ITHACA, N.Y. – With deer hunting season underway across the Southern Tier, the Ithaca Police Department wants to remind residents and visitors that hunting is not allowed within the City of Ithaca.

In a press release, the police department highlighted city rules limiting hunting, trapping and weapon use.

According to Ithaca City Code, all hunting, including but not limited to deer hunting, is prohibited within city limits. Trapping is also prohibited, with exceptions for mice and rats and traps placed in some unprotected waterways.

Firearms and other weapons are regulated within city limits. With exceptions for self-defense, official duties and supervised indoor rifle ranges, “No person shall discharge any firearm, air gun, spring gun, slingshot or other instrument or weapon within the city,” according to city code. IPD also reiterated that firearm possession is prohibited in Stewart Park.

People who violate any of the city’s hunting, trapping or firearms codes can be fined up to $250 or face up to 15 days in jail.

IPD provided an aerial map of the Cayuga inlet area to clarify city boundaries. Hunting is prohibited within the outlined area. (Courtesy of Ithaca Police Department)

Hunting is also prohibited within the Village of Cayuga Heights and the Village of Lansing, with some exceptions in Lansing for approved deer management plans on private property. Rifle hunting is prohibited throughout Tompkins County.

Hunting is allowed in Buttermilk Falls and Robert Treman State Parks, but only with a bow or crossbow. A special permit is required to hunt in the parks.

Despite bans in the most densely populated parts of Tompkins, hunters don’t need to go far to bag bucks or other game.

The regular deer hunting season continues until Dec. 9, and much of Tompkins County falls within a Deer Management Focus Area, meaning licensed hunters are eligible for free permits granting extra hunting time and carcass tags. The DMFA program is managed by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation to curb deer overpopulation.

Central Tompkins County falls within a Deer Management Focus Area, meaning hunters are eligible for extra tags and a longer season. (NYS DEC)

Hunters can also take various protected small game and birds until mid-winter, outside of areas where hunting is prohibited. Quail, grouse, pheasants, cottontail rabbits, coyotes and weasels, among others, are in season. A full rundown of hunting seasons and regulations is available on the  NYS DEC site.

Devon Magliozzi

Devon Magliozzi is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at or 607-391-0328.