Category Archives: Featured Stories

The Sportsman’s World — The Crossbow War

By Leon Archer

In July, 1863, when the armed forces of the Confederacy lost Vicksburg, their last stronghold on the Mississippi, and suffered the punishing defeat of Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia at Gettysburg, the South would have been wise to have sued for peace, but they soldiered on for nearly two more years before the civil war finally drew to a close.

The opponents in the Crossbow War could take a lesson from the misfortunes of Old Dixie.

Just as the Confederacy lost the war, imperceptibly at first, battlefield by battlefield, while the invading Yankees became stronger and more numerous, so the forces resisting the coming of the crossbow are facing defeat.

It may not be this year in New York state, but the results from battlefield to battlefield across this country leave little doubt who the winners will be in the end.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his support for the legalization of the crossbow for hunting purposes in New York state during his State of the State message.

And just as importantly, he would give regulation authority for its use to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

I don’t agree with a lot of what our governor has said and done, but I’m with him 100 percent on this.

Of course, we will need both houses of our legislature to produce legislation which the majority will support and pass in order for the governor’s proposal to become reality.

That legislation should include the final battlefield, which is that the classification of the crossbow would be as a legal bow for use in any season and any area where archery is allowed, including archery only areas.

If that final victory doesn’t come this year, it will come soon. The hand writing is on the wall, and further resistance can only damage both sides, not change the final outcome.

Since the early 1970s, when only Arkansas and Ohio allowed hunting with a crossbow, the number of states accepting its use has grown steadily. Today, a total of 34 states have loosened or dropped their restrictions on crossbows since the year 2000.

At present, the battle is completely over in 24 states which now allow the crossbow to be used during any hunting season where archery is allowed, a movement that is gaining popularity in other open-minded states.

This is a civil war, sportsmen fighting sportsmen, both sides believing they are right, but only one side can win, and the empirical evidence is clear, crossbows are in our future.

The strongest resistance comes from a sportsman’s group, The New York Bow Hunters. They argue the crossbow is some sort of superior weapon, a silent super weapon that will allow poachers to decimate the deer herd.

While they claim the crossbow has an effective range of nearly seventy yards, at the same time they suggest more deer will be wounded and run off if crossbows are allowed, because they claim the crossbow is not as efficient as the bow they use.

They say the crossbow is so easy to use that a novice can be slaughtering deer on the same day they buy it. They say the crossbow does not require the same amount of dedication and commitment that is necessary to become a good archer.

A lot of other things they say about the crossbow were used by opponents of the compound bow and releases back in the 70s. Those arguments don’t hold any more water today when applied to the crossbow than they did back when they were applied to the compound bow.

I have to admit that I have never hunted with a crossbow, but I have shot them at targets quite a bit. I can tell you one thing from my own experience. The crossbow is very accurate at close range out to 30 yards or so, but at 70 yards it leaves a great deal to be desired. I would hardly call it effective at that range. At the longer ranges, the compound is much better, but even then, few archers will chance shooting at a deer 70 yards away.

As far as a tool for poaching, it is too cumbersome and why use it when a 22 caliber rifle would do the job far better.

I have never been a poacher, but I knew an old fellow years ago who lived up on the Tug Hill east of Sandy Creek, and my father told me that man fed his family on venison year round that he took with a single shot 22 rifle. It is quiet, doesn’t draw attention, and it is lethal well beyond the effective range of the crossbow or compound.

As far as wounding more deer, think about this. There is no reason why a bolt from a crossbow should cause the loss of any more deer than one might expect from an arrow from a compound bow.

They both work exactly the same way, causing reasonably quick death from massive bleeding due to the razor sharp blades. To put down the crossbow on this account is to damn the compound bow as well.

When I bought my first compound bow, I was able to hit the bullseye at 30 yards after just a couple of shots to adjust my aiming pin. After that I was pretty consistent.

Later that week, I was shooting from the roof on my shed, putting arrows through styrofoam cups on the ground. It didn’t require any great amount of dedication and commitment to use the compound bow well enough to hit any deer that wandered by my tree stand.

The dedication and commitment has little to do with the ease of use of either the crossbow or the modern compound bow. It is learning to hunt successfully and consistently that requires dedication and commitment, and that is true whether you hunt with a rifle, shotgun, crossbow, compound bow or black powder rifle.

I truly believe that bow hunters just don’t want to share their archery season with anyone carrying a crossbow. They deny that, but the denial has a false ring to it in my ears.

I believe it is time to end the war. It is time for bow hunters and crossbow hunters to learn to live together. I’m pretty sure, in a few years, everyone will be wondering what all the fuss was about.

That’s what has happened in the 24 states that have led the way.

States Allowing Crossbow Hunting














Rhode Island

North Dakota


New Jersey



South Carolina

North Carolina





Fulton varsity hockey finishes season on a sour note

By Rob Tetro

The Fulton varsity hockey team went 1-4 during its last 5 games of the season.

The team finished the season with a 2-18-1 overall record.

On Jan. 26, Lake Placid rolled past Fulton, 6-2. The Red Raiders knocked off Ontario Bay, 6-4 on Jan. 29. On Jan. 30, Watertown-IHC held off Fulton, 4-3. Watertown-IHC also won the Feb. 3 rematch with the Red Raiders, 5-1.

Syracuse (a team consisting of several Syracuse-area players) cruised past Fulton, 5-1 on Feb. 4.

Lake Placid jumped out to an early 3-0 lead over Fulton in th first period and carried the 3-goal advantage into the half.

The Red Raiders were unable to get any closer during the game, as Lake Placid outscored Fulton by a goal during the third period en route to the 6-2 win.

The Red Raiders were led by Bryce Knight and Austin Vashaw with a goal each. Following Knight and Vashaw were Seth DeLisle and Stan Kubis with an assist each. Goalies Spencer Evans and Brandon Ladd combined to save 35 shots.

After a hard-fought first period in the Ontario Bay game, the teams were tied at 1-1.

Fulton stormed ahead during the second period, outscoring Ontario Bay by 2 goals to take a 4-2 lead. Both teams scored 2 goals during the third period as the Red Raiders came away with a 6-4 win.

Leading for Fulton was Bryce Knight with 4 goals and an assist. Trae Sheldon had a goal and an assist. Seth DeLisle is credited with 3 assists and Ross Ryan tallied an assist. Goalie Brandon Ladd saved 21 shots Ontario Bay sent his way.

Watertown-IHC escaped with a hard fought win over the Red Raiders. the game was tied at 1-1 following the first period and then Fulton built a lead in the second to take a 3-2 lead into intermission.

Watertown-IHC made the most of the third period, putting the puck in the net to tie the game at 3 and force overtime. Watertown-IHC then scored the game winning goal in overtime.

Fulton was led by Bryce Knight wiht a goal and an assist. Seth DeLisle and Rocco Cannata had a goal each while Trae Sheldon is credited with 2 assists. Matt Billion also tallied an assist. Goalie Brandon Ladd saved 41 shots.

In the rematch with Watertown-IHC, Watertown jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first period. Both teams scored a goal in the second period and then Watertown-IHC scored again in the third period and held Fulton scoreless to win 5-1.

Leading the way for Fulton was Seth DeLisle with a goal assisted by Trae Sheldon. Goalie Brandon Ladd is credited with 31 saves.

In the Syracuse game, the Red Raiders trailed 1-0 after the first period. In the second, both teams scored one goal as Syracuse took a 2-1 lead into intermission.

Syracuse pulled away during the third period, outscoring Fulton by 3 goals to secure a 5-1 win.

The Red Raiders were led by Seth Cooney with one goal. Eric Forderkonz and Kris Grow had an assist each. Goalies Brandon Ladd and Landon VanAlstine combined to save 40 shots.

Fitzhugh Park elementary evacuated due to smoke

UPDATE from the police and fire departments:

At about 11:41 a.m., Oswego City Fire and Police crews were called to the Fitzhugh Park Elementary School (195 East Bridge Street Oswego, NY) in regard to a small fire
isolated in a trash can.
The school was evacuated as emergency crews arrived on scene. Upon arrival, the fire had already been extinguished by a school district employee.
The scene was evaluated by the Oswego Fire Department and deemed safe to allow reentry.
There were no injuries reported as a result of the incident, and Oswego Fire and Police personnel remain on scene investigating the cause of the fire in cooperation with Oswego City School District personnel.

Students at the Fitzhugh Park Elementary School in Oswego were evacuated from the building for a short time this morning as smoke was reported on the second floor.

Upon further investigation the source of the smoke was a fire in a waste basket.

The Oswego Fire Department and district personnel have been on the scene. 

There were no injuries.

Officials have allowed the students to return to their classrooms.

District officials are continuing their investigation  into the cause of the fire.

Snow now, tonight, tomorrow

The National Weather Service is calling for a winter storm warning for heavy snow to be in effect in Oswego County until 1 p.m. Friday (Feb. 14).

Snow will be heavy at time and there will be accumulations of an inch or less this afternoon, 4 to 7 inches tonight and 1 to 3 inches Friday.

Visibility will be as low as a quarter of a mile. Travel will be extremely hazardous with slippery snow covered roads and reduced visibilities.

Got a summer event? Contact the Oswego County Tourism Office

Organizations, businesses and groups have until Feb. 19 to submit information for the Oswego County Tourism Office’s 2014 “Summer in Oswego County” brochure.

Events that take place between April and October will be posted on the county tourism Web site and listed in the calendar, which is widely distributed at travel and vacation shows, chambers of commerce, NYS Thruway information centers, businesses and other outlets.

“The brochure typically includes more than 200 events as well as information on fishing tournaments, farm markets, outdoor concerts, and other summer activities,” said David Turner, director of the Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning.

People can fill out a form online and submit it directly to the Tourism Office at

Forms have been sent to those who have submitted information in the past.

For more information, contact the Oswego County Tourism Office weekdays at 349-8322 or (800) 596-3200, ext. 8322, or e-mail

2 Mexico grads perform with SU band at Super Bowl

By Ashley M. Casey

They didn’t get to stay for the game, but two Syracuse University students from Mexico, N.Y., played in the school’s marching band at Super Bowl XLVIII.

Anthony Veiga, a junior music education major, and Shaun Kinney, a sophomore music industry major, are alumni of Mexico High School. They boarded a bus at 4 a.m. Feb. 2, arriving in New Jersey five hours later to rehearse with the Rutgers University marching band.

“The NFL was looking for a band to represent what they considered the New York Super Bowl,” said Veiga, who plays the baritone.

But New Jersey governor Chris Christie pointed out that MetLife Stadium, while it is the home of the New York Giants, is located in East Rutherford, N.J.

“We had to ask Rutgers to join us,” Veiga said.

In 2013, SU’s marching band, led by Justin Mertz, played in Montreal for a Buffalo Bills game and Houston, Texas, for the Pinstripe Bowl. The band also plays for SU football’s home games and may travel to away games in the future.

“We went to the Heisman Gala, which is the dinner for the Heisman Trophy,” Veiga said.

Despite the miles the band has racked up, they had never been to the Super Bowl before.

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Veiga said.

The band members had to keep the news of the performance under wraps.

“When we were first told, we went nuts,” Veiga said. “We had to keep it a secret until the NFL let it go public.”

Kinney, a tuba player, said the band members complained somewhat about the rehearsal schedule, but “everybody thought the rehearsals were worth it when we got there.”

“It was amazing. It was just cool to be part of the production,” Kinney said.

The band spotted a few celebrities while waiting to run onto the field for the pre-game performance.

“Kevin Bacon walked by,” Kinney said. “Being around all these people you see on TV that are famous … (was) pretty crazy.”

“We got to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and they mingled with the band,” Veiga said. There was no sight of halftime headliner Bruno Mars, however.

Kinney said he remembered little of the performance because it was so brief.

“Being right about to run on the field — that’s where it really hit me that we were at the Super Bowl,” he said. “It went like a flash.”

“It was about just doing the show, and less focusing on the environment,” Veiga said. “I never thought I’d be able to do that.”

Veiga said performing with Rutgers was a unique part of the Super Bowl experience as well.

“We got to meet a different band. You double in size — it’s really loud and really cool,” he said.

Unfortunately, the musicians did not get to see the game. They loaded their equipment to head back to Syracuse during performance by opera singer Renee Fleming (grad of SUNY Postman’s Crane School of Music) of the national anthem.

Fireworks went off and helicopters buzzed overhead.

“Some of the (seniors) were actually crying … because it was their last marching band event,” Kinney said. “What a way to go out!”

Veiga said he didn’t think SU would get to play the Super Bowl again, but he joked with the band director, “What are you going to do next year to match this?”

SUNY Oswego lecture series focuses on gender equity in workplace

Submitted by SUNY Oswego

SUNY Oswego’s Ernst & Young Lecture Series on Gender Equity in the Workplace will kick off for spring 2014 on Thursday, Feb. 20, with an explorative lecture about the education of women in India today.

The free lectures will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on selected Thursdays in the Campus Center auditorium.

Cristina Ioana Dragomir will present “Change and Tradition in the Education of Indian Women” on Feb. 20, exploring political tensions that impact their education and opportunities.

She will talk about her own experiences as a woman in India, compared with education for girls and women in tribal areas.

On March 27, Dee Moskoff, Humphrey Fellow at Syracuse University and director of Connect Network, South Africa, will examine “How HIV Affects the Workplace of South African Women.”

The talk will examine why South Africa, with one of the strongest economies on the continent, still has one of the highest HIVE prevalence rates.

Ruth Baltus, a 1977 alumna of SUNY Oswego and professor of chemical engineering at Clarkson University, will present “Following My Foremothers: Historical Perspectives and Strategies for Success for Women in Engineering and Science” on April 3.

Using her family’s experiences, she will discuss how things have changed over her 30-year career, and share lessons learned during that span.

Robert Feinberg, SUNY Oswego class of 1978, and his wife Robbi Feinberg, as well as Ernst & Young sponsor the lecture series. It is cosponsored by the women’s studies department and the Institute for Global Engagement at SUNY Oswego.

Those without a current SUNY Oswego parking permit can visit for information about obtaining a day-use permit.

Part of West Fifth Street in Oswego closes Monday

J.J. Lane, the contractor for the on-going Combined Sewer Separation Project, has provided the following road closure/detour details for Monday, Feb. 10.

The road closure/detour will go into effect at 7 a.m. Feb. 10. And as part of the Consent Decree Project, J. J. Lane will be closing West Fifth Street from Ellen Street to Prospect Street, in order to install a new storm sewer on the west side of the street.

Traffic detours will be set up at Tallman Street. Normal traffic flow is expected to resume by the end of the day on Wednesday, Feb. 12.

Contact the City Engineer’s Office at 342-8153, if you have any questions or concerns.