Senator Dale M. Volker Announces New State Law To Allow Hunting In The Southern Tier

William T. Stachowski

August 31, 2005

(Albany, NY) Senator Dale M. Volker (R-I-C, Depew) today announced that Governor George E. Pataki has enacted his bill into law (S.918), which would allow sportsmen to hunt deer and bear in the southern tier counties with rifles.

"This new law is a common sense approach to humanely thinning out our deer herds, stopping the spread of Lyme Disease in many Southern Tier counties and allows sportsmen and sportswomen to have enhanced opportunities in participating in our cultural heritage," said Senator Dale M. Volker. For several years, the growth in the population of deer in the Southern Tier has been profound, Many within our wildlife management organizations have been urging the State Legislature to enact this legislation so as to mitigate economic losses to our residents and to save lives as well," "By allowing rifle hunting for deer and bear in this region of our state, we can humanely lower the deer population as they often die of starvation. It will also prevent human deaths from automobile accidents that have been rising from vehicles hitting deer on our highways, and also see a reduction in the spread of Lyme Disease throughout the State of New York, which is often spread by deer ticks."

Senator Volker’s bill, which goes into effect immediately, would allow hunters to use rifles during open season for deer and bear in the counties of Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chenango, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Oswego, Otsego, Schoharie and Tioga, as well as certain rural towns on Broome County in those areas east of the Susquehanna River.

There are more deer in New York State than there were 10 years ago and there are fewer deer hunters than in previous years. Crop damage and deer and automotive collision is increasing by significant numbers and it is costing New York State taxpayers millions of dollars in damages. Expanding the law to include hunting with rifles in the Southern Tier counties may help control the deer population in those areas and simultaneously stimulate economic activity for area businesses. Additionally, the firearms that have been traditionally legal for hunting big game have become safer and less damaging to the animal.

This legislation was sponsored and passed in the State Assembly by Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte.