The Greene County Legislature unanimously adapted Local Law 1 of 2021, which permits 12- and 13-year-olds to hunt deer with a firearm or crossbow. This legislation was part of the NYS 2021-2022 budget, with each county given the option of opting into the law or not. After holding a public hearing that drew no comment, Greene County opted in on May 19th.
Under this new law, the hunter must be licensed and under the supervision of a licensed adult. The law also requires that both the youth and the adult hunters must wear fluorescent orange or pink clothing and remain at ground level while hunting deer. Many members of the Greene County community feel that this new law will not only work, but help youths learn responsibility and respect for the outdoors.
Greene County Legislature Chairman Patrick Linger of New Baltimore said he is a longtime hunter and has two children who hunt as well. “When you start kids young and train them on how to be safe, they carry that with them” he said, adding “In addition, when you are out hunting, you are out in nature and learn how to take care of things.”
John Moreton, the district deputy for the Knights of Columbus, understands that youngsters with weapons can be dangerous if they’re not trained, but also believes that the right programs can help ensure their hunting is done safely. “It’s ok with supervision…it must be supervised and they have to learn how to use the weapons before they go out to hunt,” he said.
Prior to this new legislation being passed back in April, New York was the only state to not allow 12- and 13-year-olds to hunt big game with firearms. Now, with proper training and supervision, they finally can. Find the full text of the law and its provisions here: