Junior Big-Game Hunting License Approved by Assembly

Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D-Endwell) announced that the New York State Assembly passed legislation she co-sponsored that extends big-game hunting privileges to 14- and 15-year-olds in New York State (A.11033). The junior big-game hunting license, which will allow young hunters to take deer and bear, requires that junior hunters be directly supervised by an experienced hunter 21 years or older at all times during a hunting excursion.

“New York is the only state in the country where 14-year-olds can’t hunt big game with a firearm,” said Assemblywoman Lupardo. “Extending the provisions of the junior license to big game like deer and bear will bring New York in line with the rest of the country.”

Since the establishment of New York’s junior hunting license in 1991, children 12 and older have been permitted to hunt small game with a firearm and big game with a longbow.

“Studies show that strict supervision by experienced hunters instills a strong safety ethic in young hunters, and according to the DEC, the current licensing program has proven extremely successful and remarkably safe,” Assemblywoman Lupardo said.

A 2005 youth hunting report compiled for the Families Afield Initiative, a collaborative effort of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the National Wild Turkey Federation and the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, concluded that states such as New York with age barriers to youth participation in hunting are failing to recruit hunters at a sufficient rate to replace those retiring from the sport. Recruitment of additional hunters is necessary to ensure the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation will be able to effectively manage an expanding deer population.

Passage by the New York State Senate is expected.