After nearly 20 years of bowhunters fighting for a reduction in the junior archery age, it finally happened this year as Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law new legislation lowering the minimum age for bowhunters from 14 to 12.

Just weeks before bill S177A was approved by the state Assembly and organizations such as New York Bowhunters, Inc. were urging members and supporters to contact their legislators to urge their support for the bill. Earlier this year the state Senate approved the move to a 12 year minimum age for bowhunters by a 133-8 victory.

This is another major victory for bowhunters across the State of New York and comes just three years after lawmakers decreased the minimum hunting age for big game with a firearm from 16 to 14.

New York has historically been one of the most restrictive states when it comes to youth hunting and only in recent years has it become more in-line with the rest of the country. The new law hopes to attract more people to participate in bowhunting and promote hunting safety to junior archers at an earlier age.

The law goes into effect for the 2011-12 license year, just in time for junior archery to participate in the upcoming fall hunting seasons.

A special thank you to the legislators and organizations around New York State, such as New York Bowhunters, Inc., that helped push this bill through.

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