ALBANY, 08/04/11 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) announced today that legislation allowing Cortland County sportsmen and women to use a rifle while hunting deer or bear has been signed into law.
“This is common sense legislation that mirrors regulations already in effect in neighboring counties allowing the use of rifles while hunting big game,” said Senator Seward. “More importantly, Cortland County sportsmen and women, who collectively have an impeccable safety record, strongly support the change.”
The legislation (S.1683-A/A.4357-A) amends section 11-0907 of the environmental conservation law to add Cortland County to the list of counties in which the taking of deer by rifle is authorized. Current law allows for rifle use in Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chemung, Chenango, Herkimer, Madison, Montgomery, Oneida, Oswego, Otsego, Schoharie, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga, Yates and a portion of Broome County.
Very few adverse incidents or problems have been reported in the counties where big-game rifle hunting is currently permitted. In fact, neighboring Madison County reported no incidents or accidents involving rifles during the first season (2008) that their use was allowed.
“With fewer hunters taking to the woods and the deer population on the rise, we have seen an increase in crop damage as well as a rise in dangerous and expensive car-deer accidents. Allowing the use of rifles for big-game hunting will help combat these growing problems while at the same time enhancing the local hunting experience. I wish all of our sportsmen a safe and productive hunting season this fall,” Seward concluded.
The new law takes effect with the upcoming big-game hunting season which begins on the third Saturday in November, November 19, 2011.