Governor Andrew Cuomo has a bill on his desk that will kill the long-awaited youth deer hunt currently adopted by the New York Department of Conservation. You read right, the DEC finally adopted a special deer hunt for kids but the Legislature sent a bill to the Governor prohibiting it.
For years, New York’s hunters and the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) have been kicking around the idea of a special youth deer hunt. The hunt made it into the DEC’s 5-year deer management plan and really started to gain traction among NY hunters. The DEC moved forward with the adoption process, which included conducting hunter surveys, holding public hearings, and collecting and reviewing public comment. In spite of opposition by The New York Bowhunters Inc. and others opposing the kids’ hunt, it was determined that the majority of hunters in the state favored a youth hunt for deer.
By spring, the hunt had gathered momentum. The DEC officially scheduled the 3-day hunt for Columbus Day weekend based on research done with youth hunters and their mentors. Legislation was developed to make it official and hunting families started making plans to get young Jimmy his first deer.