Laws for Hunting Bobcats in New York

The rules for hunting bobcats in New York could almost be called “liberal.” New York allows bobcat hunting at night; the time of day, most bobcats are also out hunting. This regulation makes New York one of the best states for pursuing these secretive and reclusive predators.

Always make sure you check for a read any new updates or changes to the laws of this state. You bear full responsibility for any actions you take while hunting.

Laws for hunting bobcats in New York
Laws for hunting bobcats in New York.

In New York, the season for bobcat hunting is either closed or runs from Oct. 25 – Feb. 15 or Oct. 25 – Nov. 19, depending on which Wildlife Management Unit you are hunting in. A license is required, but there are no bag limits, and night hunting is permitted.

Purchase a New York bobcat hunting license here.

Check out all the New York Hunting Seasons.

Related: Read my article on the three vital tips for successful bobcat hunters.

Related: Learn the rules for hunting fox in New York.

Related: If you want to know the laws for hunting coyotes in New York click here.

Rules for hunting bobcats in New York.

You might surprised by how few rules we have regarding bobcat hunting in New York.

The things you cannot use:

  • No non-compliant AR’s. AR’s must be NYS compliant. Do not just bring one in from another state, either. If you are a nonresident using your own firearm, check out state’s firearms laws.
  • No suppressors. These devices are illegal in New York.
  • No automatic weapons.

Things you can use:

  1. Electronic callers.
  2. Bait.
  3. Night vision, infrared, and thermal riflescopes.

Related: If this is your first time hunting bobcats in New York, I recommend the following articles:

  1. What color light to use for hunting predators—click here.
  2. The best infrared scope for new predator hunters—click here.
  3. The best thermal scope for new predator hunters.

Can you shoot a problem bobcat on your property?

In New York, under certain, well-defined circumstances, yes.

Read the specific law here.

Check out my night hunting predator books!

Hunting bobcats in New York requires lots of land.

The more properties have to hunt on, the more bobcats you will take in NY.

If you have limited properties, you must use them wisely.

Do not over hunt them. Read this article.

Know how far apart you stand must be. Learn how to here.

At the very least, you have to ask for permission to hunt private property. Here are a few tips on how to ask.

Hunting bobcats in New York on public land.

New york has a lot of public land. You can learn how to find and access it here.

If there is a trick to hunting public land in New York, it is this—its close range, shotgun work. Make sure you know how to hunt predators with a shotgun.

Trespassing Laws for hunters in New York.

The Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) (leaves DEC website) does not allow hunters to enter private property without permission or to use private property to access public lands and waters. Hunters must avoid using private property for access to public lands and waters and must not enter areas posted with a warning for trespass. Trespassing is illegal even on unposted property. At any time, anyone asked to leave a property (posted or not) by the landowner, occupant, or authorized person, must do so immediately.

If a hunter wounds game, they must obtain permission from the landowner prior to accessing the land in pursuit of the wounded game. If permission is refused, the hunter may not access the property in pursuit. DEC cannot compel a landowner to grant access. If the hunter has reason to believe the landowner intends to illegally possess the wounded game, that should be reported to a NYS Environmental Conservation Officer.

Trespassing on areas posted against trespass pursuant to the Environmental Conservation Law is punishable by a fine of up to $250 and/or up to 15 days in jail.

Dennis V. Gilmore Jr.

Dennis V. Gilmore Jr. is a former Marine Sergeant and the author of several books, including two on night hunting coyotes and red and gray fox. He has written several hundred articles on predator hunting for

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