Although data characterizes New York as one of the least favorite states to hunt deer, there are a handful of places we sure would love to hunt.
When you mention New York to most people, New York City is the first thing that comes to mind. With that, the words “New York” and “deer hunting” are seldom used together in a sentence, unless you’re native to upstate New York.
The Empire State may not harness the same quality whitetails as Kansas, Illinois or Iowa, but it sure has its secret spots. Public and private, every state holds some quality places to hunt. Here are five in New York we’d love to try.
1. Fort Drum Military Base
Home to the Army’s 10th Mountain Division and some of the largest whitetails in New York State, the Army base is completely fenced in and hones roughly 42 deer per square mile, according to their survey. Despite the hard winters, large numbers of deer reside within the military base. A ten-year average of 61 deer are harvested off of the base annually. Many hunters and locals claim Fort Drum holds some of the biggest bucks they’ve ever seen in the Jefferson County and surrounding region, and many times, they are seen walking around with no bother.
Fort Drum offers hunting to the public through a qualification process and by permit only. Access on to the base sometimes can be tricky, depending on the level of security the base is under. If you are a bow hunter, you can hunt an even better location within the base. The cantonment area has strict access and set of rules that allows hunters to gain access to. If you can qualify and gain access to the military base, you may just be in luck this hunting season.
2. Charlie Alsheimer’s Farm
One of the most respected and knowledgeable whitetail biologists resides in the great state of New York, and he has built a whitetail haven. Located in Western New York, Steuben County, Alsheimer owns 215-acre farm that holds some of the largest whitetail bucks in the state of New York.
Alsheimer has conducted extensive studies to help hunters with his rut predictions: in particular, the rutting moon research he has completed over the course of 20 years has been extremely influential. The farm is said to include multiple random fences within the property to allow Mr. Alsheimer to take photographs of deer jumping various fences. By leaps and bounds, his quality deer management tactics have made his farm a target of ours for years (and, if he ever reads this, I am always available to make a trip back to my home state to join in on a hunt with a man who has taught me so much).
3. Adirondack Mountain Region
New York State is home to one of the most beautiful mountain regions in all of the United States, featuring fascinating views often heavily populated with whitetail deer. We traveled to Whiteface Mountain this summer to put the Nikon Arrow ID 3000 Rangefinder to the test and had deer feeding out of our hands everywhere.
Although many towns see several, domesticated deer, the large, hard-to-hunt whitetails reside deep in the woods. If you are willing to go off the beaten path and put in the foot miles, you can find the Adirondacks will pay you with success. Surrounding the mountains is the Adirondack Park region, which many have said to have lost its quality in the deer herd. Lack of forest management, increase in predators, hard winters and poachers have pushed deer out of the areas that used to see high populations. Harvest numbers in the park region have decreased, but for the dedicated, hard hunters, the mountain region will pay off. Strap on your boots, pack some food and safety gear, and head into one of New York State’s most beautiful locations to hunt. Even if you leave empty handed, you will be amazed at the things you’ll see.
4. Suffolk County
At the end of World War II, Long Island consisted of a decent amount of farm land. There seemed to be no stop to the wave of development that took over Suffolk County after the war, and the number of farms decreased drastically. With the increase of the urban population and decrease of farm land, deer had to find new alternatives. The herds of deer relocated to small pockets of land to call home. The farms that were left held largely populated deer herds. These deer herds still today exist and despite the nearby urban population, hunting on these farms, and nearby, have deemed quite successful. The number of public places to hunt are limited; however, those who have access to the private “honey holes” can find success within.
5. Steuben County
Very popular for deer hunting, Steuben County is home to the largest number of harvested deer annually. The county is home to Charlie Alsheimer as mentioned earlier and surrounding him are successful and happy deer hunters. To the west of Steuben County is Alleghany County. Alleghany holds the record Typical and Non-Typical Whitetail Deer taken with a rifle in the state. It is located on the southern border of New York and has over 28,000 acres of public hunting land. More trophy whitetail deer are harvested in Steuben County than any other county in New York. That being said, Steuben County is the number-one place we want to hunt in New York this season.
Do you hunt in any of these areas? Are you familiar with these locations? Did we miss any? Please share and comment!