As predicted, the United Nations reinvigorated its international treaty to regulate the global arms trade -- an agreement that would have turned our second amendment constitutional rights over to the United Nations -- and, as predicted, the Baa administration signed onto it. Fortunately it was blocked in the U.S. Senate in a close 53-46 vote, with Sen. Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand voting in favor of the measure.
As predicted, several gun shows were cancelled across the state. As predicted, several state pro-gun senators caved on anti-gun legislation (think NY SAFE Act). As predicted, anti-gun zealots made progress in getting stricter gun regulations, but fell short of what they wanted: legislation that would have expanded background checks for firearm purchases fell four votes shy of the 60 needed to proceed.
As predicted, the NRA and NYS Rifle and Pistol Association asked their memberships to make a huge commitment. Each sought additional funding in support of maintaining the second amendment.
As predicted, area streams received fewer stocked trout than they had in previous years -- about 131,000 fewer. As predicted, the sale of big game hunting licenses was down, particularly among non-residents and mostly because of the three-point antler restriction in the Catskill Region. As predicted, there was a transformation within the Conservation Fund Advisory Board, the removal of Howie Cushing being the most significant.
As predicted, Gov. Andrew Cuomo did look to establish a better relationship with sportsmen, paying particular attention to the Adirondack region. In August he attended the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament held along the St. Lawrence River in Waddington and in September he canoed the upper Hudson River as part of a promotion of the state’s acquisition of 69,000 acres of land in the Adirondacks.
As predicted, area sportsmen’s clubs did get involved in a lawsuit, if not directly then indirectly, by supporting the NYSRPA’s legal efforts to have the NY SAFE Act declared unconstitutional. As predicted, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has been harassing licensed gun dealers.
As predicted, a couple of well-known sportsmen didn't make it to the end of the year, including professional bass fisherman Jimmy Johnson, 56, of Ganado, Texas. Johnson was shot to death in Mississippi as he tried to stop someone from burglarizing his boat. Another was Lanyard "Larry" Benoit of Duxbury, Vt., patriarch of the famed family of deer hunters. Benoit died of cancer. He was 89.
AND FOR 2014
Here are my predictions for 2014.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in his Jan. 8 State of the State address, will reinforce his position on the NY SAFE Act; legal action to overturn the SAFE Act will continue; shooting noise and safety issues will become an issue for an area rod and gun club; the U.S. Senate -- using the so-called "nuclear option" implemented by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid -- will push through stricter gun control bills, some of which will be approved by Congress.
The nuclear option is when the presiding officer of the United States Senate rules the validity of a Senate rule or precedent is a constitutional question. It allows the Senate to decide legislation by majority vote, even though the Senate’s rules specify that ending a filibuster requires the consent of 60 senators (out of 100) for legislation and 67 for amending a Senate rule.
Protest rallies against the SAFE Act will continue, but attendance will fall short of expectations; the new DEC computerized sporting license issuance and game harvest reporting system will crash; the DEC will begin efforts to expand antler restriction to other wildlife management units; there will be a cutback in the pheasant program; an angler will catch a fish not usually found in area waters; a problem at a DEC fish hatchery will cause yet another reduction of stocked trout; Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (107th District) will not run for governor; gun owners will be the deciding factor in the Nov. 4 elections.
Republican George Amedore will run and regain his 46th Senate District seat; the make-up of the state Senate will change and once again Republicans will have a true majority; the number of big game hunters will fall below 500,000; turkey hunting seasons will change; the DEC will begin gathering information as it considers establishing a modest moose hunt in the Adirondacks; and finally, a prominent politician will be hospitalized with a serious illness.
Dropping anchor ‘til next time.
To contact Dick Nelson with event or club news or to send a photograph email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Events should include the what, where, when and cost (if any). Photographs should include name of subject(s), town of residency and a brief description of the photo.
Jan. 11 -- Fifth Annual Sacandaga Sportsmen's Day, Sacandaga Bible Conference, 191 Lakeview Road, Broadalbin. Registration is $20 at the Ray Mills Youth Center at 9:45 a.m. Tickets are $20, which includes seminars, access to vendors and the sportsmen's game buffet of wild boar, rabbit, duck, elk, bison and perch. Tickets are available at the door. For more information call (518) 883-3713, email email@example.com or go to www.sacandagabibleconference.com.
Jan. 11-12 -- 31st Annual New EastCoast Arms Collectors Associates Gun Show, Saratoga Springs City Center, 522 Broadway, Saratoga. Hours: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Admission: $8 ($7 seniors) and free to age 14 and under when accompanied by an adult. Call (518) 664-9743.
Jan. 18 -- Third Annual Youth Fishing Contest, Mayfield Lake, Pumphouse Road (off Woodside Avenue) beginning at 8 a.m. Open to youngsters age 15 and under who are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Jigging only (no tip-ups). Register at Fuel n' Food, Route 30, Mayfield. Contact Terri Brubaker at (518) 661-5414, ext. 27_.
Jan. 25 -- Fuel n' Food 6th Annual Walleye Challenge Ice Fishing Derby, Great Sacandaga Lake. Registration closed with 1,750 entries.
Jan. 25 -- Great Sacandaga Lake Fisheries Federation Ice Fishing Derby, 7 a.m. - 4 p.m. Registration $20 ($25 day of contest until 10 a.m. only). Contact Randy Gardinier at (518) 848-7248
Jan. 25 - Wells Fish and Game Club Annual Sportsman's Swap Meet, Wells Community Hall, 1438 Route 30, Wells. Hours: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Buy, sell, barter or trade. Tables available for $15. Admission is $2 with children admitted free. Refreshments will be available. Contact Nancy Lewis at (518) 924-2110.
Feb. 8 - Fish House Fish and Game Club Walleye Ice Fishing Contest, Great Sacandaga Lake, 6 a.m. - 4 p.m. Registration $20 prior to Feb. 7, $25 the day of the event. Contact Tom Ferguson at (518) 883-6533 or visit: www.fishhousefishandgame.com.
Feb. 15 -- Reid Hill Fish and Game Club Third Annual Ice Fishing Derby, Wally's Driftwood Park, Mayfield, 7 a.m. - 4 p.m. Contact Clem DaBiere at (518) 843-2063 or Ray Fyfe at 843-3451.
Feb. 15-16 -- Ninth Annual Adirondack Outdoorsman Show, Johnstown Moose Family Center, 109 S. Comrie Ave (Route 30A), Johnstown. Hours: Saturday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Admission: $5 for adults and $1 for children age 15 and under. Contact Mike Hauser (518) 725-5565 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.adkshow.com.