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Sportsman Outdoor

Counties adopt DEC  pilot program! Counties adopt DEC pilot program!

Jack Danchak
Posted 7/23/21

Twenty counties, so far, in New York State have opted in to taking part in the DEC’s new pilot junior hunting program that would allow hunters age 12 and 13 to hunt deer with a mentored …

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Sportsman Outdoor

Counties adopt DEC  pilot program! Counties adopt DEC pilot program!

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Twenty counties, so far, in New York State have opted in to taking part in the DEC’s new pilot junior hunting program that would allow hunters age 12 and 13 to hunt deer with a mentored adult.

Governor Cuomo in April signed legislation that now allows youths age 12 and 13 to hunt deer with a firearm or crossbow, with an adult mentor licensed hunter, in counties that opt in to participate.

The junior hunting program is a temporary pilot program that will end in 2023 and it includes the following rules and regulations: 1. Allows 12 and 13-year-old licensed hunters to hunt deer with a rifle, shotgun or muzzleloading firearm where such firearms may be used during hunting seasons, including the youth big game hunting weekend.

  1. Allows 12 and 13-year old licensed hunters to hunt deer with a crossbow during the times when other hunters may use crossbows.
  2. Requires supervision of an experienced and licensed adult hunter who maintains physical control over the youth hunter at all times.
  3. Requires the youth hunter and adult mentor to wear fluorescent orange or pink clothing and to remain at ground level while hunting with any implement.

The pilot program only allows hunters age 12 and 13 to hunt deer, black bears are not included. Hunters age 14 and 15 can harvest a black bear, including during the youth hunting weekend.

While there is no deadline for counties to opt in to the pilot program, doing so by early September will allow the DEC to provide information to hunters through the DEC’s website, social media and other sources prior to the beginning of the 2021 big game hunting seasons.

Look Out For Ticks!

People have been going outdoors more often than usual especially because of the pandemic and are discovering ticks on themselves and their pets. Since people are going outdoors more often, there’s just a lot more chances for human interactions with ticks. There are different types of ticks and some do not carry a disease, but deer ticks do carry Lyme disease.

Last year at this time most of the country was in a drought and there were fewer biting insects, but this year with all the rain, ticks are back with a vengeance across the northeast.

Anyone who spends time outdoors should take preventive measures such as using repellent and wearing light colored clothing that covers the arms and legs so you can notice quickly if you have picked up these tiny size ticks. Enjoy getting out in the great outdoors but be on the alert for ticks.

Jack Danchak is a longtime sportsman and spent 30 years as the President of the Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs of Sullivan County, Inc.

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