Hunting and trapping licenses, and Deer Management Permits (DMPs) for the 2014-15 season are now available for purchase, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

“New York is home to some of the best hunting, trapping and fishing opportunities in the nation,” Commissioner Joe Martens said. “Hunting and trapping licenses and the DMPs will enable sportsmen and sportswomen to enjoy these outdoor opportunities for the 2014-15 season.”

Sporting licenses and permits can be purchased at one of DEC’s 1,100 license sales outlets statewide. Licenses can also be ordered by telephone or online. The 2014-2015 hunting and trapping licenses are valid for one year beginning Sept. 1, 2014. (Under a new law that took effect in February, fishing licenses and recreational marine fishing registrations are now valid for 365 days from date-of-purchase.)

Funds from the sale of all sporting licenses are deposited into the Conservation Fund, which is used to manage New York’s fish and wildlife populations and protect and manage fish and wildlife habitat.

As part of the NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, New York streamlined the hunting and fishing license structure, made it consistent for resident and non-residents, and reduced license fees. Some hunters and anglers may not be familiar with these license changes, but licensing-issuing agents are prepared to provide assistance and ensure the license buyers secure all the desired permits and privileges. Highlights of the changes are available on the DEC website at www.dec.ny.gov.

In addition, the new hunting and trapping regulation guides are available at all license issuing outlets, as well as on the DEC website. New fishing regulations guide will be available next spring.

The DEC Call Center at 1-866-933-2257 is accessible from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday through Oct. 4 for people with questions regarding license purchases. Regular Call Center weekday hours from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. will resume on Oct. 5.

To facilitate the purchase of a sporting license, individuals should have the following items ready when buying a license: complete name and address information, DEC 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, a credit card and card expiration date.

Hunting license purchases require individuals to provide proof of a hunting education certification or a copy of a previous license, if this information is not already contained in their sporting license system file.

Important updates for

Upon finalization of regulations, crossbows will be allowed to take big game and small game for the 2014-15 seasons.

Setback distances for the discharge of a bow and crossbow have been reduced to 150 feet and 250 feet, respectively.

Expanded bear hunting opportunities are available this fall, with bear hunting allowed in additional wildlife management units that are open to bear hunting and the establishment of an early bear season in the southern zone.