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2 counties pass laws to allow 12- & 13-year-olds to hunt

Published: Jun. 2, 2021 at 7:54 AM EDT
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - As New York moves to reduce the age limit to hunt deer, two north country counties -- Jefferson and Lewis -- are following suit.

Local governments need to give their seal of approval before the state’s new rules could go into effect county by county.

Jefferson County held a public hearing Tuesday night, however no one spoke up at it.

The Board of Legislators unanimously passed a local law to allow 12- and 13-year-olds to hunt deer using a firearm or a crossbow. A parent or legal guardian with at least three years’ hunting experience must accompany them.

County Legislature chair Scott Gray calls it a good law.

“I think it’s a great idea to get kids outside, number one, and getting involved in a different type of recreational activity,” Gray said, “and it teaches them the proper use of firearms.”

The law takes effect immediately, in conjunction with the state’s temporary law to lower the hunting age through 2023.

The Lewis County Board of Legislators also approved its local hunting age law.

That county also held a public hearing, but nobody spoke there, either.

Lawmakers made a quick decision following the hearing, passing the law unanimously. Legislator Richard Chartrand says this gets New York up to speed.

“Reason why they wanted to go along with this was the fact that we were one of about three other states in the whole United States that doesn’t allow the 12- to 13-year-olds to hunt.”

As in Jefferson County, the law takes effect immediately.

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