New York State sportsmen got an early Christmas gift when Governor Andrew M. Cuomo vetoed the Assembly Bill #10583-A, sponsored by Chairman Sweeney, that would have restricted crossbow use to gun seasons AND prevented the Department of Environmental Conservation from scheduling a youth hunt in the archery season.
Plain and simple, it was a quickly thrown-together compromise bill late in the legislative session with lots of flaws.
The New York State Conservation Council, with help from many of its supporting cast rallied the sportsmen to contact the governor's office and get the bill vetoed and it worked!
OBSERVER Photo by Gene Pauszek
Brian Katta, who recently joined the U.S. Army, shot a nice 9 point buck on Dec. 4 while on leave. He was hunting with his uncle Gary Katta and friends Richard and Dan Schrantz in the Town of Arkwright.
The next step is to get a crossbow bill introduced and authorized both permanently and for use in any season legal for bow without restrictions. I am told that such a bill has, or soon will be introduced by Senator Patrick Gallavin from Erie County.
With all the deer permits that were available this year, and almost two and a half months to pursue them, you have to eventually realize that there is plenty of room for an unrestricted crossbow season. Most of the sportsmen that are pushing for a crossbow season are relatively older hunters, with at least one infirmity, that would most likely be using a crossbow on their own property, or that of a friend.
I doubt the majority of these older potential crossbow hunters will be able to hunt as long or as many days as their younger bow-hunting competitors. There is room for crossbow hunters.
One more thing to consider: we as responsible sportsmen and gun owners will have to remain united in the face of the impending gun control pressure. Anyone with a heart had to grieve at the senseless loss of life in Connecticut last week, but evil was responsible not the guns. Timothy McVey didn't use a gun to kill all the innocents, did he? Maybe it's time to let God back into our classrooms and our hearts?
We saved one more deer story for Christmas. Brian Katta was featured as a successful hunter last year when he took his first deer, a nice doe. He graduated from high school and enlisted in the Army in July and departed for boot camp this summer. Brian came home during deer season this year for a 10-day leave and his uncle Gary Katta invited him to go deer hunting in Arkwright, along with two companions Richard and Dan Schrantz.
Gary spied a nice buck moving fast along a trail and tried to down it but missed. The buck, a nice 9 point, was headed for Brian and one shot, followed by a shout of success, told the tale. Brian also tagged a doe the same day, which was quite a memorable day for his second year of deer hunting. Brian has departed for a two-year assignment in Bamburg, Germany, but his uncle is having a European-style mount made for his nephew at West Wind Archery. Congratulations soldier and Merry Christmas from your friends and fellow sportsmen back home!
On Jan. 19, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Soutowns Walleye Hall, there will be a flea market-type sale of used fishing and hunting equipment, with free parking, free entry and food and drinks available. Tables are $20, with reservations due by Jan. 17. Call 649-8202 for information.
The local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, the Lakeshore Longbeards, will host its next meeting on Jan. 9 at 7 p.m., at Liberty Vineyards, located on Route 20, in Sheridan. Topic of discussion will include the upcoming membership banquet to be held on Feb. 9, 2013, at the Koscuisko Club, in Dunkirk. Also on the agenda will be scholarship submissions. All local high school seniors are invited to participate. For more information, find the National Wild Turkey Federation online, and look for scholarship information. The deadline for scholarship submission to be eligible for statewide and national awards is Jan. 15, 2013.
The SAREP Youth Fly Fishing Program will continue its 14th season of free fly tying and fly fishing classes on Monday evenings from 7-8:30 p.m., at the Fredonia Middle School Cafeteria. Field trips will occur shortly afterwards. Classes are free and are open to children and community members. Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult. The classes will continue to meet every Monday until early summer.
There will be a Fur Handling Seminar on Saturday, Jan. 5 at the Collins Conservation Club located on Conger Road, Collins. This FREE event will run from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Learn better ways of preparing your pelts. There will be kids games, prizes, raffles and the kitchen is open. There will be a fur buyer available after the event. Call Hoot at 532-2457, or Patti at 337-2556 for information. This event is sponsored by the Erie County Fur Trappers Association.
The Northern Chautauqua Beagle Club will host its annual rabbit hunt on Sunday, Jan. 13. The hunt is open to all area hunters. You can enter the day of the event at the club house located 8455 Fredonia Stockton Road in Fredonia from 6-8 a.m. Entry fee is $5. Awards and hot food available at the club around 3 p.m. For information, call Pete Criscione at 366-8989, Liz Dorman at 595- 3993 and John Depew at 789-5522.
For those of you interested in taking a NYS Pistol Permit Class, there will be one held locally on Jan. 26 from 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. For information, call Gary Dudek at 366-3397.
The Jamestown Rifle club will hold Pistol classes on Jan. 27, Feb. 24, March 24 and April 28. You must be 21 years of age and a resident of Chautauqua County. All classes begin at 1 p.m. and last around four hours. Call Pat Hayes at 484-9301 for information.
Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.