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OPINIONS VARY ON CWD HANDLING

How do they see chronic waste disease?

Opinions vary on how the Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets has been handling discoveries of CWD discovered in a few whitetail deer that had been part of captive herds held in game farms in Oneida County.

The Quality Deer Management Association commended the DEC and DAM "for their rapid and measured response," noting "we are pleased at this point it has not been discovered in wild herds."

Howard Cushing, president of the New York State Conservation Council, issued the statement: "We are appalled and dismayed at the lack of DAM doing a better survey and management of game farms that have animals susceptible to CWD."

Pathologists continue to study deer "depopulated" (killed) from herds at two Town of Westmoreland game farms. For the latest updates, see the Web site: www.agmkt.state.ny.us.

A Pennsylvania Game Commission study just completed confirms "CWD not found in Pennsylvania hunter-killed deer samples."

Youth hunt starts

Young hunters can take their first tom turkey beginning a half-hour before sunrise Saturday. A Spring Youth Hunt, open until noon Saturday and Sunday, allows kids aged 12-15 to hunt for a bearded wild turkey in the company of a license-holding adult hunter.

Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge holds its Youth Hunt on May 1. Youths can sign up with an adult by Tuesday for the 25 applications accepted. For details, call (585) 948-5445.

The regular spring season runs May 1-31, allowing hunting until noon daily.

Crossbows gaining

The Senate and Legislature in West Virginia, a state with strong opposition from bowhunter groups to legalizing crossbows, have passed a bill to allow this device to be used for hunting. Insiders in that state say the governor will sign this bill into law.

With that signing, New York will be one of just three states that does not allow hunters to use crossbows during any hunting season.

The Pope and Young Club, a national bow hunting organization, has reissued its Crossbow Policy Statement banning all devices that ". . . enable the hunter to lock the bow at full or partial draw . . . Also, the club strongly recommends that crossbow hunting be abolished from all existing bowhunting seasons and the use of the crossbow for hunting be restricted to firearms seasons."

Site for the birds

The Finger Lakes and Western New York Waterfowl Association has just begun its Web site, posting information on club activities, season-setting data, directions on building nesting cylinders, and all kinds of general information on waterfowl, including links to other waterfowl sites. Go to: flwnywfowl.org.

e-mail: wille@pce.net