DEC Asks Bowhunters to Report Deer that May Have Died from EHD

To date, and increasing each and every day, 750 deer have been reported.
DEC recommends, should anyone encounter a sick, and, or dead deer, they should avoid any contact with the deer, and should immediately report it to DEC.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today asked bowhunters who may encounter deer affected by Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) this fall to report the find to DEC. EHD is a viral disease of whitetail deer that cannot be contracted by humans. Reports from hunters help DEC track the disease’s potential spread.

Archery seasons for whitetail deer and black bear begin Thursday, Oct. 1, in the Southern Zone and more hunters will be in remote forests, fields, and waterways and may come across deer that died of EHD. Hunters are encouraged to report any deer suspected of dying from EHD to the nearest DEC regional wildlife office. A directory is available on the DEC website.

DEC wildlife biologists have been receiving reports of dead and sick deer this fall and collected carcasses for testing at DEC’s Wildlife Health Unit in Delmar, Albany County. Tissue samples have been sent to the Animal Health Diagnostic Center at Cornell University to confirm the presence of EHD.

To date, EHD has been confirmed in portions of Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Ulster, and Westchester counties, and DEC has received reports of approximately 750 dead deer. Though the current outbreak appears concentrated in the lower Hudson Valley, EHD may have spread elsewhere in New York.

While EHD outbreaks can remove a number of deer from a localized population, they do not have a significant long-term impact on deer populations. Deer populations throughout the currently impacted region are robust. DEC does not plan to reduce harvest in areas affected by EHD at this time.

The EHD virus is carried by biting midges, small bugs often called no-see-ums or ‘punkies.’ Outbreaks are most common in the late summer and early fall when the midges that carry the virus are abundant. Once infected with EHD, deer usually die within 36 hours. The disease is not spread from deer to deer or from deer to humans. Symptoms in deer include fever, hemorrhage in muscles or organs, and swelling of the head, neck, tongue, and lips. A deer infected with EHD may appear lame or dehydrated. Frequently, infected deer will seek out water sources and many succumb to the disease near a water source. There is no treatment for nor means to prevent EHD. The dead deer do not serve as a source of infection for other animals.

The EHD virus affected New York deer in 2007 in Albany, Rensselaer, and Niagara counties, and in Rockland County in 2011.

EHD is endemic in southern states where there are annual outbreaks, so some southern deer have developed immunity. Generally, in the northeast, EHD outbreaks occur sporadically and deer in New York have no immunity to this virus. Consequently, most EHD-infected deer in New York are expected to die. In the north, the first hard frost kills the midges that transmit the disease, ending the EHD outbreak.

Hunters should not handle or eat any deer that appears sick or acts strangely. DEC continues to monitor the EHD outbreak. In addition, the State Department of Agriculture and Markets has alerted deer farmers and veterinarians throughout the state to be aware of the disease and to report suspicious cases.

For more information on EHD and helpful related links, visit the DEC website.

New Gun Law Takes Effect – Intoxicated While Hunting

Last fall in 2019 Governor Cuomo signed a law that lowers the legal blood alcohol threshold while hunting from 0.10 to 0.08, similar to the current level for operating a car or boat. The penalty for hunting while intoxicated remains the same. The law takes effect September 1st, 2020.

Anyone convicted of hunting while intoxicated stands to lose their hunting-related licenses for a period not to exceed two years. The crime is classified as a misdemeanor, punishable by up to, but not more than one year in jail, and/or a fine of no more than $500.

New Gun Bills Signed by Gov Cuomo

From Gun Politics in NY:

A-8078C, Permits 4-H certified shooting sports instructors to supervise and instruct persons under sixteen years of age at shooting ranges, and A-8666A, Relates to authorizing hunting big game by rifle in the County of Tompkins, have been signed by the Governor.

Last Chance: DEC New Online Bowhunter Education Course Ends August 31st

From my friend Gary:

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced that a new online bowhunter education certification course opens July 15, 2020 and ends August 31st. A bowhunter education course is required for all hunters who use a bow and arrow to hunt deer or bear. All hunters must also complete a mandatory hunter education course before purchasing a hunting license.

“DEC began offering online hunter education courses this spring, and the response has been fantastic,” said Commissioner Seggos. “I encourage all experienced and aspiring bowhunters to take advantage of this opportunity and sign up to take the bowhunter education course online.”

All in-person bowhunter education courses have been cancelled this year during the State’s ongoing response to COVID-19. The online course provides an opportunity for new archery hunters to get their required bowhunter education certificates before the fall hunting seasons begin. Since the April 15 launch of DEC’s new online hunter education course, more than 30,000 people have completed the course. Nearly 70 percent of those completing the online course are 21 or over, and almost 40 percent are women.

DEC’s Hunter Education Program is partnering with Kalkomey Enterprises, a company that specializes in hunter education, to offer online courses that can be completed in six to eight hours. The online course covers all the topics of the traditional in-person course including bow safety, tree stand safety, hunting ethics, wildlife conservation, and New York State hunting laws and regulations.

Students who successfully complete the online bowhunter education course and pass the final exam will receive their bowhunter education certificate. The course is available to individuals aged 11 years and older, but only those 12 or older may purchase a hunting license. Students can complete the courses from a computer, tablet, or smart phone at any time.

To take the online course and receive a bowhunter education certificate, you must be a New York State resident. The cost of the course is $30. The course can be accessed at Bowhunter-ed website. The online course will be available through August 31, 2020.

Balkanizing America

Yugoslavia existed for over 70 years. In 1991, the country started breaking down into independent units and civil wars ensued, which finally ended with six independent states. Wars – not war – since each independent state fought its own wars. During the wars, words like genocide, ethnic cleansing and mass starvation were often used and an estimated 250,000 people died.

What does that have to do with SCOPE and the coming election?

Yugoslavia broke apart for ethnic, religious and historical reasons, which is now called identity politics. Think of the words being used today: racist, white privilege, white supremacy, systemic racism, capitalists, or any hyphenated Americans. These words divide us into groups that one of the other groups can hate – or at least blame for whatever went wrong in someone’s life.

There have always been issues in America, but our strength has been moving forward; moving beyond those issues. One reason for Yugoslavia’s divisions was a battle fought 600 years ago. In America, does anyone hate “Indians” because of Custer’s Last Stand, 144 years ago? The Japanese and Germans committed horrendous atrocities during World War II but they are now our allies. Irish, Italians and Chinese all were discriminated against but are now mainstream Americans. (That’s right, Americans! Not hyphenated Americans, just plain Americans.) It’s been over two generations since the civil rights activities of the 1950’s and 1960’s brought change and produced programs such as Affirmative Action which discriminated in favor of blacks. The pre-China Virus economy included record low unemployment for almost every “identity politics” group.

Progressives, in order to gain power, are trying to split America apart through identity politics. In essence, to Balkanize us. There can be no doubt that their goal is to create a new Yugoslavia here and then break up the United States. Remember, Barack Obama promised to fundamentally transform the U.S.A.

When the act of an individual, (such as the police officer in Minneapolis who knelt on George Floyd’s neck), is used as a basis for charging systemic racism within police departments (and everywhere else in America) that is wrong and nothing more than another step in balkanizing us. The left’s systemic racism lie is disproven by the fact that the police chiefs in Seattle and Dallas were black women. This fact should have been publicized by the main stream media as a rebuttal to the charge of systemic racism. When the Dallas police chief said, in response to violence, “If you break the law, we will arrest you”, there were calls to fire her. Rebuttals to the charge of “systemic racism” cannot be tolerated by the left, if they are to achieve balkanizing America.

There are many issues to consider when casting your ballot this November. Certainly the 2nd Amendment and preserving our Constitution are important. But we must also keep in mind that we are under attack on many fronts. Do candidates mindlessly repeat whatever is in fashion about identity politics in order to balkanize us? Those are not people operating in the best interests of the America we love and will defend.

NY Judge ruled to be “without authority”

From SCOPE. 08/20/2020 12:35 AM Anonymous

The Second Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York ruled in favor of a Rockland County gun owner who had twice applied to have the restrictions removed from his pistol permit and receive an unrestricted pistol permit.

His requests were denied on both occasions and the judge whom he petitioned not only denied his application for an unrestricted permit but also instructed the petitioner not to reapply for at least one year.

The judge’s [licensing agent] decision that “enjoined the petitioner from applying for an unrestricted pistol permit for one year” was overruled concluding “…the licensing agent was without authority to bar the petitioner from reapplying for an unrestricted pistol permit for one year “.

“A party may forfeit the right to access the courts if he or she ‘abuses the judicial process by engaging in meritless litigation motivated by spite or ill will’. Here, however, the injunction was not imposed by a court but by a judge acting as a licensing agent (see Penal Law 265.00[10]) in a quasi judicial capacity. The issuance of the injunction was beyond the scope of his powers to either deny or grant the application (see Penal Law 400.00[4-a].”

Despite still being without an unrestricted permit, this gun owner [and others], are not mandated to wait a specified time before reapplying. This sets a precedent statewide.

Playing With The House’s Money

 On Thursday, New York’s left-wing Attorney General, Letitia James, filed suit to dissolve the NRA.  (Your tax dollars at work!)

This obviously political action of using the courts for political gain brought an immediate response.  Law & The Courts described this as “The latest bananas news from the banana republic that is the State of New Yorka plainly partisan political attack. The point here is not to fight nonprofit fraud but a Democratic effort to embarrass and hobble a political opponent, to burden it with expensive and cumbrous litigation, and to weaponize the power of the attorney general’s office for partisan ends.  (New York State a banana republic? Say it aint so!  This response well summarized the situation.)

James alleged that the NRA “has operated as a breeding ground for greed, abuse and brazen illegality.”  (While searching for a breeding ground for greed, abuse and illegality, how did she miss that manure pile called the Clinton Foundation?)

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry released the following statement. “The New York Attorney General is shamefully abusing her power to target a political adversary…This action is…an attempt to use the levers of government to go after political opponents.

“From their endorsement of the “defund the police” movement to canceling our Founding Fathers, and now canceling our founding principles, there has been a troubling pattern from the Democrat attorneys general in recent months. We must stop the madness. Fortunately, the American people can read the tea leaves of this lawsuit – it is a partisan hit...”  (A perfect summary of the situation.)

The timing is also revealing.  The NRA has announced that is has been adding 1,000 members a day since June and will spend tens of millions on the election in battleground states.  As an intended consequence of the lawsuit, some of that money will now have to be spent on this lawsuit. 

This is part of an ongoing effort by the Democrat Party.  San Francisco declared the NRA a “terrorist organization”.  (But not Black Lives Matter and Antifa.)  Los Angeles demanded that any NRA member doing business with LA must identify themselves.  (That pesky 1st Amendment ended that.)  Cuomo is using regulations to deprive the NRA of banking and insurance services.  (Fredo’s big brother strikes again.)  Joe Biden has said “We can beat the NRA”.  (Of course, there is that obstacle called Trump in his way.)

The NRA struck back by suing James and claiming James purpose was, “to deliver on her campaign promises to retaliate against the NRA for constitutionally protected speech on issues that James opposes.”  (Trump promised to “Make America Great Again” and James promised to stick it to the NRA.  Both fulfilled a campaign promise.)

In a tweet, the NRA predicted, “…the investigation was going to reach its crescendo as we move into the 2020 election cycle”.  (I wonder what Vegas’ odds are on that?  99%?)  When the NRA wins, initially, NY State will appeal and drag this out, which will cost the NRA more but Letitia James is playing with “House Money” – your tax dollars – so cash is not an obstacle for her.

One of our founding fathers’ principal concerns was the power of government and government’s ability to use its power against the people.  Doing away with the NRA isn’t really the ultimate goal of these lawless attempts.  The ultimate goal is to do away with the Second Amendment (in truth, it’s to do away with the whole Constitution) and organizations like the NRA, S.C.O.P.E. and the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association are in their way.  We must stand united to prevent this.

End this unconstitutionality with your vote on November 3rd.

To Vote Or Not —There Really Isn’t Any Question (Part 2)

Some of the reasons why folks don’t turn out to vote in November and what the rest of us can do about it.

Voting requires some planning ahead, if you have not registered.

IN PERSON REGISTRATION (N.Y. Election Law Sections 5-210, 5-211, 5-212) You may register at your local board of elections or any state agency participating in the National Voter Registration Act, on any business day throughout the year but, to be eligible to vote in the General Election, your application must be received no later than October 9, 2020.

MAIL IN REGISTRATION (N.Y. Election Law Section 5-210(3))
Applications must be postmarked no later than October 9, 2020 and received by a board of elections no later than October 14, 2020 to be eligible to vote in the General Election.

If you’ve changed your address, you need to re-register to vote.

CHANGE OF ADDRESS (N.Y. Election Law Section 5-208(3))
Notices of change of address from registered voters (must be) received by a county board of elections by October 14,

Tired of voting for the lesser of two evils?

Vote in next year’s party primary, when your vote selects the candidates and where your vote is more meaningful because fewer people vote. To vote in next year’s primary, you must be registered in that party before this November’s election.

With governmental offices being closed much more than usual, you can go to to download the registration form. For those who have access to a printer, it would be a kindness to your unregistered friends and neighbors who might not have internet access if you printed a few of the forms and had them handy for them to fill out.

Absentee Ballots

As of this writing (late July), county boards of elections were awaiting state guidance regarding covid-19 and absentee voting for the November 3rd general election. At this time, voters are not able to use covid-19 as a reason for requesting an absentee ballot. However, legitimate illness, disability, absence and so forth are valid reasons to request an absentee ballot. Again, people with internet access and a printer can help out people who don’t have those things.

•Applications for Absentee Ballots are available at your county board of elections. You may also download a PDF version of the New York State Absentee Ballot Application Form
Download English Form ( pdf 485KB)
•Applications must be mailed to your county board no later than October 27th or delivered in person no later than the day before the election.
•You may request an Absentee Ballot by sending a letter to your county board of elections. The letter must be received by your county board no earlier than 30 days and no later than seven days before the election.

Ignorance is no excuse.

Close to Election Day, county boards of elections generally publish sample ballots online that represent exactly the ballots that voters will be handed at their polling places. This is yet another way that people with internet access can help those without. There is no reason, anymore, why people shouldn’t already know whose name will appear on various lines before they enter their polling place. While voting might have seemed to be mysterious in the past and used as an excuse for not voting (or voting ignorantly), that is no longer the case.

November 3rd — please vote, and encourage your friends, neighbors, and family members to vote. Pick them up and buy them a coffee or a soda if that helps grease the wheels a little. We can change things but we have to use the weapon at our disposal and not leave it holstered — voting.

To Vote Or Not —There Really Isn’t Any Question (Part 1)

Asking SCOPE members to turn out and vote is like preaching to the choir. That’s true; or at least we hope it is.

A famous writer said that we humans tend to “…remove the organ and demand the function”. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings to be fruitful. In other words, given how little emphasis there has been on civic engagement in these past few decades, why are we surprised that our voting muscles have atrophied?

Whether you need some encouragement yourself to get out and vote or whether you would never miss an opportunity to vote but you know people who would have to be dragged to a polling place kicking and screaming, it may be worth a few minutes looking at some of the reasons why folks don’t turn out to vote in November and what the rest of us can do about it.

A excuse reason heard why gun owners are not registering to vote is that they don’t want to be called for jury duty.

The following are the ways NYS puts together its list of potential jurors (from the state website): “Potential jurors are randomly selected from lists of registered voters, holders of drivers’ licenses or ID’s issued by the Division of Motor Vehicles, New York State income tax filers, recipients of unemployment insurance or family assistance, and from volunteers.” Not registering to vote is not going to save someone from their civic duty of sitting on a jury. Register to vote and then perform another one of the relatively few civic duties we actually have to do—turn out and vote.

Also, we need people on juries who believe that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights should not be tossed out the window. There are more than enough of the other sort as potential jurors out there and we don’t need to cede more territory to the other side, in court or elsewhere, by simply not being there. Picture yourself on trial for a Safe Act violation and all 2A supporters avoided jury duty. 75% of life is just showing up.

2020 is, as we know, a presidential election year and while that generates a lot of interest, in NYS it may also lead to the next reason that people don’t vote: the feeling that their vote doesn’t count. But that may only apply to the presidential election in this coming November. All other lines on the ballot are totally up for grabs and the winner will be the candidate who can get the greatest number of people to turn out and vote for him or her. Many local elections are won by very few votes, usually a half-dozen or fewer, and in some cases by only one vote. It happens more often than you think.

For those elections that are literally closest to where you live—town, village, city, county—people’s individual votes absolutely do matter. Some of those candidates running for local office are on the same page with us (re: the Second Amendment) and some are definitely not. You should know which are which.

More information coming in Part 2

Credit to SCOPE, not me

Capital District Pro Gun Democrats – Vote in the Primary June 23

From Gun Politics New York: There are limited opportunities for 2A advocates to impact races in New York. Decades of gerrymandering districts along with the power of incumbency make it very difficult to influence the outcome of elections, especially for Democrats. These are the races where I believe 2A advocates have a chance to play an important role. Voter turnout in the primaries is always low, especially in the City. Knocking out an antigun incumbent is more likely in these districts where a number of factors come into play including having a well-funded opponent, party disapproval and/or voter displeasure makes them vulnerable. Whether or not the challenger is pro-gun is irrelevant. Incumbents who voted for the SAFE Act, “Red Flag”, etc. must know they will pay a price for supporting gun control at election time.
On June 23, Vote Early and Often.

Assembly District 108 (Troy, Waterford, Cohoes, Watervliet, Green Island Albany, Rensselaer), Vote AGAINST incumbent John McDonald (D)

Albany County District Attorney, Vote AGAINST incumbent David Soares (D)