Can I Take A Doe During Bow Hunting Nys

As an avid bow hunter in New York state, one question that comes up frequently is whether or not it is legal to take a doe during bow hunting season. This is a topic that often stirs up debate among hunters, as regulations can vary from state to state and even within different regions of the same state. In this article, I will dive deep into the regulations and provide my personal take on the matter.

Before we delve into the specifics of hunting regulations, it’s important to understand the fundamental reasons behind them. Wildlife management plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy and sustainable populations of deer and other game animals. By implementing hunting regulations, the state aims to strike a balance between preserving the population and providing recreational opportunities for hunters.

The Regulations

In New York state, bow hunting regulations are set by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). As of the time of writing this article, the general rule is that bow hunters are allowed to take antlerless deer (does) during specified seasons and in certain designated areas.

However, it’s important to note that the specific regulations can vary depending on the Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) you are hunting in. Some WMUs have restrictions on doe harvest, while others may have an unlimited doe harvest during bow season. It is absolutely crucial for hunters to familiarize themselves with the regulations for the specific area they plan to hunt in.

To determine the regulations for the WMU you intend to hunt in, you can consult the DEC’s hunting regulations guide, which is available on their official website. This guide provides detailed information on bag limits, hunting seasons, and other important considerations. It’s always wise to double-check the regulations each year, as they can occasionally change.

Personal Commentary

Now, let’s shift gears and talk about my personal take on harvesting does during bow hunting season in New York state. In my opinion, taking a doe can be a valuable contribution to wildlife management and can help maintain a healthy deer population. By targeting does, hunters play a crucial role in managing the ratio of bucks to does, which can ultimately have a positive impact on the health of the deer herd.

Additionally, harvesting a doe can provide a rewarding and fulfilling hunting experience. It requires patience, skill, and careful shot placement. As a bow hunter, I believe it’s important to challenge myself and strive for ethical and responsible hunting practices. Taking a doe can be a way to test my abilities, while also contributing to wildlife conservation efforts.


In conclusion, the legality of taking a doe during bow hunting season in New York state depends on the specific regulations set by the DEC for the Wildlife Management Unit you are hunting in. It’s important to consult the official hunting regulations guide and familiarize yourself with the rules for your area. Personally, I believe that hunting does can be a valuable contribution to wildlife management and provide a fulfilling hunting experience. Let’s always remember to hunt ethically, responsibly, and within the boundaries of the law.