Hunting legislation needs updating

By Bee Group Newspapers | on May 13, 2021
Frank J. Todaro

I hope everyone had a great Mother’s Day with their loved ones. Summer is just around the corner and hopefully we’ll get to enjoy some nice weather soon. In the meantime, I have been keeping busy at the Erie County Legislature and throughout the community I am proud to represent. There are a couple of laws and initiatives I’m working on that I’d like to highlight in this month’s column.

A few weeks ago, I introduced a local law that would allow 12 and 13-year-old children in Erie County to hunt big game with a firearm or crossbow under adult supervision. For years, New York state has been the only state in the country not to allow this. Since the governor signed the Environmental Conservation Law, individual counties in New York state are able to opt-in to the change. I am strongly advocating for Erie County to opt-in.

Here in Western New York, hunting is a popular tradition. More than 700,000 resident and more than 50,000 non-resident hunting licenses are issued each year.

It’s something I did with my father for years, and it’s a tradition I am now honored to pass down to my sons and daughter. Allowing the younger generation to learn early under the appropriate guidance makes the woods safer for everyone. Many local sportsmen’s groups have been advocating for the opt-in and I hope to earn the support of my colleagues across the aisle. Hopefully, we can hold a committee discussion and public hearing in the coming days.

I am also the lead sponsor on a resolution in support of a New York State Purple Paint bill. Hunting often leads to questions over property rights with hunters crossing between private and public property. Right now, many property owners use posted signs which are easy to remove or are often damaged by weather.

In order to combat this, Purple Paint laws have come into effect in several states allowing people to use purple paint or markings on trees to replace the traditional posted signs. There is currently a Purple Paint bill before the New York State Legislature and my resolution advocates for it to be signed into law. This is a simple measure to protect property owners as purple paint is quick to apply, easy to see, and difficult to remove. As always, if you have questions, comments, or concerns regarding a county-related issue, please feel free to contact my office at or by phone at 716-681-2071. I look forward to hearing from you!