As I write this, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has yet to make the call on legislation that would extend crossbow use – but only in the regular firearms and late muzzleloader deer seasons – in New York and, at the same time, quash DEC's proposal for a three-day youth deer hunt for 14- and 15-year olds over the Columbus Day weekend this fall.
Conventional wisdom – even DEC's expectations at this point – is that Cuomo will sign the legislation into law. But at this point, whatever decision he makes on the bill approved by state lawmakers in the final hours of their legislative session will come after the new hunting and trapping regs guide goes to press.
That will lead to the typical scrambling by DEC to get the word out that, it's official, the youth hunt is dead and crossbows can continued to be used, but only during the firearms and late smokepole seasons.
If the governor does the unexpected and vetoes the bill, that would trigger all kinds of reaction. For starters, crossbow users, many of whom are already steamed that use of those implements wasn't expanded into the regular archery season, would have no opportunity to use them this season. That's because without the extension of crossbow use offered up through the legislation, the current provisions would expire.
Too, a Cuomo veto – to reiterate, it would stun most observers – would mean the youth hunt would be a go for this season. DEC would do its darndest to get the word out through the media and their own website, and kids would be able to take to the woods.
Stay tuned. We'll get the word out – immediately through the NYON website and then again in the first chance possible in print – as soon as we hear anything on the situation.