Where are the young hunters? Even in our Sportsmen's Federation monthly meetings, looking around the meeting room you do not see many young hunters. DEC Assistant Director of Fish and Wildlife in a …
Where are the young hunters? Even in our Sportsmen's Federation monthly meetings, looking around the meeting room you do not see many young hunters. DEC Assistant Director of Fish and Wildlife in a press release stated¸”Recuitment of young hunters (measured by license sales) has been dwindling by 7 to 10 percent per year each of the past four years. Older hunters are aging into qualifying for senior hunting and fishing licenses¸ but the number of older hunters remains robust. Hunters are staying afield much later in their years that we had predicted 15-20 years ago, which is a testament to better health and more active lifestyle later in life.”
But with fewer young people entering the sport, the fallout is likely to continue and perhaps even escalate as older hunters get even older.
Hunting license sales last hunting season showed that resident and nonresident sales were down by 3 percent. Resident senior hunting license sales, however continued to increase as hunters aged into that senior age 70 or older category where the general hunting license cost is a mere $5 for a resident of New York.
New York's 14-year old minimum age to hunt big game with a firearm is the most restrictive in the nation and is seen as a major barrier in increasing young hunter numbers. Many New York hunters take their children across the state line into the states of Pennsylvania and Vermont for their first hunting experience because of the younger age limit to hunt big game. But many other children, who do not have the opportunity to start hunting at a younger age, never enter the sport of hunting.
DEC's Doug Stang went on to say, “I speculate that as New York hunters age there is an increased use of crossbows due to the difficulties with drawing and holding recure, long and compound bows. There has been a slight decreasing trend in sales of bowhunting privileges in the past few years.”
Ice Fishing Contest!
The Hurleyville Fire Dept. and the Town of Fallsburg Youth Commission will hold their 32nd Annual ice fishing contest on Morningside Lake in Hurleyville on Saturday February 8, 2020 - 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Adults $5 and children 15 & under are free. Trophies, prizes, bait, refreshments and raffles will be held.
For more info call 845-436-5418, 845-434-3475 or 845-434-7706.
Last call to get your coyote applications in for the statewide coyote contest to be held on February 7-9, 2020. No registrations will be accepted after 7 p.m. on Wednesday, February 5.
Good luck to all hunters entered!
Jack Danchak is the President of the Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs of Sullivan County.