Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently unveiled over four dozen new outdoor access projects that are intended to connect hunters, anglers, bird watchers and other outdoor enthusiasts to an additional 380,000 acres of untapped and underutilized State lands across New York.
The newly opened access points will include more than $6 million in projects to improve access to hunting and fishing, boat launches, and new hiking opportunities. Many of the proposed projects will make the trails and boat launches available to persons with disabilities for the first time.
The new plans are part of the Governor’s NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, which is intended to boost tourism opportunities throughout the state by improving recreational activities for in-state and out-of-state sportsmen and sportswomen.
Gov. Cuomo also made mention of a new state initiative intended to limit the liability of landowners who permit the public to access their properties for hunting, fishing, hiking and other outdoor recreational pursuits.
It was interesting to note the Governor’s recent announcement also included a proposal to allow hunting with a crossbow again in New York State. While the proposed measure is certain to rile up the bowhunting fraternity again, it’s time the devout bowhunters gave up the ghost.
There’s little doubt crossbows were once a more accurate and much easier hunting tool to use, than longbows.
However, there are very few longbow archers left afield today. The majority of today’s bow hunters now use compound bows that are just as fast, and every bit as accurate as any crossbow.
The bitterness the crossbow issue has stirred up among NY sportsmen and women only served to divide sportsmen and to embolden anti-hunting advocates. New York’s sportsmen and women need to work together,not against each other.
The battle over the use of modern technologies in the pursuit of traditional outdoor sports has recently soared to new levels.
Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.