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Hunters obligated to follow the rules

This past Saturday, the time had arrived for the opening of firearm season for deer in Western New York. As always, I was in my stand about 45 minutes before legal shooting time, which was 7:10 a.m. I was hunting near the Coyle Hill State Forest in Belfast. It has become a tradition to count the number of shots heard before legal shooting time. The first of 59 such shots, a new record by the way, was recorded at 6:40 a.m. – illegal by 30 minutes.

We have become a society of entitlement and instant gratification, as demonstrated by the recent election. However, we sportsmen are expected to rise above that. We have been entrusted with stewardship of a precious natural resource and have an obligation to abide by the rules that have been put in place for the safety of fellow hunters as well as for the ethical harvest of game. Individuals who violate the law give fuel to those who persist in their efforts to deprive hunters of the opportunity to hunt and to restrict our right to own guns.

Therefore, I wish the following upon those impatient, self-centered, unsportsmen: May the taxidermist accidentally incinerate your “trophy” and may the venison make you ill.

Joseph DePaolo Jr.

Eden