"Squirrel Slam" in Holley

February 16, 2013 Updated Feb 16, 2013 at 10:18 PM EDT

By WKBW Admin

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February 16, 2013 Updated Feb 16, 2013 at 10:18 PM EDT

HOLLEY (WKBW) A squirrel hunting competition underway in Orleans County is drawing sharp criticism, as protesters want the fire department fundraiser shut down.

It is the seventh annual "Hazzard County Squirrel Slam," a fundraiser benefiting the fire department in the Village of Holley. But as hunters took to the woods in search of their prizes, others made their opinions heard against the event.

The point of the squirrel slam is simple: hunters pay an entry fee and go hunting for the day. At the end, the squirrels are weighed and prizes are given out. But the event has stirred up some controversy both from animal rights groups, and those who say guns should not be prizes in raffles, and children as young as twelve should not be allowed to participate. Protestors were in Holley on Saturday, but according to police everything was peaceful, and organizers say it was a successful squirrel slam that benefits a good cause.

Squirrel falls under the category of small game, and it is legal to hunt in New York State during a specific season, so there is nothing illegal about what is going on in Holley, but many still disagree with what they call the ethics behind it.