Madison County opts out of new DEC regulations for late-season holiday hunting

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WAMPSVILLE — The Madison County Board of Supervisors opted out of the new DEC regulations for late-season holiday hunting, citing a need for safety and consideration of others using Madison County land.

A public hearing was held on Madison County’s third day of annual session, and among items on the regular agenda was to opt-out.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation recently established an end-of-year deer hunt annually between Dec. 26 to Jan. 1. Recently, the DEC allowed counties the opportunity to opt-out.

Jackie Cummings of Canastota said she was a hunter and didn’t see why Madison County would opt-out from the late season. “Madison County is a big area, and I have two different places here that I hunt, and I’d like [the] option to hunt the holiday season,” she said.

For Madison County resident Michael Reeder, the option to hunt later in the season gives people the chance to hunt venison instead of buying beef.

“New York State is willing to increase the time for people to harvest deer, and I don’t know why Madison County wouldn’t want to take advantage of that,” Reeder said.

“With the way the economy is, I really think if there was more time to harvest more deer, people could put food in their freezer.”

He admitted that one of the two reasons Madison County would opt out is because landowners wouldn’t want hunting to continue on their land — the other was an anti-hunting stance in Madison County.

Georgetown Supervisor Pete Walrod said this was not the case, stating the decision wasn’t made due to any anti-hunting stance or anti-hunting group — instead opting out due to concerns expressed to Madison County and the Board of Supervisors.

“Most of the supervisors here have heard from constituents and have received emails throughout the year, asking us to opt-out,” Walrod said.

The concern was landowners, trail users, and snowmobilers.

Jim Petreszyn, associate planner at the Madison County Planning Department, said he’s heard from numerous Madison County residents asking to opt-out.

“She’s a landowner, a hunter, and a snowmobiler,” Petreszyn said.

“And her land is used for hunting and snowmobiling. It makes it difficult to be repaired. As Supervisor Walrod said, the season opens on Oct. 1, and snowmobilers have to maintain the trail. And it makes it very difficult to go on private land while people are hunting.”

The window of time before the holiday hunting season was put in place was once used by the snowmobile enthusiasts making sure their trails were clear.

“Here in Madison County, we have a lot of land where people want to cross country ski, snowshoe, bike, and more. And they have to wait longer,” Petreszyn said.

The associate planner added that this extension wasn’t done to help control the deer population but rather for hunters with no consideration for others.

The local law opting out of the late-season holiday hunting was voted in unanimously.

The fourth and final day of annual session will take place on Dec. 16, 2 p.m. in the Board of Supervisor Chambers.

For more information, visit www.madisoncounty.ny.gov

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