Many of you readers may have noticed the report that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo that unveiled plans to reduce the cost of hunting and fishing licenses.
The proposal is part of the 30-day amendments to the 2013-14 Executive Budget and ,when passed, will reduce fees paid by hundreds of thousands of hunters, anglers and trappers while maintaining support for the fish and wildlife programs. This proposal will simplify the current license structure and is more attractive to both resident and non-resident hunters, trappers and anglers.
Tourism is big business across the state and the results of a recent national survey indicated that over $8.1 billion of economic activity is generated as a result of sporting activity in New York State. The current license process is confusing due to the type, number and potential combinations that are currently offered. In comparison, New York's license fees are also higher than neighboring states.
Photos by Gene Pauszek
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed a reduction to the cost of hunting and fishing licenses.
Some of the major highlights of the proposal are: Reduce the price of a hunting licenses from $29 to $22; fishing licenses would be reduced from $29 to $25. Note: The new proposal would make your new fishing license valid for one full year from the day you purchase it. Out of state residents will see a significant savings too.
An annual fishing license would drop from $70 to $50, hunting would drop from $140 to $100, bow hunting would drop from $140 to $40 while muzzleloading would drop from $140 to $30. One-day turkey licenses will decrease from $50 to $20 and One-day fishing licenses will drop from $15 to $10.
This new proposal has more perks. The proposal would consolidate both small-game and big-game privileges into a single license. Trapping privileges would be folded into the hunting license for no additional fees for certified trappers. The Junior Trapper and Trapper Mentor opportunities will still be maintained. The proposal will also retain discount licenses for youths, seniors, military, disabled and Native Americans.
The sporting community hails this proposal as a win-win for sportsmen. Truth be told, they were instrumental in drawing up many of these proposals. In a survey conducted in 2011, New York State was second in the nation in total anglers (1.88 million) spending on fishing related items and sixth in non-resident angler spending. That figure boils down to an estimated $108 million in state and local taxes.
On a more somber note, licensed gun owners have been inquiring about where Chautauqua County stands on the Governor's SAFE legislation and proposals. As of Saturday, there has been no official word. Neighboring counties have all signed petitions stating they are against the new laws that were pushed through. Write or contact your legislatures and put pressure on them to take a stand against proposals that punish law-abiding gun owners. If they don't stand up for you, remember who your friends are at election time.
Another question concerns the opt-out forms and where to get them. The form is a NYS Firearms License Request for Public Records Exemption. You can try to use your computer search engine to find opt-out forms. Some printed forms have been made available at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club for members and more will be passed out at the Dom Polski Club today. Pick one up, make copies and pass them around. Fill out the form and mail them in to the County Clerk's office as soon as possible. There is a reported 60-day lifespan on the form, so get moving.
The Northern Chautauqua County Club Association breakfast to be held today at the Dom Polski Club in Dunkirk will be limited to club associates and club representatives only. Those wishing to attend this function have made prior reservations. The Association regrets any inconvenience the prior notice posted in this column may have caused. I plan on giving a report delivered by Undersheriff Holden on the new gun bill proposals.
The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club's annual Take-A-Kid Fishing Day fundraiser/chicken barbecue will be held today. Tickets are $8.50 pre-sale and $9 at the door. This event has been a sellout every year. The Con Club prides itself on the fact that no child has ever been turned away that wanted to attend. The tentative date for this year's Take-A-Kid Fishing is June 1. Follow your nose to the foot of Mullet Street in Dunkirk off Route 5, turn north by the Country Fair to find the Con Club.
The Northern Chautauqua Chapter of Ducks Unlimited will hold their annual fundraiser membership banquet on Saturday, March 9, at the Dunkirk Moose Lodge, located at 296 Lake Shore Drive West.
Doors open at 5 p.m., with dinner at 6:30. Auctions will be held after dinner. Call Steve at 410-4848 or Chris at 672-2498 for tickets or information.
Waterfowl hunters should be advised that the Dept. of Environmental Conservation has re-opened the snow goose season effective until April 15 in upstate New York. For more information, log on to www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/50514.html.
There will be a "Gun Owners' March on Albany" bus trip which will depart from the New York State Thruway Exit 49 (Depew) park-and-drive area Feb. 28. Participants will travel to the Empire State Plaza's Legislative Office Building. Departure is 4:30 a.m., with arrival time expected to be 10 a.m. The cost is $25 per passenger. Departure from Albany is scheduled for 3 p.m., and arrival back at the Depew parking area around 8:30 p.m. For reservations, call Rich at 510-7952 or email email@example.com. This event is co-sponsored by the Erie County Federation of Sportsmen. *Note at the Thursday meeting held at Southtowns Walleye Association the guys passed the hat and raised over $500 to defray the expenses of sending additional buses. Cool!
The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club Fly Tyers, Fedrick, Hollander, Kennedy and Rasmus have all the equipment you will need to learn how to tie your own flies. No matter what level you are at - from beginner to advanced - you can come and have a good time free of charge. They will provide the vises, hooks and fly tying material. Youngsters accompanied by a parent or guardian are most certainly welcome.
The Jamestown Rifle Club will hold pistol classes today, March 24 and April 28. You must be 21 years old and a resident of Chautauqua County. All classes begin at 1 p.m., and last around four hours each. Call Pat Hayes at 484-9301 for information.
Harbor Creek, Pa., at the Harbor Creek Fire Dept. Social Hall located at 7275 Buffalo Road, US Route 20 on March 16-17 Call 569-6810 or log on yorkpennshows.com
Little Valley Sons of the American Legion present their 2013 Sportsmen's Show at Green Gable Village, 4343 Whalen Road, in Great Valley off Route 219 between Salamanca and Great Valley on March 16 & 17. Call 938- 6929 for information.
The Little Valley Volunteer Fire Dept. will host their Sportsmen's Show at the Cattaragus County Fairgrounds Route 353 Little Valley N.Y. on April 13 & 14 Call (716) 938- 6928 for information.
Lander, Pa., Sportsmans Show will be April 20 & 21. Call (814) 757- 9466 for information
The Westfield Fish & Game Club will host their annual Ham & Steak Shoot on April 14 at their club house located on Ogden Road. Rain or shine. All legal centerfire firearms permitted. Ammo supplied for birdshot and deer slugs. 22 Cal. shoot (indoors) bring your own ammo.
Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.