Chuck Godfrey, president of the Erie County Federation of Sportsmen, his wife and grandchildren, all took turns learning how easy it was to accurately shoot a crossbow during National Hunting and Fishing Day. NYS Hunter Training Safety Instructor, Frank Miskey of Elma Conservation Club, explains details. (Photo by Forrest Fisher)
The “big buzz” at the recent Hamburg Agri-Center Outdoor Show was all about the outdoors, but with particular emphasis on the wording to be found in the New York State budget proposal that has included new crossbow management language. Those who can’t draw a regular compound hunting bow, all seemed really excited.
Senate Bill 2608C adds several changes to current law, including: “The department (NYS-DEC) shall adopt regulations for training in the safe use of hunting with a crossbow and responsible hunting practices. Such training shall be included in the basic hunter education course required of all new hunters. Upon completion of the training by an individual the department shall provide documentation of the successful completion of the course.
It continued: “All persons who have completed hunter education prior to the date which crossbow training has been incorporated into the hunter education program shall complete an online or other training program approved by the department prior to using a crossbow to hunt big game. The department may adopt rules and regulations as necessary to document completion of this program and may require a person to possess such proof while hunting with a crossbow.”
In subsequent wording, the bill references “the use of a firearm, arrow or bolt in the activity of hunting” and adds the following: “the department may, by regulation, authorize the taking of wildlife by the use of a crossbow by any licensed person in any open season, except the use of crossbows shall not be permitted in cities of one million or more or the counties of Nassau and Suffolk.” This wording would allow the DEC to regulate crossbow use for all seasons (including archery season) and all game, with the exception of Suffolk and Nassau counties and NYC.
Since the idea of crossbow use during big game archery season has been on the front burner for so many aging hunters, notify your local Senate representative as soon as possible to let them know your position on the bill and then notify your local Assembly representative to ask if they would support similar language that is included in Assembly Bill A3008C. The budget negotiations are ongoing and your local state legislators need to hear your position as soon as possible.
While not everyone would like to see crossbow use during archery season, there seems to be a host of folks that overwhelmingly do want crossbow. My better half recently shot one of the new style crossbows at National Hunting and Fishing Day at Elma Conservation Club, where Frank Miskey Sr. provided hands on instruction and aiming training. With a simple finger squeeze, her first shot with a crossbow was a bullseye at 30 yards. Her second shot was at a 3D archery deer target and was perfect.
“What do you think about the new crossbows Fern?” Miskey asked. She replied, “I think this means less wounded deer if it ever becomes legal in New York,” then hesitating and adding, “It also means I might need to get my big game archery license.”
On one website linked to Facebook, the details of the bill and commentary were invited and received 528 “likes” in a very short time.
Comments included some of the following: “I think it would be great if the state allowed crossbows during archery season; Since I am planning to buy a crossbow because they are fun, I think it is a good idea; I think it is a great idea, then I can start hunting here at home in New York instead of spending my money in Ohio and other states that allow me to use a crossbow.”
Infamous local dog trainer and pheasant farm proprietor Chuck Tiranno says, “Yea, don’t you think it is about time?” Lower Niagara River fishing guide extraordinaire John DeLorenzo says, “I might start bow-hunting again, can’t draw my regular bow anymore,” adding, “I find it funny that the some of the same people fighting for our firearm rights are also fighting to keep us from using crossbows in New York.”
Kevin Armstrong from the leadership heritage of the New York Bowhunter (NYB) organization also left a single word comment that read, “No!” Scott Armstrong, apparently not related to NYB says, “Anything that gets people afield is a plus!” The count was about 40-1 in support of crossbow during archery. The public speaks! You can make your voice heard as well. The vote could take place at any time this month.
To find your NYS Assembly representative, visit online at assembly.state.ny.us/mem/?sh=search. To find your local NYS Senate representative, go to www.nysenate.gov/senators. Each of these websites will allow your address entry and then notify of your legislators. One more click will allow you to either call them or send an e-mail.Erie County trout stocking report
During the last week of March, NYS hatchery crews and volunteers from the Erie County Federation will stock 7,750 brown trout into Erie County streams prior to the official April 1 NYS inland stream trout opener. Cattaraugus Creek in Sardinia will get 3,360 fish, the Cazenovia east branch in Aurora and Holland will receive 3,060 fish, while Little Buffalo creek in Lancaster and Elma will receive 780 trout. The fish are eight to 15 inches in size, with more of the smaller fish than larger fish released to the streams. A substantially larger amount of fish, approximately 19.270 more, will be stocked again in April.Outdoor recipe contest
Most WNY outdoors folks use a vacuum seal bag system for storing fish and game because it works for long term storage. Right now, to launch the new FoodSaver Outdoors Facebook page, outdoor cooks are being asked to submit their favorite wild game and fish recipes in the “What’s Your Game Plan?” sweepstakes and contest now through April 8. The Grand Prize winner will be invited to appear on the popular outdoor cooking television show “HuntFishCook,” hosted by Scott Leysath, and receive $500 cash.
Each entry will be judged on creativity, originality and consumer appeal. The participant whose submission is selected as the best overall wild game or fish recipe will be eligible for an all-expenses paid trip to Huntsville, Ala. to appear on the TV show and cook the winning dish. There are random drawings for daily and weekly prizes available to those who do not have a recipe to submit. People who “Like” the page can register to win other give-aways and prizes. See www.facebook.com/FoodSaverOutdoors.Outdoors Calendar
March 21: Erie County SCOPE, monthly meeting, Southgate Plaza Community Room, 7 pm, call 824-4174 for information.
March 21: Lake Erie Chapter of Federation of Fly Fishers, Legion Post 735, West Seneca, fly tying 6 pm, meeting 7 pm, call 674-4766.
March 21: Southtowns Walleye Association, monthly meeting, 7:30 pm, 58985 Southwestern Blvd., Hamburg, call 649-8202 for information.
March 23: 3D Wild Animal Archery Shoot, Hawkeye Bowmen, 13300 Clinton St., Marilla, kitchen breakfast opens 6AM, shoot starts 7 am, call Phil Fleck 998-4857 for information.
March 23: WNY Trout Unlimited annual banquet, Lucarelli’s, Lackawanna, 6 pm, email@example.com.
March 23: Safari Club of WNY, annual banquet, Michael’s Banquet Facility, Hamburg, 6 pm start, call Gerry Reese at 570-8275.
March 23: Friends of the NRA annual banquet, Salvatore’s Gardens, Depew, 6 pm start.
March 24: WNY 3D Winter Archery, open to public, Glen Coe Conservation, Foote Rd., Glenwood, 7 am-1 pm, call Mike Matala 377-0126.
March 24: WNY Field Archers & Bowhunters Indoor Shoot, WNYFAB Indoor Archery Championship, Creekwood Archery, 451 Lawrence Rd., Brockport, 8 am, 11 am, 2 pm lines, call 585-392-2030 for information.
March 27: Trap Shooting, West Falls Conservation, 55 Bridge St., West Falls, open to public, 7 pm start, call Dave at 652-8509 for information.
March 30: 11th Annual Outdoor Show, S&S Taxidermy, see all 2013 bows and crossbows side by side, NYS Big Buck club, 9 am – 5 pm, 455 S. Cascade Dr (Rt 219), Springville, call 592-2404 for information.
March 31: NYS crow, coyote Seasons end.
April 1: Opening day of NYS inland trout fishing season.
April 11: State of Lake Erie Meeting, NYSDEC, Sea Grant, guests, Southtowns Walleye Association Clubhouse, 5895 Southwestern Blvd., Hamburg, 7-9 pm.Send outdoor events 10 days in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org.