Changes are coming for hunters and sporting enthusiasts in New York State.

Access to tags and sporting licenses will be easier in 2024.

Easier, Quicker Access

The state sporting licenses and carcass tags paper is changing. Instead of the special stock synthetic paper currently being used, by August 1, it'll be plain paper.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) says the change modernizes the license purchasing process and will allow easier, quicker access. Online licenses and tags can soon be printed at home.

“DEC’s transition to paper tags will provide the sporting community with a streamlined process to go afield,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “This cost-effective shift to paper tags will reduce the state’s carbon footprint and ensure our sporting license program is at the forefront of emerging technologies."

Licenses can still be purchased in person at an issuing agent, online, or over the phone. The change provides flexibility in getting the license, including printing at the point-of-sale or email and print-at-home.

Online Proof & Reporting Harvests

If hunters or anglers are in the field and need to show proof of a license, it can now be done electronically through the HuntFishNY mobile app. Reporting game harvests is faster and easier on the app too.

The new tags and licenses will be in effect for the 2024-25 license year, beginning August 1, 2024. Lifetime license holders will receive their 2024-25 licenses and tags on plain paper by mail by September 1, 2024.

There are several days in 2024 when you enjoy fishing without a license.

2024 Free Fishing Days Schedule

February 17-18 (President's Day Weekend)
June 29-30
September 28 (National Hunting and Fishing Day)
November 11 (Veterans Day)

The change to plain paper does not apply to the spring 2024 turkey season.

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Gallery Credit: Credit - Polly McAdams