New Hunting Season Threatens Christmas Riding In New York

An effort by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to expand deer hunting opportunities in a part of the Empire State could contract the riding opportunities for snowmobilers this December. To fight it off, your input is being sought.

The NY DEC recently announced plans for a new “Holiday Deer Hunt” for Dec. 26-Jan. 1 in the state’s southern zone for bowhunters and muzzleloaders. When initially announcing the proposal, the DEC said that, “During the Christmas to New Year holiday week families gather, many people are off from work and students are on school break. This provides time for families to hunt together share memories and make new ones, and gather venison for the next year.”

True as that might be, that week is equally valuable to snowmobilers — who similarly have off work or have kids on school break — AND the businesses that rely on snowmobiling, New York State Snowmobile Association Executive Director Dominic Jacangelo pointed out this week in a story on newyorkupstate.com.

“Many small businesses depend on snowmobile activity for their livelihood. This proposal will results in a one-week delay in that economic impact starting,” Jacangelo said in the story, where he estimated that losing one week of snowmobiling in the Southern Zone may cost up to $13 billion in direct spending by snowmobilers. It could also interfere with snowmobile clubs’ efforts to put in signage and clear trails, he said.

In a separate conversation, Jacangelo noted that the proposal also puts snowmobilers and hunters in an odd position — there is a pretty strong crossover between the two groups, and they are often allies on regulations when it comes to the great outdoors.

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Read more about the six points that Jacangelo and the NYSSA made in a letter sent out to snowmobile clubs this week, encouraging them to get involved and voice their opposition to the DEC’s proposal by clicking through to the NewYorkUpstate story.

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