It doesn’t happen often, but I do have some problems with the Department of Environmental Conservation from time to time. And based on what that organization is proposing for deer hunters, this is one of those times.
Real potentially dangerous times, if the truth be known.
It seems that big game hunter numbers are in a long-term decline. At the same time, the DEC points up that existing hunters should be given more opportunities to keep the deer population as close to “sustainable” as possible. Their reasoning is that keeping the animals in that range reduces damage to forest ecosystems and agricultural areas, and minimizes deer-vehicle collisions.
That is the overall “takeaway” from the DEC’s draft (proposed) 10-year deer management plan. (Note: you can read the entire 79 page document on the DEC’s website at dec.ny.gov/animals/7211.html).
Their “suggestions” for increasing the overall deer take include:
►Extending shooting hours from (to) 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sundown.
►Permit crossbow use during the entire archery season (currently they are allowed only during the final two weeks before the opening of firearms hunting plus one week after).
►Lower the minimum age for youth hunters from 14 years to 12 years.
►Create tax incentives for landowners to allow public hunting on their property.