Hunting and Fishing

Simply the Best
Hunt and fish in a place where the streams run clear and the forests retain their primeval lure. Are the deer bigger and fleeter here? Are the trout feistier and tastier? Sportsmen return to the Catskill Mountains year after year to recapture the unique Catskill outdoor experience. Native Americans called the Catskill Mountains, "Onteora', meaning land in the sky. The mountains of the Catskills were the Indian summer hunting grounds because so much wildlife abounded here. Today, wildlife is still in abundance in this pristine region which retains its wilderness qualities due to careful regulation.


State forests, which allow hunting and fishing, stretch across large areas of the Catskills. Some of New York City's largest reservoirs are located in the Catskills and access for fishing and hiking is allowed by permit. According to popular lore, fly fishing was born in the Catskills, which still provide some of the best  angling spots in the country. Try your closest Catskill stream or investigate some of these possibilities.

Rugged Yet Accessible
The Catskills offer a variety of terrain for outdoor activities, from the gentle foothills of Sullivan and Delaware counties to the higher peaks of Ulster and Greene counties. All are easily accessible from the New York State Thruway (I-87), which runs North and South through the state. Major connecting roads run west to east making most locations easily accessible and only a couple of hours from metro New York and other locations. 

Great Hunting, Views and Location
In addition to an abundance of wildlife, the Catskills provide breathtaking views. If you don't bag that deer or land that fish, you've probably come across some great views and can rest assured there's a really good restaurant and a comfy place to sleep nearby.  

Learn the Basics
Hunting and fishing in New York State is regulated by the Department of Environmental Conservation. An online guide to state rules and regulations gives the basics. Sporting licenses can be purchased online or at an outlet. Hunters must complete a mandatory hunter education course to obtain a hunting license.  

Where to Go
Although most hunting in New York State takes place on private lands, the Catskill region offers large areas of state land where hunting is permitted.  These regions are known as Wildlife Management Units (WMU) and are managed by the New York State Department of Conservation (DEP). 

Region 3 State lands
 include areas of Sullivan and Ulster County.  
Region 4 State lands
 include areas in Greene and Delaware County. 

New York City's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issues permits which allow access to watershed reservoirs lands and streams. Permit holders for NYC lands may also obtain a DEP Hunt Tag for deer and a Boat Tag for keeping a rowboat at one of the reservoirs for fishing. Reservoir waters may have special regulations for fishing so it's best to check before you go.