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Hunting Seasons - High Peaks

Unlike the national park system, public lands within the Adirondack and Catskill state parks are open to sport hunting. There are separate rules and seasons for each type of hunting (small game, waterfowl, and big game), but it is the big-game season, i.e. deer and bear, that is most likely to concern hikers.

During any of these open seasons, wear a bright-colored outer garment for safety; orange is recommended. The chance of encountering hunters on mountain trails in this region is relatively small because the game being pursued do not favor the steeper mountain slopes.

Big-game seasons in the Adirondacks are usually as follows:

  • Early Bear Season: Begins the first Saturday after the second Monday in September and continues for four weeks-
  • Archery Season ( deer and bear): September 27 to opening of the regular season.
  • Muzzle-loading Season (deer and bear): The seven days prior to the opening of regular season.
  • Regular Season: Next-to-last Saturday in October through the first Sunday in December.

On occasion, special situations require DEC to modify the usual dates of hunting seasons.

NOTE: The private land portions of the Elk-Lake Marcy Trail (trail 118) and the Dix Trail (trail 119) are closed to the public during big-game hunting season.

The Adirondack Mountain Club does not promote hunting as one of its organized activities, but it does recognize that sport hunting, when carried out in compliance with the game laws administered by the DEC, is a legitimate sporting activity.