Bills to outlaw competitive hunting competitions in New York State could become law this year if a handful of legislators in the Assembly and the Senate have their way.  The bill, A722, has been introduced in the Assembly's Environmental Conservation Committee every year since 2003; however, with a now Democratic controlled Senate, this is the first time a similar bill was introduced in the Senate.

The Senate bill covers all competitive hunting, with the exception of fishing in New York State. "It shall be unlawful for any person to organize, sponsor, conduct, promote, or participate in any contest, competition, tournament, or derby with the objective of taking or hunting wildlife for prizes or other inducement, or for entertainment," the bill reads.

The Senate bill also has provisions in place in the event that any animals are injured during the competition.

"Any wildlife injured during the course of a contest, competition, tournament, or derby conducted in violation of this subdivision shall be transported to a licensed wild-life rehabilitator or veterinarian for treatment or humane euthanasia if best efforts to rehabilitate and release the animal fail."

The bill would also require hunters to forfeit and remains of wildlife accomplished during a competition.

"The remains of any wildlife killed during the course of a contest, competition, tournament, or derby conducted in violation of this subdivision shall be forfeited by every organizer, promoter, participant or any other person16 conducting or involved in such contest, competition, tournament, or derby and the remains of such wildlife shall become the property of the department."

If passed, the legislation would make events like those scheduled at the Big East Camping and Outdoor Sports Show this weekend at the Turning Stone Event Center, against the law. One such event to be banned would be the NYS Big Buck Club where hunters can score their buck at the event.  Opponents of the bill also fear the legislation could be rewritten to include competitive fishing competitions.

Senator Joe Griffo and Assemblyman Brian Miller, who have opposed the legislation in the past, will be on the Keeler Show this week to discuss the potential success of the bill.

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