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November 23, 2016

Dear Arnot Hunters:

We are pleased to make available Arnot’s 4200 acres for hunting.  We hope that you have a safe and productive season. 

There is some uncertainty among hunters about the Arnot Field Campus, its location and hunter access.  During the last year, the field campus area has been leased to another group.  It is no longer under our jurisdiction for hunters to access.  Therefore, no hunter access is permitted into the area or buildings that surround the field campus, including no access to the bathhouse or parking lots. The map (click here) illustrates the location of the field campus, a residence within the field campus, and a neighboring residence.  Please avoid these areas and ensure the state-mandated 500 foot no-shooting zone around a residence. Particular caution is urged near the field campus given the likelihood of increased human activity.

The forest road, past the “check-in” remains accessible to hunters. Please use appropriate caution on snow-covered or icy roads. 

Peter Smallidge
Arnot Forest Director


Due to unforeseen circumstances, there will be no DMAP permits available at the Arnot this year. They will be available for the 2017 Deer hunting season. To harvest a doe, you must use a 7R doe permit.

Hunting is allowed at the Arnot Forest during all regular NYS seasons. Hunters must obtain a special permit to hunt on the Arnot Forest, it is illegal to carry a firearm on Cornell University property without a permit. The Arnot Forest is open to the public during all hunting seasons, hunters must take caution during the hunting season.

Deadline for applying for hunting permit is October 15th. Prior to applying you must have your NY DEC hunting license and a personal e-mail address (not to be used by another hunter). Permit applications are only accepted online.

All questions pertaining to the Arnot Forest Hunting Program contact:

Although it is legal to hunt deer with rifles in Schuyler County,
they are NOT allowed to be used during deer season at the Arnot Forest.


NY State is blessed with a healthy and productive deer herd. White-tailed deer are revered by sportsmen and non-hunters for a variety of reasons. Through the 1900’s, NY’s deer herd rebounded from perhaps 20,000 to over 1,000,000. This remarkable recovery is due to wise management and improved habitat conditions. The total statewide deer harvest has more than doubled over the past 20 years. Unfortunately, in some parts of the state, the deer population has created health and economic concerns. Visit the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) website for more information:

DEC Bureau of Wildlife is responsible for maintaining deer population levels compatible with the carrying capacity of the habitat and human interests. Historically, management has been primarily focused on optimizing the reproductive capacity of the state’s deer herd through hunting regulations that restrict the harvest of does, while permitting more liberal harvest of bucks. Consequently, the sex ratio is skewed in favor of does and relatively few bucks live past 1.5 years of age.

Prime deer habitat in the Southern Tier, consisting of agriculture and forest/brush cover, supports population densities greater than 40 deer per square mile in some locations. Hunting, as under current regulations, may soon no longer be adequate to control deer populations as hunter numbers decrease and more land becomes inaccessible to hunting. In other northeastern states with similar histories, the explosive growth of the deer herd has resulted in unstable deer herds and significant damage to habitat and forest health.

Arnot Forest: The Arnot Forest (4,075 acres) is owned by Cornell University and managed by Cornell’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR). As part of NY’s Land Grant Education Institution, DNR is responsible for fulfilling the mission of conducting research, teaching, and delivering extension programs on issues of importance to the citizens of NYS. Forest management is a significant issue as nearly two-thirds of NY’s land is covered by forests. The DNR uses the Arnot Forest as a research base and demonstration forest from which to develop innovative programs for the citizens of the state. One of the primary management goals at the Arnot is the production and harvest of high-quality, high-value sawtimber. Unfortunately, similar to the situation across much of NY’s Southern Tier, the deer population at the Arnot has been too high to allow sufficient natural regeneration despite proper sawtimber management. In an effort to resolve this problem and gain valuable experience that may be applied elsewhere in the state, we have recently initiated studies designed to assess the impact deer are having on tree regeneration at the Forest. A critical component of this research is implementation of a deer hunting system that will reduce the overall deer population. As in most areas of the state, sport hunting is still the most effective manner by which to control deer populations. Sport hunting has been, and continues to be, totally compatible with the philosophy of multiple-use management at the Forest.

The Arnot Forest is mostly woodlands off Schuyler County Route 13 in the Towns of Van Etten (Schuyler County) and Newfield (Tompkins County).

Arnot Forest map information (here).

Cornell University Arnot Forest Hunting Program
Rules and Regulations

All hunters are expected to follow all Cornell University Arnot Forest Hunting Program Rules and Regulations, and to conduct themselves in a safe and ethical manner. Hunters that meet these criteria will remain eligible for annual renewals.

In addition to these general Cornell University Arnot Forest Deer Hunting Program Rules and Regulations, all hunting activities must be conducted in accordance with the conditions stated on the approved permit and all NYS DEC regulations.

Permits & Licenses

  • A Cornell University issued permit is required to legally hunt on University-owned lands. Hunters must possess a valid NYSDEC big game license before applying for a Cornell University Hunting Permit.
  • It is the hunter’s responsibility to know the hunting seasons and legal hunting implements for New York State.
  • The Cornell University Hunting Permit is specific to the hunter, and may not be used by or assigned to any other individual. The permit must be presented upon demand to any Cornell official or Law Enforcement officer. The University reserves the right to revoke this permit at any time.
  • Online permit applications will be accepted in mid to late August through October 15. Applications will not be accepted after this date. To apply, hunters must agree to a Cornell University Police criminal background check.
  • Hunters shall comply with all state and local laws and ordinances governing hunting activities.

Note that the Arnot Forest remains open to the public during hunting season. Please be aware of hiking trails and be courteous to other users.

  • Hunters must visibly wear their Arnot Forest hunting program identification tag (supplied with permit) on their person, and display their parking permit in their vehicle dashboard at all times while hunting.
  • Parking is not allowed along County Route 13 to access the Arnot Forest.
  • Use of vehicles on University owned lands is prohibited, other than marked roadways. Hunters must hike in and out.
  • To keep on good terms with our neighbors, do not enter a neighbor’s property to track deer without their permission.
  • Access to state land across Arnot land is denied. If your goal is to hunt state land, use state access.
  • With the exception of neighboring landowners, all hunters must sign in and out daily at the check station and access Arnot lands only via the south gate.
  • Special rules for Arnot lands east of Schuyler County Rt. 13.
    • hunters may park along Decker Hill Rd. No Parking is allowed along County Route 13.
    • some of the land is archery only, some is off limits due to 500-ft. no-hunting zone surrounding private homes, as indicated by signs.
  • Tree stands and ground blinds are allowed. All tree stands and ground blinds must be legibly marked with owner’s first and last name and phone number. Any tree stand or ground blind that pierces the bark on a tree is PROHIBITTED. No permanent tree stands or screw-in tree steps may be used. Cornell is not responsible for stolen tree stands or ground blinds. Small tree limbs (< 1 inch diameter) may be trimmed to set up the tree stand or ground blind, but not for clearing shooting lanes. Only commercial ground blinds may be used. To preserve Cornell lands, hunters may not collect and use surrounding wood, brush, or vegetation to further blend in their commercial blind. Hunters may install temporary tree stands and ground blinds two weeks before archery season and must remove them no later than one week following the conclusion of the hunting season.
  • No fires, camping, or littering.
  • Use of drugs and alcohol will not be tolerated.
  • Comply with reasonable requests (e.g. parking, show license/permits, dispose of trash, etc.) of Arnot Forest staff while on Cornell University property.
  • If you see a hunter or any one that is not following the rules of the Arnot, please contact us at:

Hunting Activities

  • Rifles are NOT allowed for use, while hunting deer at the Arnot Forest, even though rifle is allowed in Schuyler County to hunt deer.
  • Access is only provided through the south gate.
  • Hunters must sign in and sign out at the sign in station at the South Gate each time they hunt.
  • Hunters are responsible to follow signage at the sign in station.
    • You will be expected to take a picture of any deer harvested and record harvest information.
  • Hunters are required to wear a “hunter’s orange” hat and/or vest at all times while deer hunting during firearms season.
  • Hunters are required to put a parking pass in their vehicle and wear the Arnot Forest hunting tag on their shoulder, these will be issued with a permit.

Earn-A-Buck System

  • Arnot deer hunting is an Earn-a-Buck system, you are requested to obtain at least one doe permit for 7R when requesting your doe permits with your NYS hunting license.
  • Document the harvest of two female deer BEFORE gaining the privilege to harvest a buck. Harvest records are cumulative from season to season.
  • Notification of your Buck Eligibility will be sent to you by e-mail prior to the hunting season.
  • Hunting and harvest activity must be reported upon sign out, at the south gate.
  • Deer must be weighed and reported on Harvest Record. Instructions are posted.
  • Hunter must fill out the deer take form and take a picture of the deer take form and head of deer harvested.

Small Game Hunting

Small game hunting information can be found here.

Failure to comply with any of the above rules will result in a warning or immediate termination of hunting privileges, at the discretion of the E-a-B Committee. Blatant disregard for Arnot Forest E-a-B policies will result in permanent loss of hunting privileges at the Arnot Forest. Permitted hunters agree to waive and release Cornell University of any and all claims for bodily injury while on this land. In addition, the hunter will be responsible for any and all damage done to the property should this occur and agrees to hold and save Cornell University harmless from claims of third persons which may arise from hunting activities on University property. It is also agreed to, that the hunter will reimburse the University for any costs, including attorney fees, which it may incur in connection with any action arising from his hunting activities on the university property.

To apply for a hunting permit click here. Permit application is no longer available, the deadline is October 15, it will become available again by Sept. 1, 2017

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