There was a proposed law in front of Erie County executive Mark Poloncarz a that would have allowed kids as young as 12 to be in the woods to hunt deer with a gun. That law has been vetoed in Erie County.

Erie County now becomes the only county in the state that has turned down the opportunity for 12 year old to hunt deer with a gun.

I have been hunting most of my entire life. I began bow hunting at 14 years old and started to hunt with a shotgun, at 16. Being in the woods and hunting is one of my favorite things to do and appreciating the conservation efforts behind hunting is something that I am trying to teach my kids. However, I am watching this situation about youth hunting with guns very closely.

Hunting season is here in Western New York. Archery season is underway for those of us who love to be in the woods to hunt deer with a bow and arrow. For me, it is a great way to connect with nature, to relax, and hopefully fill our freezer with venison. I usually take one deer per season and that lasts just about a year. It is a great way to add some protein to our diet and in many cases is less expensive than purchasing beef. It is also a great way to ensure that we have meat in our freezer should a shortage happened. Which we have seen over the last year and a half is a very real possibility.

Best of luck to anyone who is out hunting this fall. My advice to anyone who has kids who are interested in hunting is to get them into the outdoors as early and often as possible. The unfortunate part is many people feel that there is only one aspect of hunting; the kill. But for me that is complete ignorance and my goal is to make sure that our sons understand the value of conservation and ensuring that wildlife and the natural environment around us are protected and as healthy as possible for years to come.

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