The deer hunting season has just ended here in Western New York. It was a season that had more hunters in the woods than we have seen in a long time. According to the New York State DEC, there was a surge in sales of licenses this past fall.

With the pandemic and lockdowns in place, many people returned to the woods to hunt. Hunting is also a great way to fill the freezer when the meat prices are high or the supply is diminished, venison and other wild meat is the perfect way to feed your family.

But what happens next? With the uncertainty of a pandemic and the political and cultural landscape being churned up, what will the future of hunting and fishing be in New York State? There is legislation being considered that would keep our right to hunt in place eternally.

Section 1. Hunting, trapping, and fishing and the taking of wild animals, birds, and fish are a valued part of our heritage and will be forever preserved for the people. Fish and wildlife shall be managed by state laws and regulations that provide persons with the continued opportunity to take, by traditional means and methods, species traditionally pursued by hunters, anglers, and trappers. Fish and wildlife management, including taking, shall be consistent with the state's duty to protect this heritage and its duty to conserve wild animals, birds, and fish, and shall be subject to reasonable regulation as prescribed by state statute.

I have been hunting since I was 12 and will and have already started to introduce my boys to hunting and fishing as well. It is a great way to teach the next generation about conservation and how to respect wildlife and nature. It is our responsibility to help manage wildlife and preserve it for the future. Plus, there is simply no better, organic, way to feed your family.

No doubt, those who hunt and fish will be watching and I urge you to get in touch with your local representatives to encourage them to vote in favor of preserving hunting and fishing in New York.

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