New York Bill Raises Age Restrictions for Hunters

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A new bill introduced in New York would undo the recent positive steps taken by the state legislature to reduce age restrictions for hunters in the state.

Senate Bill 3598, sponsored by Senator Liz Krueger (D- New York City), would raise the hunting age across the board.

Specifically, the bill increases the minimum age for obtaining a hunting license from 16 to 18 years of age while requiring anyone under the age of 20 to be accompanied by a parent, guardian or relative. Additionally the bill raises the junior hunting license range to 14-16 years old from the current 12-14 years old while also increasing the age of the mentor accompanying a junior hunter from 21 to 23. The bill also increases the junior archery license age bracket limit from 14-16 to 16-18 years old.

The bill, which was referred to the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, would reverse last year’s legislation lowering the youth hunting restrictions, which was based upon the Families Afield initiative.

On July 23, 2008 NY Governor David Paterson signed a bill allowing both 14 and 15-year olds to hunt big game with a firearm as long as they are supervised by an experienced mentor that is a licensed hunter at least 21 years old and with at least three years of big game hunting experience.

“Allowing parents to pass on their hunting traditions to the next generation is the cornerstone to preserving those traditions,” said Rob Sexton, USSA vice president for government affairs.  “SB 3598 is a gigantic step backwards and all sportsmen in New York should oppose it.”

U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA), National Shooting Sports Foundation and National Wild Turkey Federation began Families Afield in 2004 as a national effort to lower the barriers and restrictions preventing newcomers from experiencing hunting.

Take Action- New York sportsmen should immediately contact their state legislators and tell them to oppose SB 3598.  Tell them SB 3598 will lead to fewer hunters in the field, harm sportsmen traditions, and lose the state license revenue.

To find your state legislator’s phone number, please use the Legislative Action Center.