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Outdoors notebook: Genesee County rifle hunt approved

Big-game hunters in Genesee County will be able to hunt with a rifle this coming fall.

On July 2, Gov. Cuomo signed legislation to allow the use of rifles for hunting big game in that county. “It depends on the Department of Environmental Conservation if rifle use is included this coming season,” said Glen Adams, Genesee County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs treasurer who worked with Tim Grooms, Genesee County SCOPE affiliate, for the last two legislative sessions.

Paul Hofmaster, federation president, SCOPE officials and sportsmen and women in the county sought legislators to introduce bills and received sponsorship from Steve Hawley (R-Batavia) in the Assembly and from Michael Ranzenhofer (R-Williamsville) in the Senate for legislative passage.

Adams noted that encouraging sponsorship was more effective because Wyoming County had approved a rifle hunt in 2011 and Livingston adopted rifle hunting in 2012. Since laws were passed in these counties, hunts in Wyoming and Livingston Counties had no hunter-related shooting incidents involving rifle usage.

In all counties, rifle-hunt legislation includes a two-year “sunset provision,” which requires county legislature approval to become permanent.

Assemblyman Hawley wrote, “This is a win for sportsmen who treasure hunting as a right of passage they share with their children, and for the families who use hunting to help put food on the table in an effort to combat the costs of living in New York State.”

Deer urine ban expanding

Several states have been looking closely at means to curb the spread of diseases through bodily fluids of cervids (deer and other big-game animals). The Virginia Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries instituted a rule effective July 1 that it is illegal to possess or use deer lures that contain natural deer urine or other body fluids while hunting in that state.

Wildlife biologists have a list of eight major diseases that affect deer herds. Chronic wasting disease is the leading threat to deer. It and most other diseases fatal to cervids are spread by infectious proteins contained in urine, feces and saliva.

New York State has a regulation banning the feeding of deer in part to curb diseases transmitted when animals are drawn to feeding areas and are more likely to exchange bodily fluids while eating in a confined area.

Youth, ladies league formed

North Forest Rod & Gun Club in Lockport begins a six-week Sporting Clays League on Saturday on club grounds at 6257 Old Niagara Road.

The league, a youth-mentoring event, welcomes young shooters ages 12 to 17, and full-time students ages 18 to 21 can shoot at youth rates. Youths must either live in Niagara County or be sponsored by an affiliated club in the county.

Lady shooters are also welcome to join a three-shooter team. The NRA Foundation has donated free ammo for youth shooters. Additional support comes from the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Friends of NRA and the North Forest Ladies Shoot ‘N Hoot program.

For more information and registration details, check with John Butcher at 628-2211.