allegheny Parks, it is the only place open for black bear hunting in New York State, state residents only. Moose is making a comeback and may be opened to limited hunting. The biggest success story is the wild turkey, which was re-introduced twenty years ago and is now a big sport. But you can only take one bird in the fall in the Northern Zone.
In the past, muzzle loaders could only use a round ball and open sights. Also, a shotgun was defined as a smoothbore long arm. Now, most black powder rifles are modern in-line designs and you can use a bullet and telescopic sights. Telescopic sights are not permitted during the special deer muzzle loader-only seasons. You can now legally use rifled barrels on shotguns. Legal deer hunting shotguns have been redefined as any gun, 20 gauge or larger, firing a mostly plastic shell. Rifled shotgun barrels are legal for deer in both shotgun and rifle zones. Shotguns and rifles must have a 20" or longer barrel, 20 ga. and larger for shotguns, and 44 cal. minimum for muzzle. Any centerfire rifle cartridge is legal, but anything under 6mm is no good for deer or bear, especially in the dense brush. The favorite Adirondack rifles are lever actions 30-30, 32 Win. and 35 Rem, larger is better. They are small & light, easy to swing in the brush and quick on the reload. Long range shots are rare, except on the Northern plateau or a farm. Think real big guns for bear, like 12 & 10 gauge slugs or 8mm and bigger magnums.
Be at least 500'(130m) from any occupied house or dwelling when hunting or shooting, unless it's yours or you have explicit permission.
Don't shoot over any public road.
Unless you made special arrangements with the NY State Police, out-of-staters leave your handguns at home or risk going afoul of NYS gun laws, 1 year minimum.
Find a good backstop, like a sand pit, for target shooting. Make sure you are not trespassing either. It's against the law to shoot into live trees on state land, so don't nail targets to trees.
Obey all hunting and firearm regulations. They are complicated so familiarize yourself beforehand.
No loaded guns in or on a motor vehicle (like your car) or motor boat. That includes snowmobiles, atvs and dirt bikes, except for special handicap permits. You can have a loaded gun on a motor boat if the motor is switched off. Sailboats must have their sails furled before you can load your gun. Also, both sail and motor boats also have to be stopped or just drifting before it's legal to load the guns. This is a crime and you can get arrested for this
Treat any gun as loaded. Always point it in safe direction, open the action, drop the magazine and unload it before handling. Always assume it's loaded!
Know how to field strip and clean you gun and do it before and after a day in the field. Go easy on the oil though, it will attract dirt. A few drops is all you need.
Obtain landowner's permission before using his land and obey other's land boundaries. Remember, 55% of the Adirondack Parks is private land.
Don't hunt in village or city boundaries or near settlements
Use shotgun slugs for deer anytime there are a lot of other folks around. There's a 800' lethal radius for a slug versus 8000' radius for a high powered rifle bullet. Since area = pi x radius x radius, that's over 100 times the lethal zone.
Though shotguns have a shorter range, observe the same safety procedures as with a rifle. Remember, it's your responsibility to know who is around. Most hunting gunfire accidents are from shotguns.
Police up your empty shell casings and trash! Take it slow and easy with your off-road driving. Be a good outdoors person!
Don't leave carcasses and guts laying around. Bury them or haul them to a landfill, better yet find a professional skinner/dresser! Nothing grosses out a non-hunter more than encountering some grisly remains on the trail. Ditto for fishermen!
Tree stands can't be nailed in and must be removed at the end of the season on state land.
Baiting is illegal. Crops in fields like apples and corn can be hunted on as long as the crops weren't intentionally dropped there.
Back tags are not required in the Northern Zone.
Whether hunting or hiking, wear blaze orange during hunting season. Turkey and waterfowl hunters should hang a blaze orange vest or something orange near their blind or stand, when in full camo.
Note: this Site is run by an itinerant webmaster & Adirondack wanderer who has absolutely no connection to NY State, any departments of transportation , any highway departments or any agency who has anything to do with the Northway, or any other routes for that matter.