Crossbows, not hurricanes, are the big news from the state of Florida.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission approved rule changes to open a five-day crossbow season on private lands between archery and muzzleloader season in the south and central zones. A seven-day season in the northwest zone will open on the Monday after Thanksgiving.
Conventional bows may be used during the new crossbow season, and both bows and crossbows may be used on private property during muzzleloader gun season, but crossbows will not be legal during the archery season.
With the legalization of crossbows in Florida, New York State continues as one of just five states that do not recognize the crossbow as a legal hunting implement for the general public in any big-game hunting season.
Kansas, Nevada, Oregon and Utah either do not recognize the implement for hunting or, like New York, set limitations that allow only severely impaired persons to apply for a crossbow-hunting permit.
Daniel James Hendricks, editor of Horizontal Bowhunter magazine and executive director of the American Crossbow Federation, sees Florida's crossbow season opener as "another step in the right direction." For more information about the magazine or ACF, go to: www.horzontalbowhunter.com. For a breakdown of state regulations, go to: www.tenpointcrossbows.com and click on "Crossbow Regulations" and then "USA Regulations."
Gerry Barnhardt, DEC director of fish, wildlife, and marine resources, announced a law signed for the restoration of deficiency-budget funds used for emergency chronic wasting disease responses needed this past year.
Conservation Fund monies will be retuned for environmental enforcement ($1.5 million); fish, wildlife and marine resources ($5 million); and operations ($1 million). "The sportsmen really made this happen," Barnhardt said.
MoldCraft, an Ohio molding, tool and die making company in Upper Sandusky, purchased the rights to the Ithaca Gun name, designs and inventory.
The company has begun variations of the Model 37 pump shotgun and plans to redesign the Model 51 autoloader. A Web site is under construction and offers some details on this new gun company. For details, go to: www.ithacagunsusa.com.
Anglers have until sunrise Saturday to enter the Niagara River Anglers Association Winter Steelhead Tourney, headquartered at the Lewiston Landing that morning. For registration info, call 282-4635 or 282-5754. High winds slowed ice reformations on area waters. Silver Lake may be good by this coming week; Lake Simcoe still produces abundant smaller perch with some jumbos in the mix.