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Gov. Andrew Cuomo vetoed Assembly Bill 10583A Monday evening.

This bill would have continued crossbow use that would be restricted to gun seasons and would have prevented the DEC from scheduling a youth gun hunt in the archery season. All of these provisions New York Bowhunter lobbyists had supported, among other features, in crossbow legalization that restricted all hunters from using this device during the regular archery season.

Crossbow legalization in New York State has received support from dozens of sporting groups across the state and nation, including the NYS Conservation Council (NYSCC) and Safari Club International (SCI). Bill proposals previous to 10583A essentially granted crossbow regulations (certification, seasons, and users’ status) to the Department of Environmental Conservation.

Yet NYB lobby efforts keyed mainly on eliminating a Youth Deer Hunt prior to the regular gun season and crossbow use during the archery season.

NYSCC president Chuck Parker wrote: “I want to thank all sportsmen, our NYSCC members and all the other groups and their members for speaking up and letting the Governor’s office know their opinion. This upcoming legislative session is the time for permanent measures to be taken to see that the crossbow is classified as a legal hunting implement and to have the DEC determine where it should be used, which should include the archery season.”

In an open letter to its membership, SCI officials noted: “As a result of your actions, the youth of New York will be able to don their camouflage once again, and spend some quality family time afield in 2013 – and thank you for protecting the freedom to hunt for the youth of New York.”

Previous crossbow-hunting legislation called for a sunset provision that will end on December 31, 2012. The vetoed bill would have continued hunting with altered stipulations through the 2014 season.

Crossbow supporters previously sought to enact bills sponsored by Senator Patrick Gallivan (S6747A) and Assemblyman Sean Ryan (A9682), which would empower the DEC to regulate crossbow hunting regulations. However, NYB lobbyists then had Senator Carl Marcellino (D. - Oyster Bay) and Assemblyman Robert K. Sweeney (D. - Lindenhurst) submit bill proposals that modify all hunt provisions to ban crossbow use during archery season.

This latest Sweeney bill would have eliminated the youth hunt and continued the ban on any use of crossbows except during firearms seasons.

email: odrswill@gmail.com