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Rules and Regulations

Dear Arnot Hunters:

We are pleased to make available Arnot’s 4,200 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 2016, the field campus area was leased to another group and continues to be so. 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.

Peter Smallidge
Arnot Forest Director

Hunting is allowed at the Arnot Forest during all regular NYS seasons. We do not permit felons to hunt on Cornell University lands. 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 valid permit, issued by Cornell University. The Arnot Forest is open to the public during all hunting seasons, hunters must use 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.

Questions pertaining to the Arnot Forest Hunting Program, contact:

Although it is legal to hunt deer with rifles in Schuyler County, rifles are NOT allowed for any hunting during deer season at the Arnot Forest.

Rules and Regulations
Cornell University Arnot Forest Hunting Program

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 all rules stated below and all NYS DEC regulations.

Permits & Licenses

  • A Cornell University, issued permit, is required to legally hunt on Cornell University-owned lands. Hunters must possess a valid NYSDEC big game or small license before applying for a Cornell University Hunting Permit.
  • It is the hunter’s responsibility to know the hunting seasons, bag limits and legal hunting implements for New York State.
  • New York State has made it a felony offense for any person, including a handgun license holder, to knowingly possess a firearm in or upon a building or grounds, of any school, college or university), without the written permission of the institution. This offense includes someone carrying an otherwise legally permitted pistol.
  • A Cornell University Hunting Permit, specific to the Arnot Forest, provides the institutional waiver necessary to carry a firearm on the Arnot Forest.
  • The Arnot Hunting Permit, allows you to hunt at the Arnot Forest, it does not give you access to hunt on other Cornell University lands. Permits obtained for hunting on other lands owned by Cornell University does not give you permission to hunt at the Arnot Forest.
  • 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. Cornell 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. There are no exceptions!
  • 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:  The Arnot Forest remains open to the public during hunting season. Please be aware of hiking trails and be courteous to other users.

Large and Small Game Hunting Activities

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • No Parking is allowed along County Route 13 to access the Arnot Forest.
  • Use of vehicles is only permitted on marked roadways. Vehicles are prohibited elsewhere. Hunters must hike in and out.
  • 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.
  • 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 anyone that is not following the rules of the Arnot, please contact us at

Small Game Hunting (e.g., turkey, small game, waterfowl, etc.) 

  • This permit give you permission for hunting small game on the Arnot Forest properties. This permit does not give you permission to hunt on any other Cornell Owned lands for small game.
  • Small game hunting is allowed at the Arnot Forest, all NYS DEC regulations must be followed. Game species may be taken only during their open seasons per NYS DEC regulations, it is the responsibility of the hunter to know these regulations.

Specific to Deer Hunting Activities

  • Special rules for Arnot lands east of Schuyler County Rt. 13.
    1. Hunters may park along Decker Hill Rd. No Parking is allowed along County Route 13.
    2. 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.
    3. This map (click here) shows boundaries and areas hunters may not hunt.
  • Rifles are NOT allowed for use during deer season at the Arnot Forest.
  • Hunters are responsible to follow signage at the sign in station.
    1. 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.
  • Tree stands and ground blinds are allowed.
    1. All tree stands and ground blinds must be legibly marked with owner’s first and last name and phone number.
    2. 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 deer season.
    3. No permanent tree stands or screw-in tree steps may be used.
    4. Any tree stand or ground blind that pierces the bark on a tree is PROHIBITED.
    5. 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.
    6. To preserve Cornell lands, hunters may not collect and use surrounding wood, brush, or vegetation to further blend in their commercial blind.
    7. Cornell is not responsible for stolen tree stands or ground blinds.
    8. Any blinds or stands left beyond hunting season will become the property of Cornell University.

Earn-A-Buck System

  • Arnot deer hunting is an Earn-a-Buck system, and you are requested to obtain at least one doe permit for 7R when requesting your doe permits with your NYS hunting license.
  • DMAPs are available this year at the Arnot Forest. You must have a valid Arnot Hunting Permit to use them.
    Bow hunters may have a permit for the bow season, if it is not used, please return at the end of the bow season.
    All other seasons permits may be used for one day. Pick it up in the morning and drop it off when you are done for the day.
    Please contact Aaron Wightman at 607-589-6076 or by e-mail at least 3 days in advance of needing the permit, to make arrangements.

    All DMAPs that are used, must follow the rules regarding completing harvest information.

  • 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 with your permit.
  • Antlerless male fawns do not count toward buck eligibility.
  • 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 the deer harvested.
  • Disregard for Arnot Forest E-a-B policies will result in permanent loss of hunting privileges at the Arnot Forest.

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 or the Director of 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.

A Feature at the Arnot Forest: Slash Walls

Five slash walls were created around harvest areas at the Arnot during 2017. These are an experimental effort to exclude deer from regeneration areas.  This area is being managed to regenerate a diverse new forest using “Seed Tree Regeneration System” silviculture. Mature and vigorous trees of diverse species are left as parent trees and will add to the natural regeneration already established through past management activities. All mature trees will eventually be removed to provide full sunlight and optimal growth for the young seedlings and sapling to grow into the next forest. This dense young forest also provides high-value habitat for a wide range of wildlife that requires young forest, also known as “early successional forest.”

The surrounding “slash wall” is an experimental approach to exclude deer that would otherwise browse native vegetation and negatively impact the growth and composition of the next forest. “Slash” is a forestry term that describes the treetops and coarse woody material not removed during a harvest. One deer can browse thousands of seedlings and wildflowers per day. You are welcome to walk into the regenerating area, but please do not climb on the slash fence or disturb research structures and markings. Please help us keep deer out of this area by securely closing this gate upon entering and exiting.  The gate must never be left open.  If you see an open gate, please close it.

Hunting within the slash wall area is permitted, as prescribed under the current Arnot Forest Hunting regulations. 

Updates on slash wall research can be found on the Arnot Forest home page.

To apply for a hunting permit click here. Deadline is October 15, 2019, no exceptions.

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