What are the laws for hunting fox in New York? This article covers many of the fundamental laws you will need to know to get started. It also provides information such as seasons, harvest limits, and required permits for bobcat hunting in New York. It is not a legal document and is not intended to cover all hunting laws and regulations.
In New York, the fox hunting season runs from October 25th to Feb 15th statewide, except Long Island—where the season runs from Nov. to Feb. 25th. A valid hunting license is required. Legal shooting hours are unrestricted. There are no bag limits.
Purchase a New York hunting license here.
Check out all the New York Hunting Seasons.
First time hunting fox? Check out these articles:
Read: How to call in a fox.
Read: How to use tracks and scat to hunt a fox.
Related: Read the laws for hunting coyotes in New York.
Related: Read the laws for hunting bobcats in New York.
Rules for hunting fox in New York.
You might surprised by how few rules we have regarding fox 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:
- Electronic callers.
- Night vision, infrared, and thermal riflescopes.
Related: If this is your first time hunting fox in New York, I recommend the following articles:
- What color light to use for hunting predators—click here.
- The best infrared scope for new predator hunters—click here.
- The best thermal scope for new predator hunters.
Predator callers and decoys. Are legal to use.
If you are unfamiliar with mouth and hand calls, here’s two articles with instructional videos that will help you learn to use them.
Check electronic predator caller prices here.
Need more land to hunt? Read here to discover 8 ways to get permission to hunt private property.
Can you shoot a problem fox on your property?
In New York, under certain, well-defined circumstances, yes.
Read the specific law here.
Check out my night hunting predator books!
Discharging a firearm while hunting fox near Dwellings
The Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) generally prohibits discharge of firearms within 500 feet of a dwelling or other occupied structure, unless permission is received from the owner. However, for waterfowl hunting, the NYS Legislature recognized that human settlement patterns and waterfowl habits warranted special consideration. When hunting ducks or geese that congregate on near-shore waters, it is safer for a hunter to shoot away from shore than to shoot toward shore from open water. In recognition of this, the ECL specifies that when hunting waterfowl and shooting over water, discharge of firearms within 500 feet of a dwelling is allowed, as long as there is not any dwelling, public structure, livestock, or person within 500 feet of the shooter in the direction they are shooting.
Your responsibilities while hunting fox in New York
Hunter behavior is often scrutinized by the public. Inappropriate actions or simple poor judgment by just a few hunters can lead to controversy and result in the call for additional laws, regulations, or local ordinances that would restrict all hunters.
It is important that hunters be aware of and obey all state hunting laws, as well as any local discharge ordinances. When using public lands and waters, it is essential that hunters access these areas legally.
Hunters also must show ethical and courteous behavior to local residents. A little courtesy and time spent before a hunt can go a long way to avoid or minimize problems. Here are some suggestions:
- Consider contacting landowners adjacent to where you will be hunting, well in advance of your hunt. Let them know when and where you will be hunting. They may be less concerned if you only plan to hunt a few days or at certain times of the day.
- Take the time to explain to the landowner your intent to abide by the laws and regulations pertaining to hunting, your familiarity with the locations of houses, and your desire to be safe.
- Plan out your shooting directions, and verify that the spot you choose to hunt is safe and in compliance with the law. Keep in mind that shot pellets, especially when discharged at a high angle, can sometimes travel farther than 500 feet.
- Identify any concerns the landowner may have and discuss them before you go hunting.
- Leave your hunting location as clean as you found it. Be sure to pick up your empty shell casings and other litter you may find.
- In urban and suburban areas, be particularly mindful that prior permission from neighboring landowners is necessary to allow you to track and/or retrieve wounded game.