A few weeks ago, a new law was passed in New York allowing 12-and 13-year olds to hunt using a firearm. Each county must opt into the program, and Orange County is the first in the Hudson Valley to do so.

On Wednesday, The Orange County Legislature's Rules, Enactments, and Intergovernmental Relations Committee voted in favor of local law to include Orange County as an eligible area under the new hunting law for youths in New York State.

Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus said:

Since I was a kid growing up in Orange County, I have enjoyed fishing, hunting, and spending as much time as I can in the great outdoors. Hunting is a wonderful activity and often shared and passed down for generations in families throughout the County. This local law will help ensure that future generations enjoy and preserve the outdoors.

The local law passed the committee by a vote of 8-0. It will now move on to be voted on at the Legislature's next full meeting, which is scheduled for Thursday, May 6.

Until this year, New York State was the only state in the country to not allow 12-and13-year olds to hunt with a firearm. This new legislation s a temporary measure through 2023 and includes the following provisions. The legislation specifically excludes Westchester and Suffolk counties from participation and does not authorize youth to hunt black bears with a firearm or crossbow.

The DEC maintains a list of the counties that have chosen to participate posted on their website.

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