The New York Crossbow Coalition recently sent out a press release stating: NYS DEC has released their 2021 draft 10-year Deer Management Plan. The plan includes pursuing Legislative changes to permit …
The New York Crossbow Coalition recently sent out a press release stating: NYS DEC has released their 2021 draft 10-year Deer Management Plan. The plan includes pursuing Legislative changes to permit crossbow full inclusion statewide.
The press release goes on to say, DEC supports the use of crossbows for deer hunting during the same timeframes, in the same manner, and with the same eligibility requirements as with vertical bows.
The crossbow hunting law enacted in 2012 does not address deer management needs and is inconsistent with hunter preferences. Specifically, overabundant deer populations in portions of the state where hunting access or firearm use is restricted.
However, current law expressly prohibits crossbow use in these areas. Moreover, limited time for crossbow use and the arbitrary difference in the legal setback distances for discharge of vertical bows (150 feet from certain structures) and crossbows (250 feet) unnecessarily constrain effective use of crossbows for deer management throughout the state.
In a 2018 survey, DEC found that 61 percent of respondents who do not own a crossbow said they would acquire and use a crossbow for hunting if crossbows were allowed during the entire bow seasons. Further a majority (61 percent) preferred that crossbow use be tied to bowhunting privileges.
DEC recommends that crossbows be allowed during all hunting periods when other bowhunting equipment is allowed and that eligibility to hunt with a crossbow be the same as eligibility to hunt with a vertical bow.
DEC further recommends that the restrictions on crossbow size, minimum limb width and maximum draw weight be removed from law so that the agency can set more appropriate standards which are effective and humane for deer hunting and consistent with crossbow technology.
A crossbow supporter stated, remember this is called a Crossbow, not a Crossgun, it releases an arrow, it does not fire a bullet. It should be legal to use during the entire bow seasons. Pennsylvania, for the past decade, has combined the crossbow hunting season with their entire bow seasons without having any major problems, it is working great. If it works just across the Delaware River in Pennsylvania, it should work well here in New York State.
Time is getting short, sportsmen who care to comment on the DEC's 10-year deer management plan have till Monday, December 28, 2020. By mail: DEC Deer Management Plan, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233 or email: Wildlife@dec.ny.gov.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Jack Danchak is the President of the Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs of Sullivan County.
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