OPENING THE 2017 HUNTING SEASON IN NEW YORK STATE
Column from Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C,I,Ref-Canandaigua)
For many outdoor enthusiasts, few things are more exciting than the beginning of hunting season in New York State. Between small game and early bow season there are already hunters out in the woods, traveling our state and spending their hard-earned money at local businesses. Our Conference has worked hard to ensure residents and visitors alike are permitted to use the best hunting equipment to safely and efficiently harvest wild game.
The Finger Lakes Region offers some world-class hunting opportunities, and conservation efforts have only made it better. Recently, I sponsored bill (A.7766), which permanently allows sportsmen and women in Seneca County to use rifles during big game season on local lands. Passing in the Assembly on June 7 and the Senate on June 19, the bill was sent to the governor and signed into law on August 21. For the last two big game seasons, rifles have been used safely in Seneca County.
HUNTING IS BIG BUSINESS FOR NEW YORK STATE
According to North Country Public Radio, each year, people hunting and fishing generate $5 billion in our economy annually. New York is second in the nation when it comes to how much money our outdoorsmen and women spend. Not only is it great for the local economy, but they also bring in roughly $45 million for environmental protection agencies and programs. Outdoor enthusiasts are truly conservationists and they make our state better each year by being environmentally-conscious stewards of the entire natural habitat.
Additionally, small businesses in rural towns across our state rely on this time of year to make ends meet and get ahead. During lunch and just after dusk, you will see men and women in camouflage and blaze orange in local eateries getting coffee and warming up after hours in the woods.
ALWAYS REMEMBER SAFETY FIRST
The instructors who volunteer their time to train new hunters taking the hunter safety course continue to do great work. According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, the 2016 hunting season was the safest on record in New York State. It’s important to always remember the pillars of gun safety, such as; being aware of your muzzle direction, knowing your target and beyond and wearing hunter orange so you are easily identifiable to other hunters.
As New York State residents routinely prove how capable they are, especially our sportsmen and women, unconstitutional laws such as the SAFE Act should not be dictating which firearms our responsible and law-abiding citizens are permitted to use for a wide variety of hunting and shooting purposes.
What do you think? I want to hear from you. Send me your feedback, suggestions and ideas regarding this or any other issue facing New York State. You can always contact my district office at (315) 781-2030, email me at email@example.com, find me by searching for Assemblyman Brian Kolb on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.