Crossbow bill going through with restrictions

The Crossbow bill is going through, but with some restrictions.

Usually an announcement like this comes in official form from the Department of Environmental Conservation office, but those members of the Conservation Council who have been working diligently to pass this bill, were among the first to receive an email on Friday evening announcing that Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, along with two heads of the House Committee, passed the crossbow bill as part of the Governor’s budget.

There are several steps to take place that are just formalities, but the bill will pass and possibly go into effect for the 2014 hunting season.

The DEC will reportedly govern over rules and regulations. There are several restrictions that will reportedly go along with this bill.

Archers will be allowed to use a crossbow during the regular archery season, but only during the last 10 days of the archery season in the northern zone and during the last 14 days of the archery season in the southern zone. There are restrictions on how far a bow or a crossbow can be used from an occupied dwelling also.

News of the crossbow bill passing will be gratefully accepted by numerous hunters who have been beset with old age and the infirmities that go along with it, as well as our wounded warriors returning home from the service of our country.

There are several counties reportedly in the eastern part of the state who are unwilling to comply at this time with the crossbow bill. We will keep you posted with further developments.

The DEC is looking for waterfowl hunters’ recommendations to regional Waterfowl Hunter Task Forces for the dates of the fall 2014 duck seasons. The time frame is limited to an April 4 deadline.

The recommendations must be within the federal guidelines established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. For the fall 2014 season, the DEC expects the USFWS to allow a 60-day duck season, split into no more than two segments per zone, opening no earlier than Sept. 27 and closing no later than Jan. 2015.

Waterfowl hunters are invited to submit their suggestions in the season-setting process to any task force members by the April 4, 2014 deadline by going to the DEC website at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/42364.html. The members are listed in alphabetical order. You can also contact the DEC Bureau of Wildlife by email at fwwildlf@gw.dec.state.ny.us.

Calendar:

In-land trout season opens up in NYS waters on Tuesday, April 1. SCOPE muster on Albany is on the same day.

Hanover Fish & Game will host a 10-week trap league starting March 30. Cost for the league is $20 plus $5 per week for shooting. Shooters must have four weeks shot by April 27. Shooting will be Sundays from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., and Thursdays from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. For more information, contact Mike Nasal at 679-6059 or Mark at 713-2776.

The next meeting of the Great Lakes Experience Planning Board will be in April at 12:30 p.m., at the SUNY Fredonia Technology Incubator, which is located on Central Avenue in Dunkirk. Plans are being made for the GLE to take place at Dunkirk’s Memorial Park on June 21. This event should be a great time and everyone interested in attending should mark the date on their calendars. This event is going to be a lot of fun, so make plans for you and your friends to attend.

SCOPE (Shooters Committee on Political Education) is putting together a bus trip to Albany on April 1. The bus will leave from Dunkirk at 4:30 a.m. sharp. The bus will be stationed at the D&F Plaza behind Big Lots. The bus has seating for 56 passengers at the cost of $40 per seat. Cash payment will reserve your seat and can be dropped off at 296 Water Street in Fredonia from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Friday. For more information call 672-6210.

New York Sea Grant’s annual “State of Lake Erie Meeting” will be held on Thursday, April 10 from 7- 9 p.m. at the Southtowns Walleye Association Club House located at 5895 Southwestern Boulevard, Hamburg. Guest speakers and topics will be: Status of Lake Erie fish community by NYSDEC Don Einhouse, Lake Erie sturgeon by Dr. Dimitry Gorsky, Microplastics in Lake Erie and fish health by Dr. Sherri Mason and an update on Lake Erie toxic algae blooms by Helen Domske. The meeting is free and open to the public.

Southtowns walleye will also feature a one day yellow perch contest on May 17 for $10 per entry. Cash prizes, free perch dinner and lots of fun. Must be a member ($35). Southtown Walleye’s annual walleye tournament is June 7 through 14. Must be a member and $35 entry per contestant.

The Monday Night Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club Fly Tyers will meet Monday at 6 p.m., weather permitting. The event is open to the public and is free of charge.

The Falconer Rod & Gun Club will host a trapping course on Sept. 24 and 26 from 5:30-10 p.m. each day. Register the first day.

There will be gun safety courses at the Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club located on Route 310 Cassadaga-Stockton Road on April 10 and 11 from 5-10 p.m. Must attend both days and pre-register by calling Rich at 595-3917. There will also be another course on July 10 and 11, which will use the same time frame. The archery course at the Bear Lake club will be on Aug. 20 and 21 from 6 until 10 p.m. Two-day attendance is required as well as pre-registration. Their trapping course will be on Oct. 16 and 17 from 6-10 p.m. both days. Limit of 35 students.

There will be a gun safety course at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club on April 16 and 17 from 5-10 p.m. Two-day attendance mandatory. Call Gary at 366-3397. There will be another two-day course given on August 27 and 28. Note these classes are limited to 35 students.

Another two-day course will be on September 24 and 25. Same time frame.

There will be one date for the archery course at the “Con Club” on Saturday, Sept. 20, from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. There is a class limit of 60 students. Bring a lunch. Pre-register by calling Gary at 366-3397.

The trapping course at the “Con Club” will be on Sept. 27 from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Limit 60 students.

Raw fur pickup schedule: North American Fur Auctions’ (NAFA) location is Lucky Lanes bowling alley on Route 60, in Fredonia. Time is 4:30 p.m., on April 28. The agent is Ernest Mosher and he can be reached by calling 315-868-6275. Note: The fur must be put up and dried. No green pelts will be accepted.

If your club is hosting a shooting event, or training course (turkey shoot, etc.), drop a line and I will be glad to place an announcement in the calendar.

Gun Shows:

The Sportsmen’s Show at the Little Valley Volunteer Fire Dept. will be on April 5 and 6. Admission will be $5 with kids under the age of 12 admitted free. For information on directions, or to be a vendor, call Jim Miller at 938-6928.

Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to sports@observertoday.com.