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Animal Defenders of Westchester
P.O. Box 205
Yonkers, NY 10704


Animal rights group urges Yonkers to ban bowhunting

(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 factory.

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."

Letters to the editor: [email protected] 250 wds or less, incl name, address and phone # for verification. Try to write, even if just a small letter, refuting the claims about 'responsible' bowhunters.'

Send e-mail to Ernie Garcia: [email protected]  

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