New York Mixed Bag: Driver sentenced in crash that killed N.Y. crossbow advocate, Rick McDermott – Outdoor News

Oswego, N.Y. — The driver of a vehicle in a June 2023 head-on crash that killed NY Crossbow Coalition president and founder Rick McDermott and his wife, Annmarie, has been sentenced to up to 11 years in prison.

Oswego County News Now reported that County Court Judge Armen Nazarian sentenced Jason A. Robinson, of Sandy Creek, to an indeterminate sentence of 5½ to 11 years in prison. Nazarian said “I will be strongly suggesting that they hold you for every last second they can,” should Robinson come up for parole.


Remembering Rick McDermott, a man of many hats in New York’s sporting community

A toxicology report found Robinson to have amphetamine, methamphetamine and delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (found in marijuana) in his system at the time of June 10 crash, when he crossed over into the lane a car driven by Annmarie McDermott. Rick McDermott was a passenger in the vehicle and both were killed in the crash.

Robinson also has three previous felony convictions and had a suspended driver’s license due to a failure to answer multiple local court summonses.

Avian Flu Suspected in Monroe County Canada Geese Deaths

Webster, N.Y. — The Town of Webster has reported it is working on an investigation with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation into a suspected avian flu outbreak in Monroe County. Two dozen Canada geese have reportedly been found dead as of late December at North Pond Park Trail, in Webster. The bodies are being tested at the Cornell Wildlife Health Lab.

The town and the agency asks anyone who sees multiple sick or dead birds in any specific area in New York to contact a local DEC office. A list can be found at

Reminder: NYS Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame Nomination Deadline is Jan. 31

Vernon Center, N.Y. — The New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame is reminding sportsmen across New York that the deadline for submitting nominations for candidates to be inducted into the 2024 Hall of Fame class is Jan. 31. The organization has inducted over 250 men and women who have made significant contributions to conservation or preserving the heritage of outdoor sports. Along the inductions, several additional awards are handed out each year to deserving individuals within the sporting community.

Nominees will be inducted at the organization’s annual banquet being held April 28 in Canastota. Nominations forms and instructions can be found at, or by emailing [email protected] or [email protected].

Meanwhile, park visitors were being reminded not to handle sick or deceased animals and to monitor pets to ensure they do not handle or consume sick or deceased animals.

Centennial Challenge Celebrates 100 Years of New York State Parks

Albany — New York State Parks are turning 100 in 2024 and the state has come up with program to honor the milestone The Centennial Challenge is part of a year-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of New York’s statewide park and historic site system. It began Jan. 1 and the New York State Parks Centennial Challenge includes 100 missions that can be completed at various state parks and historic sites throughout the year. Participants will need to complete 24 missions in 2024 to complete the challenge.

The Challenge is designed to be completed by people of all abilities and can be finished by visiting parks and historic sites across the state or keeping with one that’s close to home.

Examples of the mission include camping at one of more state parks, visiting and picnicking at a “new-to-you” state park or historic site and bring a picnic, skating at a state parks’ ice rink, talking to an interpreter about the history of a state historic site, volunteering at an event and learning the Leave No Trace principles.

In 1924, Governor Alfred E. Smith and the State Legislature created the New York State Council of Parks while voters approved a $15 million Bond Act to build and enlarge a network of state parks, forging the New York State park and historic site system that New York State residents and visitors know and cherish today.

For more information on the New York State Park Centennial, visit

Smokey Bear Turns 80 in 2024

Washington, D.C. — Eighty years is a tremendous milestone – for anyone. Being the spokes-bear, if you will, of the longest-running and most successful advertising campaign in American history, Smokey Bear would agree. And so does the U.S. Forest Service. Smokey’s actual 80th birthday is August 9; however, starting in January, the USFS which has managed the image of Smokey Bear since the 1940s, will launch a yearlong celebration.

After taking part in the Rose Bowl parade on Jan. 1, across the country all sorts of activities are being planned from guest appearances at local events. There will also be a social media campaign where the USFS is asking folks to sing Happy Birthday to Smokey with the hashtag #SingForSmokey. Some of the #SingForSmokey videos will be streamed across social media platforms in August.

The fun continues throughout 2024 with the Smokey Bear balloon appearing the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the lighting of the U.S. Capital Christmas Tree. To keep up on events surrounding Smokey’s 80th, follow USFS social media sites as well as the Ad Council’s Smokey Bear website