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New law allows young hunter to kill deer, bear with firearms

Apr 11, 2021 5:45 am

David Figura is reporting for nyup [dot] com legislation included in the newly approved state budget will allow youths ages 12 and 13 to hunt deer with a firearm or crossbow under the supervision of an experienced adult hunter. The measure includes a couple of conditions in the pilot program that takes effect June 1 and continues through Dec. 31, 2023. Eight downstate counties were excluded in the legislation: Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Queens, Richmond, Suffolk and Westchester counties. Upstate, each county must pass a local law to allow the new regulations to take effect within its boundaries. The DEC will engage in education and outreach to communities with details of the pilot program. Counties may choose to opt-in at any time, according to statement released by the department this week. At present the minimum age for a junior hunter to hunt deer and bear with a firearm or crossbow with adult supervision is 14. The minimum age for junior hunters to use a bow to hunt big game is 12. Under the new law, young hunters must be supervised by experienced and licensed hunters, age 21 or older, at all times. Both hunters are required to remain on the ground. The new regulations originally included allowing the young hunters to hunt from a tree stand. Both items were eliminated during the budget negotiation process. Read the full story at nyup [dot] com.