Hamilton County Outdoors -- 02/26/2014
By Dick Nelson

DEC’s license promotion aimed at sportsmen

As a current holder of a lifetime hunting and fishing license I'm not sure how I feel about Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s latest maneuver to garner favor with New York sportsmen and sportswomen since signing the NY SAFE Act, legislation that targets the guns and ammunition hunters and shooters use.

Cuomo recently announced a promotion that will provide free motor vehicle license plates to anyone who purchases new lifetime hunting or fishing license or a lifetime Empire Passport to state parks in 2014.

Called the New York State Adventure License Series, it gives the purchaser a choice of nine different designs: deer, turkey or duck on the I Love NY Hunting plate; trout, striped bass or walleye on the I Love NY Fishing plate; and a background of Niagara Falls, a beach or a bridge on the I Love NY State Parks plate (www.dmv.ny.gov/adventure.htm).

Adventure license plates will be free for those purchasing new lifetime licenses in 2014 and includes one free plate renewal.

Actually I do know how I feel. I feel discriminated against. As a lifetime license holder if I wanted to switch my plate for one that has the new Adventure Series logos, I would have to pay $15. And anyone who has a custom plate would have to pay $31.25 for the first purchase and $46.25 thereafter.

And what about the guy or gal that purchased a lifetime license in 2013? Talk about getting screwed.

In any event, it’s the second part of a promotion the governor introduced last month giving holders of hunting and fishing licenses, a boating safety certificate or certain state park passes the option of consolidating all their recreation licenses onto their state driver’s license.

I wrote about that promotion when that release first came out, and didn’t think it was a good idea only because of the repercussions it could have.

Using the example of the buck deer decoration, I pointed out how having that on your drivers license you are essentially telling everyone who sees that license that you’re a gun owner (bow hunters have an arrow head) I then posed the question as to what would happen should you be pulled over by the State Police or other law enforcement agency? Would it be cause for concern?

The same could be said for the Adventure Series license plates. Speaking from personal experience, it’s not unusual for someone wearing a red or camouflage shirt, jacket or hat to be pulled over by law enforcement during the big game hunting season. Having a buck deer on your license plate makes “hunter profiling” that much easier.

At any rate, during its license restructuring which along with lowering the cost of resident and non-resident sporting licenses the DEC eliminated the lifetime Conservation Legacy license and the lifetime Super Sportsmen’s license. Hunters and anglers between the ages of 12-69 can still purchase a lifetime Sportsmen’s license which covers big game, small game, fishing and turkey permits for $765, but for some reason the Sportsmen’s license wasn’t included in the Adventure Series license plates.

Lifetime purchasers now have to buy a separate $535 lifetime hunting license that covers small and big game and/or a $460 lifetime fishing license for freshwater fishing.

I don’t know about you, but when I do the math that comes to $995. And, when you deduct the $15 for the plate, it’s still $230 cheaper to purchase a lifetime Sportsmen’s license and purchase the Adventure Series license plate separately.

On the other hand, the lifetime Empire Passport looks like a pretty good deal. For $750 not only does the purchaser have lifetime access to 179 state parks, 55 DEC forest preserve areas, boat launch sites, arboretums and park preserves, but as a one-time special bonus will be able to select either a free week of camping, a free round of golf for four or a $100 State Parks gift card. For more information on this visit: http://nysparks.com/admission/empire-passport/#sthash.tT3vCeWC.dpuf.


Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has announced Remington Outdoor Company (ROC) will open a plant in the Yellowhammer State. ROC has purchased the old Chrysler building in Huntsville, where it is expected to create over 2,000 new jobs within the next 10 years.

With nary a mention of the Remington Arms plant in Ilion, CEO George Kollitides said, “This additional capacity is essential to fulfill demand and introduce new products … with demand for our products at an historic high and more new product launches planned for 2014 than ever before in our 200-year history, we are investing in the future.”

However, he did called Huntsville “our new home” as he explained how important it is to partner with a state that believes in Second Amendment rights.?In addition, www.theoutdoorwire.com publisher Jim Shepard in his Feb. 18 feature story quoted one unnamed Remington official as saying, "If you do business in a place with onerous regulations against you and your customers, or a highly unionized workforce, or a government that was constantly trying to regulate you out of business, you'd probably consider moving, when you have all three, well, would you want to stay?"

You can read into those two statements what you will, but unless the erroneous NY SAFE Act is repealed the possibility of Remington closing the Ilion plant within the next decade is greater than ever.

Since its passage in January 2013, Remington and its workers have been key voices in protests against the NY SAFE Act.

Citing the $20 million upgrade Remington has made to the Ilion plant as proof of the company's commitment to stay in New York, the Cuomo Administration insists Remington has no intention of leaving the state. But 118th District Assemblyman Marc Butler (R-Newport) isn’t as optimistic. "As much as Gov. Cuomo's handlers want you to believe that our local Remington plant will not be affected by these plans, I remain skeptical," he said in a prepared statement.

In any event, following the $110 million Remington will spend on upgrading the 500,000-square-foot building in Alabama -- about half the size of the one in Ilion -- it is expected to begin operations within the next 18 months for much of its hunting and shooting products. They include gun care and cleaning products; firearms cases; folding and collectible knives; and specialty outdoor apparel and firearm care products, including cleaning chemicals, tools, and kits under the Remington brands.


Feb. 28-March 2 -- Sixth Annual Fuel ‘n Food Ice Fishing Contest, Wally’s Driftwood Park Marina, Mayfield. Entry fee is $20 and includes a Saturday Pig Roast and an Awards Party at FNF parking lot Sunday -- including a drawing for a $13,000 Bass Tracker boat, motor and trailer. Call (518) 661-6917

Feb 28-March 1-- Eight Annual Ross’ Bait Shop Ice fishing Contest, Wally’s Driftwood Park Marina This is 100 percent payback event with prize money determined by the number of entries. Registration is $20, or $22 at the start of the event. Cash prizes will be awarded for trout, walleye, perch and pike. Call (518) 842-3819.

March 1 -- Adult Child Fishing Derby, Long Lake. Hours: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fish any of the waters of Long Lake, Lake Eaton or South Pond. Cash prizes for pike, perch and trout. Sponsored by the Long Lake Fish and Game Club. No entry fee. Registration starts at Town Hall at 8:30 a.m. (518) 624-2145 for more.

March 1-2 -- Schroon Lake Fish and Game Club’s 21st Annual Ice Fishing Derby. Hours: 6 a.m. on March 1 until 4 p.m. March 2. Three categories: trout, salmon and northern pike. There will also be a cash prize for the heaviest pickerel and perch. Registration $15. For more call (518) 532-7953.

March 8 – New York State Conservation Council Legislative Meeting, Herkimer County Community College, 100 Reservoir Rd, Herkimer. (315) 894-3302.

March 15 -- The Mohawk Valley Sharp Spurs Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation will host its annual Hunting Heritage fundraiser banquet at Perthshire Restaurant, 112 Perthshire Road in Amsterdam. According to Chairman Tim Brisley tickets are $60 which includes one dinner and one membership ($30 for NWTF members); a couple’s ticket is $80 and includes two dinners and one membership. As is the custom at this event, there is an impressive list of merchandise including a Franchi 28 gauge shotgun, Henry Golden Boy .22 lever action rifle and a Remington 700. Doors open at 6 p.m. and dinner will be served at 7 p.m. For more information and/or tickets contact Brisley at (518) 366-3837 or tbrisley@gmail.com; Dick Andrews at 843-9086 or Mike Auriemma at 843-2432.

March 15-16 -- Saratoga Springs Gun and Militaria Show, Saratoga Springs City Center, 522 Broadway, Saratoga. More than 250 tables of traditional and antique firearms, swords and knives, Civil War and WWII memorabilia and accessories. Admission $8 each, $7 seniors, free under age 14. Hours: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Sunday. (518) 664-9743