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02/07/2013

NWTF Efforts to Save New York Youth Hunt Pay Off

Hunters and conservationists celebrated a major victory for youth hunting in New York when Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, at the urging of state NWTF leaders, vetoed a bill that would have ended the state's annual October youth deer hunt.

Cuomo's veto of Bill A10583/S7705A allows the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to continue to offer youth a 3-day mentored hunt with firearms over the Columbus Day weekend.

After the state's Assembly and Senate passed a bill last summer that would have overridden DEC authority to continue the hunt, NWTF New York State Chapter President Bill Wilbur and NWTF wildlife biologist Doug Little urged Gov. Cuomo to veto the bill.

The NWTF effectively pointed out that the language to kill the youth hunt was wrongly attached to the end of a bill that extended the agency's authority to allow crossbows during the regular deer/bear firearms season.

"Simple extender bills should not be used as a basis to impose unrelated restrictions," Cuomo wrote to the Assembly in explaining his veto.

Cuomo kept the unsigned bill on his desk throughout the fall hunting season, allowing the youth hunt to continue in 2012. He recently vetoed the bill, saving the youth hunt for the foreseeable future.

"There is no question that the Governor received our collective input loud and clear," said Larry Becker, past president of the NWTF New York State Chapter.

The NWTF appreciates Gov. Cuomo's recognition of the importance of allowing youth to participate in hunting.

As Wilbur and Little pointed out in a letter to Cuomo, the NWTF has enjoyed a long history of cooperation with state, federal and corporate partners in successful wildlife management efforts.

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