Youth deer hunting up for discussion again in Erie County

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — After it was shot down by County Executive Mark Poloncarz two years ago, a bill to allow youth deer hunting is being discussed again in the Erie County Legislature.

If signed into law, it would allow licensed 12 and 13-year-olds to hunt deer with either a firearm or crossbow, as long as they’re supervised by a licensed adult.

As of August 2021, Erie is one of the only counties north of Long Island where this is not permitted.

(Graphic: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation)

The same proposal was passed by the Legislature two years ago but later vetoed by Poloncarz. Those in support of the bill held a subsequent vote but were unable to override the county executive’s decision.

In 2023, the new bill has the support of Republicans in the Legislature, but it must undergo a public hearing before it can be moved for a vote. As of Thursday afternoon, Legislative Chair April Baskin has not called for a public hearing on the matter.

Also on Thursday’s agenda were the Erie County Language Access Act and the Occupancy Tax Modernization Act. The former, which takes measures to address language barriers in county documents, was passed in a 7-4 vote.

Thursday was the County Legislature’s final session for 2023.

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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award, JANY Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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