Blackout Will Prevent Sales of Hunting Licenses, so Buy Now

A temporary blackout is being imposed on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website, which will prevent hunters and anglers from purchasing licenses, registrations or reporting game kills.

Buying a licenseCommissioner Joe Martens announced that beginning Thursday, Dec. 26, the public will not be able to purchase hunting, fishing or trapping licenses, or secure a recreational marine fishing registration or report their harvested game. The temporary blackout period is due to a transition that DEC will undergo from the current computerized licensing system to a newly developed system.

This temporary blackout is expected to last approximately one to two weeks.

“In order to transfer the most current data and transition to the new system, we need to completely shut down license sales and game harvest reporting,” Martens said. “The loss of the ability to purchase a sporting license, associated stamp or permit, register to recreationally fish in New York’s marine waters or report a harvested deer or bear will be temporary and the public will be notified as soon the new system is accessible.”

Deer and bear season in Westchester County and deer season in Suffolk County will be open during at least a portion of the blackout period. Small game and waterfowl hunting seasons and many fishing seasons also remain open during this time.

Hunters are required, by law, to report deer, bear, and turkey harvested pursuant to a hunting license within seven days of taking the animal. During the blackout period, hunters will not be able to report their harvest; however, they will be given a seven-day grace period to report their harvest once the new system is up and running.

DEC is in the transition phase to a new system for computerized sporting license issuance and game harvest reporting. The current contract with the provider ends Dec. 31, 2013, and that provider will no longer be in sporting license business.

DEC’s new sporting license system is part of a larger, multi-agency effort in New York State to consolidate licensing systems and facilitate securing licenses in New York.

Hunters, anglers, and trappers need to purchase their licenses, stamps, and permits prior to Dec.26, 2013, in order to hunt or fish during the blackout period. Hunters are encouraged to purchase remaining first-come-first-served deer management permits (DMPs) prior to the Dec. 26 blackout period.

Sporting licenses are available at nearly 1,500 locations across New York State, via telephone (1-866-933-2257) and via the internet at For a list of license agents, visit DEC’s website.