Hunting Seasons

New York State’s perennial chart topper when it comes to whitetail deer, Steuben County offers some of the best hunting in the entire Finger Lakes region for black bear, deer, turkey, and more.

“. . . located on the southern border of New York and has over 28,000 acres of public hunting land. More trophy whitetail deer are harvested in Steuben County than any other county in New York. That being said, Steuben County is the number-one place we want to hunt in New York this season.”

Dustin Prievo, Wide Open Spaces

Located in the “Southern Zone” of Region 8, Steuben County is not only New York State’s perennial chart topper for whitetail dear, it’s also a place were you can use bow, crossbow, muzzleloader, handgun, shotgun, and rifle for regular deer season, as well as early and regular bear seasons.

Here’s a printable PDF from the Department of Conservation with all the 2019-2020 Hunting Seasons.

Deer
Bob Magee

Deer Seasons (2020)

Regular & Bow Hunting Deer Seasons

  • October 1 - November 20: Early Bowhunting (October 1 through the Friday immediately preceding regular season)
  • November 21- December 13: Regular (opens Saturday, for 23 days beginning the third Saturday of November)
  • November 21 - December 22: Crossbow (see below for specifics)
         *November 21- December 13.(during regular firearms season using a Regular Big Game tag, DMPs, or DMAP tags)
         *December 14 - December 22 (during late muzzleloader season using Bow/Muzz tags, DMPs, DMAP tags,
          or an unfilled Regular Big Game tag -late season only) 
  • December 14 - December 22: Late Bowhunting (9 consecutive days immediately following the regular season)

Muzzleloading Season

December 14 - December 22: Deer of Either Sex

Note: crossbows may be used to hunt deer during Southern Zone Muzzleloader season.

For information about the Antler Restrictions Program, visit this page at the DEC.

Black Bear Near Corning
Brian Maloney

Black Bear Seasons (2020)

  • October 1 - November 20: Early Bowhunting (October 1 through the Friday immediately preceding regular season)
  • November 21- December 13: Regular (opens Saturday, for 23 days beginning the third Saturday of November)
  • November 21 - December 22: Crossbow (for additional crossbow options visit the DEC site here)
  • December 14 - December 22: Late Bowhunting (9 consecutive days immediately following the regular season)
  • December 14 - December 22: Late Muzzleloading (9 consecutive days immediately following the regular season)

Note: crossbows may be used to hunt bear during early bear seasons, muzzleloader seasons, and regular firearms seasons in Southern Zone.

Over 100 black bear were killed in Steuben County in 2017, making it one of the top counties in the entire state. More info here.

Wild Turkey Hunting
Bill Banaszewski

Turkey Hunting Seasons

Spring 2020 Season 

April 25 - April 26: Spring Youth Turkey Hunt
     Season Limit (one bearded turkey)

     Hunting Hours - One-half-hour before sunrise to noon

May 1 - May 31: Regular Spring Season

     Season Limit (two bearded turkeys - one bird per day)

     Hunting Hours - One-half-hour before sunrise to noon

Fall 2020 Season

October 19 - November 1

     Season Limit (1 (one) bird of either sex)

     Hunting Hours - Sunrise to Sunset


For more NYS Turkey Hunting Information, visit: https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/8366.html.

For information on hunting Migratory Game Birds or Crows, visit the DEC’s website: https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/28175.html. For specific 2020-2021 Waterfowl and Migratory Game Bird Seasons in Steuben County check out the Western Zone dates here.

Waterfowl Snow Geese Hunting Wildlife
Bill Banaszewski

Furbearer Hunting

Coyote, bobcat, raccoon, red fox, gray fox, opossum, skunk, weasel, mink, and muskrat may be hunted, but mink and muskrat may only be hunted under special conditions. For specific information, visit: https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/45559.html.

You may hunt furbearers using a handgun, shotgun, rifle, bow, or crossbow. All laws pertaining to the use of firearms apply.

Note - Crossbows may not be used while hunting with a dog for any small game, except for coyotes, in the Northern Zone.

For further information on implements permitted for use and other regulations, visit: https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/45559.html.

Red Fox
Bill Banaszewski

If you're planning a trip and want to know future hunting season dates:

Early Bowhunting - Deer & Bear
October 1 through the Friday immediately preceding regular season.

Regular - Deer & Bear
23 days beginning the third Saturday of November.

Late Bow and Muzzleloading - Deer & Bear
9 consecutive days immediately following the regular season.


For additional up-to-date information on hunting season dates, visit here

For Hunting Licenses and Regulations, click here.

For information on where to hunt in Steuben County, click here.

Bobcat Furbear Hunting Trapping Wildlife
Bill Banaszewski