DEC: Hunting and Trapping Newsletter

Attention Turkey Hunters: Hunt Safe, Hunt Smart!

Women with a turkey she just took

Spring turkey hunting season starts May 1, and the youth turkey hunting weekend is April 25-26.

DEC advises every hunter to hunt safe and smart. Hunting safe means treating every firearm as if it is loaded, keeping your muzzle pointed in a safe direction, keeping your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot, and knowing your target and beyond, but it also means following social distancing and other guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Purchase your license and/or turkey permit online to avoid visiting busy stores or because stores may be closed or have limited hours. Licenses and tags purchased online take 10-14 days to arrive, so online purchases for the youth turkey hunt should be made by April 10 and for the regular season by April 16.
  • Hunt close to home. Opt for day trips over staying at a hunting camp to avoid close contact with other hunters.
  • Avoid crowds at parking areas and other locations where people congregate. Keep a distance of six feet or more from others.
  • Avoid high-traffic destinations. If a hunting location is crowded, choose a different spot or time to visit. For alternative hunting locations visit DEC’s website.
  • Hunt alone. If you do happen to hunt with a buddy (someone you don’t already live with), take separate vehicles to your hunting location and make sure to maintain at least six feet between you both. Only share a hunting blind with someone you’ve been in continuous close contact with for the past two weeks.
  • Carry hand sanitizer and avoid touching your face. Remember to wash your mouth calls after handling.
  • If you’re not feeling well, stay home. Anyone 70 and older or with a compromised immune system should postpone their trip.

Online Hunter Education Course Available For NY Hunters 

Charles Albanese

First-time hunters who want to hunt during New York’s turkey hunting seasons must first earn a hunter education certificate prior to purchasing their first hunting license. This applies to both the regular season, May 1-31, and the youth (ages 12-15) turkey hunting weekend April 25-26. Unfortunately, all traditional hunter education courses have been canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, leaving many new hunters unable to get a certificate before spring turkey season.

Now there is a new option for earning a hunter education certificate. For a limited time, first-time hunters in New York can complete the required hunter education course entirely online.

The online course is available to anyone ages 11 and older and can be completed from a computer, tablet, or smart phone at any time. Students who complete the online course and virtual field day, and pass the final exam, will receive their hunter education certificate and can purchase a hunting license. Only those hunters ages 12 or older may purchase a license and head afield this spring. 

The cost of the course is $19.95. The online course will be available April 15 through June 30, 2020 on the Kalkomey website.