Medina Journal-Register — Some changes were made to hunting, fishing and trapping licenses effective Feb. 1. These changes, adopted in last year’s state budget, include reduced license fees, types and length of valid dates.
In the past, annual fishing licenses were valid from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30 and cost $29 for residents and $70 for non-residents. With the new regulations, the license is valid for 365 days from the date of purchase and the fees have been lowered, to $25 for residents and $50 for non-residents.
The seven-day fishing license fee has been decreased from $15 for a resident to $13, while the non-resident fee was cut from $35 to $31.
The one-day license fee remains $5 for residents and has been cut, from $15 to $10, for non-residents.
Hunting licenses are now valid now from Sept. 1 until Aug. 31 instead of Oct. 1 through Sept. 30. Residents will be paying $22 now for a combined small/big game license that previously cost $29. Nonresidents get a real break by only having to pay $100 for a combined small/big game license that used to cost them $275.
The bowhunting license for residents goes from $21 to $15, and for nonresidents, from $140 to $30. Ditto for the muzzleloading licenses.
The turkey permit fee remains the same for residents at $10, but non-residents again get another great break as the fee was cut to $20 from $50.
Deer permits will remain the same at $10 for all.
Trapping licenses were previously valid from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30; now they’re valid from Sept. 1 to Aug. 31. The fee for residents will go from $21 to $20 while the non-resident gets a better break by going from $310 to $275.
If you purchased a fishing, hunting or trapping license before Feb. 1, 2014, your license is good until Sept. 30.
Beginning this year, annual combined licenses like the sportsman, super sportsman and conservation legacy are no longer be available for purchase and individual licenses will need to be purchased instead. Those combination licenses purchased before Feb. 1 are valid until Sept. 30.
There is no change to the cost or license structure for lifetime licenses.
So why these price reductions? Maybe because it’s an election year and someone is trying to offset the turmoil that the NY-SAFE Act caused among sportsmen and law-abiding citizens. And why are nonresidents getting a bigger break on fees than residents? Maybe with all the anti-gun agenda going on in New York state, our lawmakers feel we may be losing some non-resident business and need to give them incentives.
This Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Bow Bending Believers (a chapter of the national organization the Christian Bowhunters of America) will be having a free archery event for boys and girls ages 10, 11 and 12. Youths will learn the history of archery and how to safely shoot traditional and compound bows. This indoor event will also include a free lunch and will be held at the Calvary Tabernacle AG Church, 324 Catherine St., Medina. There is only room for 25 kids, so you need to preregister. To do so or get more information call 765-2839 or 798-3091.
Things have been slow in the Great Outdoors with the freeze-up and harsh winter weather that we have experienced. About two weeks ago, though, during a “thaw” period, I was returning home from Batavia one evening just before dark and began noticing small groups of deer out in the fields. Some groups consisted of six or seven deer while others had 12 or more. I didn’t stop to count them carefully or look for antlers but just slowed down and quickly made a count. That is, until I came upon a partially uncut corn field. It was nearly dark, the field was back about 300 yards from the road and there were a lot of deer in it. With the field glasses I was able to count over 50 deer in that spot! By the time I reached home, 101 deer had been counted and I’m sure I missed some.
The Great Irruption of Snowy Owls continues with many of the birds having been trapped and banded for future studies. The ones I have been watching and photographing have been harder to find recently, due either to the harsh conditions we just had or the fact that they have moved into new hunting areas.
Check in next week for some information about several Snowy Owls up by the Rochester area that you may be interested in.