Assembly Bill 11033, New York’s “Youth Hunting” bill, sponsored by State Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte (D-138), was recently passed by both the Senate and Assembly. It is now en route to the desk of Governor David Paterson (D) for his consideration. The companion bill is Senate Bill 8228, sponsored by State Senator Dale Volker (R-59).
A11033/S8228 allows 14 and 15 year olds, who already are permitted to hunt small game in New York, to also hunt deer and bear with a firearm under specified conditions and only while supervised. It also creates a trapper-mentoring program.
Thirty states across the country currently have no age limit, allowing parents to decide when their children are old enough to hunt, and these thirty states have a better collective hunter safety record than the twenty states with minimum ages. Although it is disappointing that the state of New York did not join the majority of states in the country that have no age limit, this is a modest step in the right direction.
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