Skip to main content


Published: 9/12/2023

For More Information Contact:

For Immediate Release
September 11, 2023
Contact: Carly Bulgia

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY - The Dutchess County Legislature approved Resolution NO. 2023154, a local law extending the Youth Deer Hunting Pilot Program this evening at their September Legislative Board Meeting. 

The local law followed the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation extension of the Pilot Program from December 31, 2023 to December 31, 2025. Dutchess County previously voted to participate in the Pilot Program that started in 2022. 

“I am pleased to once again join my colleagues in supporting a local law that allows our youth to participate in deer hunting after seeing how successful the original Pilot Program was,” said Legislature Chairman Gregg Pulver. “Through this program, we are able to teach the next generation safe and responsible hunting practices and share traditions of food sustainability, especially for those living in rural communities. New York State recorded zero safety incidents during the first initial two years of this program making our youth the safest group of hunters.”

The Resolution would authorize a hunting license holder, who is 12 or 13 years old, to hunt deer with a crossbow, shotgun or muzzle-loading firearm through December 31, 2025. 

In a recent report to the New York State Senate and Assembly regarding the results of the initial Pilot Program, the Department of Environmental Conservation recorded that no hunting-related shooting incidents, violations, or license revocations involving 12 and 12 year old hunters were reported or occurred during the first two years.

Despite the Department of Environmental Conservation’s recommendation that the authorization for 12 and 13 year old hunters to hunt deer with a firearm and crossbow remain permanent, Counties are once-again required to opt-in for the newly extended pilot program. The Dutchess County Legislature approved the resolution with a wide range of support, with only 1 Democratic Legislator in opposition. 

“I am proud to support the extension of the youth deer hunting pilot program to help give the opportunity to learn safe and responsible hunting practices, and carry on the tradition between generations for our local families,” said Assistant Majority Leader Deirdre Houston. “By allowing our youth to learn this skill under the care of a responsible and licensed adult, we are teaching them the proper way to use a firearm and effectively eliminating safety incidents that could arise without supervision. I look forward to seeing the future success of this program and will support a future permanent authorization of the program.”