As most of you probably know by now, there has been a big change in hunting and fishing licenses this year.
A new system was put into effect right after the new year. When you buy licenses to hunt this fall, there is no longer a Super Sportsman’s License. That license last year cost hunters $88 plus $10 for a Deer Management Permit. Licenses were good starting Oct. 1.
With the new system, you will buy a separate small-game/big-game combination license for $22, a fishing license for $25, a bow license for $15, and a muzzle-loaders license for another $15. That totals $77 plus $10 for a Deer Management Permit, if you want to take a doe.
From now on, the new licenses take effect Sept. 1. That way, the early September seasons are covered by your new license, not last year’s.
The other day, I questioned why the state was being so generous. Gosh, I’m going to save a whole $11. Does Governor Cuomo think that more people will buy licenses because the price has dropped so dramatically?
Governor Cuomo is trying to promote hunting and fishing in New York because it generates a tremendous amount of revenue for the state. Heck, if you buy a lifetime license, you can even get a special license plate for your car or truck at no additional cost for a limited time. The whole purpose is tax money.
According to a news release from the governor’s office, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation stated that in 2011, sportsmen and women spent $4.95 billion and generated $623 million in state and local taxes in New York alone.
I really think besides the money sportsmen spend and the revenues generated in taxes, there is an ulterior motive.
Governor Cuomo has lost the political support of millions of sportsmen with the midnight passing of the Safe Act. Let’s look at this. With the passing of this new gun and ammunition control law, sportsmen are definitely affected. I have to pass a background check to buy ammunition, and besides that, the prices have gone out of sight.
Go into almost any sporting goods store and try to buy a box of .22 shells. You’ll be lucky to find any. I stopped at a local store a few months ago to buy some and was told I could put my name on a waiting list.
Give me a break! By the way, I was in Maine the week before Christmas and noticed that the shelves were full of ammo, and the racks were overcrowded with guns. There would have been no problem buying anything I wanted.
The Department of Environmental Conservation has promoted the Early Youth Hunting Weekend for both big game and turkeys to try to get young hunters into the sport. So what proposal comes down from the state next? Let’s make it illegal for kids under 18 to use a gun. Kinda defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?
Yeah, I’ll buy my license before the season this fall, but I don’t think the $11 savings will have an effect on me or anyone else. And $11 surely doesn’t buy my vote.
Well, I’ve rambled long enough. But everyone is entitled to his opinion, and that’s mine for what it’s worth.
By the way, this is my only political commentary for the year. Next week, there will be more stories of my many outdoor adventures.
The Pindar’s Corners Fire House will host a Hunting Education Gun Course from 5:30-9 p.m. Feb. 18-20. Students should bring a snack or supper. To pre-register, call Losie’s Gun Shop at 607-432-6452.
Rick Brockway writes a weekly outdoors column for The Daily Star. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.