Legislation to lower the minimum age of big game hunters to 12 has passed the New York State Senate and is now before the Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee.
The conservative leaning New York State Conservation Council has been leading a push to lower the big game hunting age. The New York State Department of Conservation’s current five-year deer management plan recommends the minimum age for big game hunting with a firearm be lowered to 12. These hunters would be required to be accompanied by a parent or permitted adult.
The Senate bill (S3156) was sponsored by Senator Joseph Griffo. The companion Assembly bill (A477) is sponsored by Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther. The measure failed last year.
According to the Conservation Council, “all states allow youth age twelve to hunt big game with a firearm and 60% have a younger minimum age.”
The legislature is currently in recess and legislators will be in their districts until the legislature reconvenes on Tuesday, February 27th.
The Assembly website can help you identify your Assembly member here.
UPDATED 2/23: To include that young hunters would be required to be accompanied by a parent or permitted adult.
Photo: Young hunter with a deer killed with an air rifle in 2008 (DEC Photo).