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Rod, Gun and Game: The crossbow: a possibility for the regular archery season?

HAMBURG — Attendees at a recent outdoor show held at The Fairgrounds heard much about the new crossbow management language in the New York state budget proposal. People who cannot draw a regular compound hunting bow will benefit from this new terminology.

Senate Bill 2608C added several changes to the current law. “The [New York State Department of Environmental Conservation] shall adopt regulations for training in the safe use of hunting with a crossbow and responsible hunting practices,” the bill said. “Such training shall be included in the basic hunter education course required of all new hunters.

“Upon completion of the training by an individual, the department shall provide documentation of the successful completion of the course,” it continued. “All persons who have completed hunter education, prior to the date which crossbow training has been incorporated into the hunter education program, shall complete an online or other training program, approved by the department, prior to using a crossbow to hunt big game. The department may adopt rules and regulations as necessary, to document completion of this program, and may require a person to possess such proof, while hunting with a crossbow.”

In subsequent wording, the bill referenced the use of a “firearm, arrow or bolt, in the activity of hunting” and added that the state DEC may, “by regulation, authorize the taking of wildlife by the use of a crossbow, by any licensed person in any open season; the use of crossbows shall not be permitted in cities of 1 million or more or the counties of Nassau and Suffolk.”

The DEC will be authorized to regulate crossbow use for all seasons, including archery season, and all game, with the exception of Suffolk and Nassau counties and New York City.

The idea of crossbow use during big game archery season has been on the docket for some time, now. Tell your local government representatives to support this bill. When speaking to your state Assembly officials, remind them of the language included in Assembly Bill A3008C. Budget negotiations are ongoing and your local state legislators need to hear your position, as soon as possible.

While not everyone would like to see the crossbow used during archery season, many people do want the requirements to be changed.

My wife recently shot a new crossbow, during National Hunting and Fishing Day at Elma Conservation Club. Frank Miskey Sr. provided hands-on instruction and aiming training to attendees.

My wife’s first shot hit the bull’s-eye at 30 yards. Her second shot, at a 3D archery deer target, was perfect. When Miskey asked Fern what she thought about the new crossbows, my wife said, “I think this means less wounded deer, if it ever becomes legal in New York. It also means I might need to get my big game archery license.” Many people feel the same way.

Details about the Senate bill were listed online and received many comments, including the following: “I think it would be great, if the state allowed crossbows during archery season;” “Since I am planning to buy a crossbow because they are fun, I think it is a good idea” and “I think it is a great idea. Then I can start hunting here at home in New York, instead of spending my money in Ohio and other states that allow me to use a crossbow.”

Dog trainer and pheasant farm proprietor Chuck Tiranno said, “Don’t you think it is about time?” Lower Niagara River fishing guide John DeLorenzo commented, “I might start bow hunting again. [I] can’t draw my regular bow, anymore. I find it funny that some of the same people fighting for our firearm rights are also fighting to keep us from using crossbows in New York.”

Kevin Armstrong of the New York Bowhunter commented “No!” Scott Armstrong said, “Anything that gets people afield is a plus!”

Notify your legislators of your interest, either way. The vote could take place at any time this month.

To view a list of NYS Assembly representatives, visit For a list of NYS Senate representatives, visit One more click will allow you to call them or send them an email.

WNY outdoor banquet weekend
Outdoor festivities will continue this weekend, with many events scheduled for March 23.

WNY Trout Unlimited will hold an awards banquet at Lucarelli’s, located at 3200 South Park Ave. in Lackawanna, beginning at 6 p.m. Email, to obtain tickets.

The Safari Club of WNY will host a spring banquet at Michael’s Banquet Facility, located at 4885 Southwestern Blvd. in Hamburg, beginning at 6 p.m. Call Gerry Reese at 570-8275, to purchase tickets.

A Friends of the National Rifle Association banquet will be held at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens, located at 6461 Transit Road in Depew, beginning at 6 p.m. Call 866-7656, to purchase tickets.

Erie County trout  stocking
State hatchery crews and volunteers from the Erie County Federation will stock 7,750 brown trout into Erie County streams, prior to the official April 1 state inland stream trout opener. Sardinia’s Cattaraugus Creek will get 3,360 fish. The Cazenovia east branch in Aurora and Holland will be stocked with 3,060 fish, while Little Buffalo Creek in Lancaster and Elma will receive 780 trout.

The fish are 8 – 15 inches long. Approximately 19,270 additional fish will be stocked in April.

Outdoor recipe contest
Most local people use vacuum-sealed bags to store their fish and game, for the long-term.

To launch the new FoodSaver® Outdoors Facebook page, outdoor cooks are being asked to submit their favorite wild game and fish recipes in the “What’s Your Game Plan?” sweepstakes and contest, open through April 8.

The grand prize winner will be invited to appear on the outdoor cooking television show “HuntFishCook,” hosted by Scott Leysath, and receive a $500 cash prize.

Each entry will be judged on its creativity, originality and consumer appeal. The participant whose submission is selected as the best overall wild game or fish recipe will be eligible for an all-expenses paid trip to Huntsville, Ala., to cook the winning dish on the cooking show.

Random drawings for daily and weekly prizes will be held, for those who do not have a recipe to submit. Facebook users who like the page may register to win one of eight FoodSaver® GameSaver® Silver G500 vacuum-sealing systems; 20 copies of Scott Leysath’s “The Sporting Chef’s Favorite Wild Game Recipes” cookbook will be given away. For more information, visit

Firearm legislation news
The Senate judiciary committee reported that the Senator Dianne Feinstein gun ban, which could prohibit between 50 and 80 percent of firearms, was recently voted on the floor. It may not get a majority in the Senate.

The judiciary committee recently passed the universal gun registry bill. Chief sponsor Sen. Charles Schumer, has been unable to achieve Republican support from anyone other than Illinois Republican Sen. Mark Kirk.

Unless another Republican declares support at the last minute, this bill will be filibustered in the Senate.

The judiciary committee also reported that a Boxer bill that could increase funding for an existing school safety program by $10 million. The money could be used for armed guards, as the NRA proposes, or for an anti-gun study. It is, therefore, neither pro- nor anti-gun.

While polls show approximately 60 percent support for the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Act of 2013, most of those polled live in New York City.

More than 50 NY counties, including Erie County, have documented opposition to the NY SAFE Act.

Outdoor calendar
– March 23: 3D wild animal archery shoot, Hawkeye Bowmen, 13300 Clinton St., Marilla. Breakfast begins at 6 a.m. and shooting starts at 7. Call Phil Fleck at 998-4857, for more information.

– March 23: WNY Trout Unlimited banquet, Lucarelli’s, Lackawanna, 6 p.m. For more information, email

– March 23: Safari Club of WNY banquet, Michael’s Banquet Facility, Hamburg, 6 p.m. start. For more information, call Gerry Reese, at 570-8275.

– March 23: Friends of the National Rifle Association banquet, Salvatore’s Italian Gardens, Depew, 6 p.m.

– March 24: WNY 3D winter archery, Glen Coe Conservation Club, Foote Road, Glenwood, 7 a.m. – 1 p.m. Open to the public. For more information, call Mike Matala at 377-0126.

– March 24: WNY Field Archers & Bowhunters indoor shoot and indoor archery championship, Creekwood Archery, 451 Lawrence Road, Brockport, 8 – 11 a.m. For more information, call 585-392-2030.

– March 27: Trap shooting, West Falls Conservation Club, 55 Bridge St., West Falls, 7 p.m. Open to the public. For more information, call Dave at 652-8509.

Outdoor eventholders maysend outdoor information for the Springville Journal Forrest Fisher column, at least 10 days in advance, to

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