Outdoors commentary: Crossbow hunting approved -- but not for archery season
By Dave Henderson •Correspondent •
July 21, 2010, 5:45 pm

New York's legislature has passed legislation that lays the groundwork for a crossbow big game hunting season in the state starting in October, 2011 -- but not in the traditional archery season.

The legislation (A.924E/S.793B), which passed the Assembly on June 29 and was forwarded to the Governor's desk for final approval, empowers the Department of Environmental Conservation to allow the use of crossbows in the firearms deer and bear seasons throughout the state (except in bow-only Westchester and Suffolk Counties).

A stipulation that would have allowed crossbows to be used in all big game hunting seasons (including archery) on private land, was stricken from the legislation just prior to the final vote.

The legislation also calls for crossbow instruction to be included in hunter safety courses in the future. The bills include a sunset clause calling for the regulations to be reviewed after two years before being considered for permanent status.

Related Outdoors calendar
Crossbows must use a bolt (arrow) at least 14 inches in length and must be equipped with a safety mechanism.

Gun law challenged
New York was a logical target as firearms owners seek to overturn restrictive gun laws in the wake of a second Supreme Court victory on the matter.
Pistol permits in New York are state licenses but are administered at the county level, by judges. If a county judge doesn't want to issue unrestricted (concealed carry) permits, he or she simply refuses. Others may limit the permits only to those citizens who show a need or "good cause."

Well, we're going to find out if that's illegal. The Second Amendment Foundation last week filed a federal lawsuit in against New York's Southern District court seeking a permanent injunction against enforcement of a state law that allows carry licenses to be denied because applicants cannot show "good cause."

The lawsuit is based on the plight of a Westchester County couple whose permit applications were denied based on the judge's ruling that they didn't show sufficient need.

Attorney Alan Gura is representing the plaintiffs. Gura recently represented SAF and the Illinois State Rifle Association in their landmark Second Amendment Supreme Court victory over the City of Chicago.
Gura claims that New York's Penal Code ruling that carry permit applicants must "demonstrate good cause for the issuance of a permit," violates the Second Amendment.

Cayuga Lake conditions
Floating weeds and seasonal spinier fleas make trolling both discouraging and difficult, but lake trout are still layered at interim depths of 50-120 feet and near bottom in 200-300 feet of water. Rainbows and salmon are receptive to spoons 35-50 feet down. Look for largemouth bass to be active on live bait at the north end of the lake in 5-12 feet of water.

Henderson is The Journal's outdoors columnist; his columns appear on Tuesdays and Thursdays. If you have any questions, comments, or data pertinent to the column or outdoors calendar, send it directly to: Henderson's Outdoors (www.HendersonOutdoors.com), 202 Prospect Street, Endicott, NY 13760 or e-mail it to dddhender@aol.com.