New York Senate Bill 4099 (S4099), which recently passed the New York Senate, seeks to make any contest, competition, tournament, and derby with the objective of taking or hunting wildlife unlawful. The bill, which excludes hunting contests for white-tailed deer, turkey or bear, would ban coyote, squirrel and other traditional hunting contests in the state.
Please consider joining the National Deer Association (NDA) in opposing S4099. The bill would remove science-based predator management strategies and hunter recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3) tools in New York. CLICK HERE to ask your lawmakers to oppose S4099.
The NDA strongly believes that wildlife management decision-making should lie in the hands of professional wildlife managers – not legislatures. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is best equipped to make science-based decisions regarding hunting competitions, including for predators and small game. Unfortunately, S4099’s ban on hunting tournaments is emotionally-driven, which would undermine the scientific process and the efforts and expertise of the DEC. Nationwide, hunting contests, which are required to fall within the limits of hunting regulations established by state wildlife agencies, including seasons and bag limits, serve legitimate and effective purposes towards wildlife conservation efforts.
Further, the NDA views predator and competitor management as an important wildlife management component. It’s not a priority because we don’t appreciate predators and the role they play in wildlife management; rather, we understand that careful management of predator populations is for the greater good of all wildlife and people. Predator hunting contests can incentivize increased harvest of predators to help meet agency harvest objectives.