New York State Assembly Members working in Albany and based primarily in New York City, want to make it unlawful for anyone to hold contests or competitions involving hunting or fishing wildlife, for example, local derbies or events like the “squirrel slam”. Some of those in the area feel this is just more attempted overreach from the state. 

Timothy Kinton of Kinton Guns in Farmington says, “These guys are pushing an agenda that is not good for Upstate; it might be great for New York City, if they want it, let them keep it.”

John Blocechl, who has taken part in past fishing derbies, says events like that help to control wildlife populations and are a positive thing. “People who don’t participate in it are trying to legislate against it.” 

In response to this legislation proposal, Bloechl feels like he has the perfect solution for hunters and fishers to take action.  He adds, “How about if we just don’t hunt and just don’t pay for anymore hunting licenses?

Bloechl feels it would not be long for the Department of Environmental Conservation and State to see a loss in revenue and wildlife overpopulation. Kinton already foresees a negative impact on license revenue. He adds, “There are some people who buy licenses just to partake in some of the derbies that are around.”

One hunter says events like the “squirrel slam” in Holley, are a benefit to communities by controlling populations that can easily become a nuisance. Raymond Cremhickie says, “The populations of small games such as squirrels…no one hardly hunts them anymore.”

For assembly lawmakers downstate, Kinton feels he might get where they’re coming from. Kind of. “People from New York City just don’t have a clue what happens out in the woods.”

We did reach out to some of the assembly members pushing for this legislation, we’re still waiting for word back from them.