Animal rights group urges Yonkers to ban bowhunting
By ERNIE GARCIA
THE JOURNAL NEWS
(Original publication: March 2, 2004)
While the City Council considers an ordinance that
would effectively ban bowhunting within the city limits, an animal rights
organization is appealing to the city to act.
The Yonkers-based Animal Defenders of Westchester filed
a notice on Feb. 11 with the Yonkers City Clerk, warning the city that the
bowhunting of deer is a dangerous condition that must be addressed.
Councilwoman Dee Barbato, R-6th District, proposed an
ordinance that would prohibit the carrying of unsheathed bows in Yonkers.
Barbato represents the district where residents have reported illegal
bowhunting on the grounds of the Andrus Children's Center on North Broadway.
Barbato said the anti-bowhunting legislation's language
is under review by a City Council committee.
Residents complained to police in November and December
about bowhunters on Andrus' 110-acre property, a large
part of which is heavily wooded.
Yonkers police have said that anyone caught bowhunting
on the Andrus property would be arrested and charged with trespassing.
Rifle-hunting in Westchester is illegal, and no firearm
can be legally discharged within Yonkers. The bowhunting of deer in
Westchester is legal from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31 with a hunting license and
mandatory bowhunting education.
It is also illegal to hunt deer on private property
without the owner's permission.
There are other restrictions that make it virtually
impossible to bowhunt in a densely populated city like
Yonkers. For instance, a bowhunter cannot fire an
arrow within 500 feet of any school, playground, dwelling, church or
Edward McSwigin, a Bronx-based member of the New York
Bowhunters board of directors, said that even if Yonkers does not pass its
unsheathed arrows ordinance, trespassing laws should be sufficient to
curtail any illegal activity.
"A responsible bowhunter won't go in and hunt in areas
where he's not supposed to go," said McSwigin. "Property that's owned by
corporations will legally post (no hunting) notices ... That will keep an
ethical archer from going into that property."
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