Rifle Hunting in Ontario County, New York

by June Farquhar
Rifle hunting is legal in portions of Ontario County, New York.

Rifle hunting is legal in portions of Ontario County, New York.

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Rifle hunting in Ontario County, New York, is overseen by the state. Much of the land on which big and small game is hunted is managed by state and federal agencies. Licenses, permits and tags help the agencies to manage the wildlife and prevent the endangerment of species. Hunting with a rifle was illegal on some hunting land in Ontario County in June 2011.

Rifle Law

Rifle hunting is against the law south of Route 5 and Route 20 in Ontario County. County supervisors rejected a law in March 2011 that would have allowed the use of rifles there for big game hunting. The vote was not unanimous. One supervisor, Dodie Huber, who voted for allowing rifle hunting in the area, advised sportsmen groups to get together and circulate a petition to present to their state representatives.

Land Management

Hunting big game with a rifle where it is legal to do so in Ontario County requires the hunter to have a license. Licenses are given by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation so that the agency may better manage the land and adjust hunting permits to balance supply and demand. If there is no control over the taking of animals, there is the possibility of a species becoming extinct, according to the department. Even those allowed to hunt for free in Ontario County, such as Native Americans, must have a license to hunt (though some reservations offer automated licenses).


To be eligible for a hunting license to use a rifle in Ontario County, the hunter must be a resident of New York (merely owning property in New York does not qualify as being a resident). Those who are getting a hunting license for the first time must take a 10-hour hunting course given by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation. Children under 12 in Ontario County may not hunt wildlife and are not eligible for hunting licenses.

Licensee Responsibility

A hunting license in Ontario County is valid from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30. It may only be used by the person to whom it was issued and only one big game hunting license may be purchased in a year. Licenses do not permit a hunter to hunt on private property. Upon request, a licensee must show his license or permit to a law enforcement officer or person representing the manager of the land being hunted on. It is the licensee's responsibility to make sure all the information on the license or permit is correct. Incorrect information on the license renders the license invalid.

About the Author

June Farquhar has been writing for newspapers and special publications in California since 1998. She's the recipient of a press club award for organizing and designing a 42-page "Red Ribbon Week" tabloid, which received recognition from the California State Assembly and the U.S. House of Representatives. Farquhar studied newspaper journalism at Bakersfield College.

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