Hunting and trapping licenses for the 2015-16 season are now available for purchase from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

Sporting licenses and permits can be purchased at one of DEC’s 1,000+ license sales outlets statewide. Licenses can also be ordered by telephone or online. The 2015-16 hunting and trapping licenses are valid for one year from Sept. 1, 2015 to August 31, 2016. Fishing licenses and recreational marine fishing registrations are 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, last year New York streamlined the hunting and fishing license structure, made it consistent for residents and non-residents and reduced license fees. Some hunters and anglers may not be familiar with these license changes, but licensing-issuing agents can provide assistance and ensure that license buyers secure all the desired permits and privileges. Details are available at the DEC website,

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. 1.

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. All first-time hunters must pass one or more courses before they can get a hunting license in New York. Visit the Sportsman Education page on the DEC website to learn more and find a free course near you.