Gov. Cuomo Proposes Big Changes to New York’s Hunting Regulations

New York, one of the most restrictive state for guns, is looking to revamp a couple of hunting regulation. Usually, when anti-gun states look to change hunting laws it does not bode well for hunters, but in this case the changes look to be for the better.

According to, Governor Andrew Cuomo included two pro-hunting provisions in his executive budget proposal for this coming fiscal year. The first proposes lowering the age that a junior hunter can hunt big game with a firearm and the other looks to expand crossbow usage across the state.

Currently, a junior hunter has to be 14-years old to hunt big game with a firearm and a 12-year-old to hunt with a bow. Also, the Junior hunter and his mentor must hunt from the ground. The proposal would lower the age to 12 making it the same as with a bow and remove the ground hunting requirement.

“Expanding junior hunting will allow youth to learn the basics of being a safe hunter from a young age and will drive increased family participation in the outdoors,” the budget summary states.

The second proposal looks to expand the use of crossbows to the entire deer season not just the last two weeks of bow season and the entirety of firearm season.

Crossbow hunting historically has been somewhat controversial in hunting circles with many compound bow hunters not wanting to allow it into archery season. This argument is countered with something similar to the argument laid out in the budget summary.

“New hunters may prefer to learn to hunt with a crossbow than a firearm,” the budget summary states. “Expanded crossbow use in all big game seasons will allow increased participation by those who do not have the physical ability to handle a conventional bow or don’t feel comfortable using, purchasing, or carrying a shotgun or rifle.”

My personal opinion on crossbows is that they lower the barrier of entry into hunting and that is a good thing. Anything that makes it easier to recruit new hunters should be celebrated.

I talk a lot about hunting and personal choice in my book, Why We Hunt: The Five Motivations of the Modern Hunter. It helps explain why hunters see things differently and why some choose different hunting implements. Understanding other hunter motivations and thoughts are key to being a united voice against those that would wish to ban hunting completely. I would encourage you to check out my book and learn how we can preserve hunting for future generations.

Also check out my book, The Deer Stand Devotional: A Walk with the Creator through Hunting Season, both are available on Amazon.