Assemblyman Jeff Gallahan (R,C-Manchester) and other members of the Assembly Minority Conference wrote a letter to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins urging them to include measures in the final state budget that would expand hunting and crossbow licensing in New York state, as was proposed in this year’s executive budget. These measures were removed from the one-house budget proposals promoted by both legislative leaders.
Minority members are seeking to lower the hunting age to 12 years old and expand the use of crossbows during big-game and small-game hunting seasons in which other bow hunting equipment is allowed.
“Hunting is about more than just recreation. It’s also about conservation, and the situation in New York will grow dire soon if we do not increase the amount of people participating in hunting,” said Gallahan.
New York state is the only state in the nation that has not lowered its big game hunting age limit to 12 years old or younger. This proposal seeks to increase the popularity of and accessibility to hunting among young people, as the average age of individuals purchasing a sporting license is currently 50 years old. Maintaining steady participation in hunting throughout the state is critical to keeping deer populations in check, as the number of deer throughout the state has risen in recent years.
“Taking these steps to get a new generation of young hunters involved with the sport, as every other state in the nation has, is the least we could do to ensure our wildlife is properly maintained and that hunting remains a treasured past time for generations to come,” said Gallahan.
The letter is attached.