View Full Version : NY: Late Rule Changes Could Cost Hunters

Horizontal Hunter
09-02-2011, 12:52 PM
If state hunting regulations werenít difficult enough to decipher, New York has slipped in two new rules that hunters wonít find in the hard copy of their 2011-2012 New York Hunting & Trapping Regulations Guide. Bills enacting both regulations were passed by the state Legislature and signed into law in mid-August, too late to be printed in the guide.
The rules arenít minor ones, either. The first cancels crossbow hunting during the regular big game hunting season in Cortland County, and the second implements antler restrictions in Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) 3A. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation says that although these changes are not in the hard copy of the regulations guide, they are reflected in the electronic version found online (http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37136.html).
While those of you reading this article clearly have computer access, thatís not the case for everyone, and these late changes could absolutely trip up any unwitting hunter who relies on his or her paper copy of the guide to stay on the straight and narrow.
Cortland County Cans Crossbows
With respect to the crossbow rule change, it was tied to a new law passed this summer that legalized rifle hunting in Cortland County during the firearms deer and bear seasons. However, an 11th hour amendment (http://blog.syracuse.com/outdoors/2011/08/so_why_wont_you_be_able_to_use.html) to that law at the Assembly level wiped out crossbow hunting in the county, except during the late muzzleloader season, which will run Dec. 13-21.
Consequently, after being widely publicized that New York was legalizing crossbows for the first time this year during the big game (deer and bear) firearms seasons, Cortland is now the only county in the state (outside of New York City and Long Island) where the new rule does not apply. That means hunters who went out and purchased a crossbow with the expectation of using it in Cortland County must now leave it at home.
Itís interesting (or maddening, depending how you look at it) to note that separate legislation authorizing the use of rifles for big game hunting in Wyoming County and the portion of Chautauqua County south of Route 20 did not cancel crossbow hunting in those counties.
To view a map of where rifles, shotguns, vertical bows and crossbows can be used for big game hunting, visit www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/35010.html (http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/35010.html).
Antler Restrictions Grow
The last-minute rule changes werenít just limited to Cortland County. In Delaware, Sullivan and Ulster counties, a new law establishes mandatory antler restrictions in the portion of Wildlife WMU 3A that lies south and west of State Route 28. Antler restrictions are also in effect in WMUs 3C, 3H, 3J and 3K.
The law prohibits hunters from taking any antlered deer that does not have at least one antler with three or more points. The law applies to all public and private lands and all deer hunting seasons, including archery season, which opens Oct. 15. Only hunters under the age of 17 are exempt and may take any antlered deer with at least one antler measuring three or more inches in length.
Deer hunting regulations in all other WMUs were not affected by this legislation.
To view a map of deer hunting seasons, including the area with mandatory antler restrictions, visit www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/28605.html (http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/28605.html). For more information on antler restrictions in New York, visit www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/27663.html (http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/27663.html).

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09-02-2011, 01:01 PM
Thanks for the heads up HH. Im heading to upstate NY for a few weekends in October and though these changes wont affect me it makes me aware that rule changes are always happening and to check the most updated set before I go.