Orléans Youth Deer Hunting Program Local News

ALBION – On Wednesday, the Orléans County legislature passed local law enacting a pilot deer hunting program for young people.

The program allows 12 and 13 year old licensed hunters to hunt with a crossbow, rifle, shotgun or firearm through the muzzle, in areas where these firearms can be used, for the hunting season. The young hunted under the supervision of an experienced adult hunter.

County lawmaker John DeFilipps said what caught his attention on local law is that every child and parent needs 250 square feet of solid fluorescent orange or pink to hunt in the field.

Lawmaker Fred Miller was the only one to vote against the local law, explaining that when the county adopted rifle hunting in Orleans County, it was at a point where people in his district got there. opposed as they feared people would hunt with guns so close to residential areas.

“I would have loved this pilot program when I was young and hunting,” he said. “I certainly hope they take the hunter safety course and be safe there, but my vote is not against the pilot deer hunting program for young people. It’s against rifle hunting, and I’ll stay on that.

During the public hearing, Mike Donahue, president of the Orleans County Athletic Federation, said that due to COVID-19 there was no in-person hunting safety course – well let them start over. Instead, during this time there was a surge in the security classes that were taken online.

“We had an 11 percent increase in hunting licenses sold, an 11 percent increase in archery licenses sold, 16 percent in muzzleloading licenses sold because you need to have a license muzzle loading to have a crossbow, ”he mentioned. “With all of this, everyone was screaming that we were going to see a big increase in hunting accidents or incidents. This does not happen.

Donahue said that from reports he receives, of all the hunting accidents that have occurred, only two young people were involved. One was an 11-year-old in the north who shot his father while hunting with a bow, while a 15-year-old from Genesee County shot himself in the leg on a ricochet from an arrow.

None of them had a hunting license and none of them had taken a hunting safety course. Of the remaining reported accidents, most of those involved had 10 to 15 years of hunting experience.

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