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Bird Hunting in New York

Bird Hunting in New York

A woodcock hunter in New York with his bird dog.

Bird Hunting in New York—from Ruffed Grouse to Pheasant

Big lights, big buildings, and big game baseball players typically come to mind when anyone mentions New York. While this may be true in the five boroughs that split the upstate and Long Island, bird hunting New York is truly phenomenal. Here’s what to expect if you want to go bird hunting in New York.

Ruffed Grouse

The true “King of Birds” will always be number one on a Project Upland list, and for good reason here. The best bird hunting New York has to offer very well may be Ruffed Grouse hunting. Grouse are found throughout the upstate portion of New York, with the Catskill and Adirondack mountains getting the most fame. Yet, what most people who are bird hunting New York don’t realize is that the logging industry throughout the central regions of the state offer amazing opportunities as well.

New York’s Ruffed Grouse season runs from September 20-February 28 in the Northern Zone and October 1-February 28 in the Southern Zone.

Check out the New York Ruffed Grouse Hunting Film: Because They’re Wild

American woodcock

Bird hunting New York for American woodcock is simply phenomenal. Boasting both a resident population and a flight zone for migratory birds, action can be great for those who hunt with or without dogs. Woodcock offer a great mixed bag hunt in conjunction with fall time ruffed grouse seasons.

New York’s Woodcock season runs from October 1November 14

Snipe and Rails

Wilson’s snipe and rails are becoming more and more popular to hunt, thanks to outlets like Project Upland distinguishing the real snipe hunting from the childhood prank.  Upstate New York has a snipe and rail season, but Long Island does not.  This still leaves a lot of opportunity for those looking to go bird hunting in New York.

New York Snipe and Rails season runs from September 1November 9.

(Governed by Federal migratory law. HIP Survey required. Only non-toxic shot allowed)

Bobwhite Quail

Bobwhite Quail offer limited opportunities for bird hunting New York in Putnam, Orange, and on Long Island. There are plenty of hunting clubs and outfitters who stock quail and chukars. This offers another opportunity for bird hunting New York.

Bobwhite quail season runs from October 1February 28 with a daily bag limit of 4 and a season limit of 10 in Orange County. In Putnam County, it’s from November 1February 28 with a daily bag limit of 6 and a season bag limit of 40 on Long Island.


An Asian friend of upland hunting, pheasants are established throughout upstate and Long Island with small wild populations surviving in the Lake Plains region of Western New York. There are stocking efforts and stocking sites throughout the rest of the state offering a great opportunity for bird hunting New York. You can find out more information on release sites here.

Pheasant season varies greatly as to when, where, and how many. If you’re looking into bird hunting New York for pheasants, you can find the exact season dates and bag limits here.

All season dates on are tentative at the time of the article’s release. Please check season dates on the proper department website for each state you plan on hunting. Visit New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation for the most up to date information. 

View Comments (2)
  • Good article. Thank you. This will be my first season bird hunting and I live in “lower NY.” I’d appreciate any links to specific places to hunt or clubs open to teaching a new hunter the craft of bird hunting.

    • That is a great idea Bob! We will have the article updated with links to local chapters for bird hunting groups, etc. In the meantime I would suggest looking into the Mid-Hudson chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society or the Hudson Valley NAVHDA Chapter.

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