Archery hunters and all interested in legalizing the crossbow as a hunting device could see rules changes included in Gov. Cuomo’s Executive Budget last week.
One feature would legalize crossbows as hunting implements and set regulatory authority for their use with the Department of Environmental Conservation.
Another archery-related budget entry changes the distance from a building to shoot a bow or crossbow from 500 feet to 150 feet.
For hunters’ and anglers’ outdoors access, the governor’s budget has an entry authorizing the DEC to offer promotional reduced-cost licenses up to ten days per year and to designate up to eight free sport fishing days per year, along with reducing the price of some fishing licenses.
Rick McDermott with New York Crossbow Coalition cautions that these budget items have been placed on the table for consideration.
“But we are not assured that each of these items will receive legislative approval and remain on the table when budget items go into effect on April 1,” McDermott said. “Senate support is strong but we urge crossbow supporters to contact the governor and assembly representatives to let them know the overwhelming support for DEC control of crossbow regulations,” he added.
The crossbow was previously authorized in New York State for use during the regular big-game firearm season (not archery seasons), but a sunset provision ended its legal use on December 31, 2012.
McDermott and Crossbow Coalition members will have a booth at the WNY Outdoors Expo at the Erie County Fairgrounds March 6 to 9. To view crossbow and other outdoors-related budget changes, go to nycrossbowcoalition.com.
Winter gear rentals
Friends of Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve volunteers will be renting snowshoes and cross country skis to visitors at the preserve on Sunday and Feb. 16 and 23.
Weather permitting, gear can be used on miles of fairly level terrain at 93 Honorine Drive in Depew. For details on these days and winter equipment rentals throughout the week, call 683-5959.
Summer camper program
Registrations began last week for the 67th Annual DEC Summer Camp Program. Parents can enroll youths ages 11 to 17 at four camps statewide.
New this year is the inclusion of trapper certification for ages 11 to 13 at Camp Rushford Aug. 10 to 16.
For registration details, go to dec.ny.gpv/education/29 or call (518) 402-8014.