The Basics of New York's New Crossbow Law
ABOUT CROSSBOWS IN NEW YORK
Mini Poll here
NOTICE; In New York State
Captain Ernie Calandrelli is one of the earliest Charter Captains to fish the Niagara River. His other passion is hunting. The picture above is Calandrelli with an 8 point State of Kansas Buck using a Horton Crossbow. He is employed by Quaker Boy Game Calls and is well known in fishing and hunting circles. His son is following in the Captain's footsteps!
This is a message that accompanied the photograph
I shot this buck in
I have killed many animals via recurve and compound bow. Nobody
loves to bowhunt more than I do. If it comes to hunting by other means
or not hunting I will use the other means where legal and enjoy the hell
out of it successful or not.
|Crossbow Controversy Continues - Bill Hilts Jr.
UPDATE HERE FROM JUNE 6 2015
New legislation is being proposed in the Senate and Assembly (A8021 and S5817) that would allow the crossbow to be used with the bow privilege (instead of the current muzzleloader privilege), as well as eliminate the 200 pound restriction and allow it to be used in the Youth Hunt held over Columbus Day weekend. It would also allow crossbows to be used for bow fishing opportunities.
As soon as the word was out that the legislation was being proposed, the group New York Bowhunters was back at it again with a campaign of misinformation to sway the politicians and other bowhunters who are not as knowledgeable on the issues. It started with a letter from NYB president Richard Kirschner, blatantly misrepresenting DEC on the issues, as well as some of the regulations on the crossbow. Safety is one of the big issues that NYB contends that this new legislation should not be passed. But they fail to mention that by making it fall under the bow privilege, you would be requiring hunters to take an archery hunter safety training class. NYB claims that the average range of a deer taken with a conventional bow is under 20 yards, but the long range capabilities of the crossbow are widely promoted by the manufacturers – and crossbows are the result of higher wounding rates … without any documentation. We could go on and on with how NYB twisted things around to paint a bleak picture, reaffirming their anti-crossbow stand.
We were not sure what was going to happen with this one as the session was starting to wind down. If there is any movement, we’ll let you know about it.
IT'S LEGAL IN NEW YORK!
Update....................NOTE: This update just came in, in July
but the information is useful
Written by Bill Hilts Jr. and appeared in his Sunday Column
Crossbow Comments Deadline is July 21 –
|Crossbow Season Opens Nov. 1…Finally!
Bill Hilts Jr.
After 25 years of trying to get the crossbow into the early archery season, that historic event will finally take place on November 1. While it’s not the path we originally intended to see taken to introduce this hunting tool to Empire State sportsmen, it’s still an important step in the future of hunting in New York.
Starting next Saturday, the crossbow will be legal to use in the Southern Zone of the early archery season for big game – deer and bear. For a full two weeks, you can hunt with this hunting method before the regular gun season starts on Nov. 15 this year. It comes at a great time when bucks should be coming into rut – an opportune time to connect on a nice buck. Before you head out into the field, though, there are certain things you need to do to prepare yourself for the field.
When selecting a crossbow, know that there are some restrictions and certain specifications that need to be followed. There are crossbows being sold out there that do not meet or they exceed these specifications, so know what those restrictions are, such as: minimum peak draw weight is 100 pounds and maximum is 200 pounds; length from the butt of the stock to the front of the limbs is 24 inches; minimum width is 17 inches; minimum arrow length is 14 inches and the arrowhead must be non-barbed, with two or more cutting edges at least 7/8 inches wide. You must also print out (or clip from the regulations guide) a Certification of Qualification after reading all of the information on the crossbow.
Because these are brand new hunting tools, there are other things that are noteworthy. For example, a crossbow may not be discharged within 250 feet of any home, farm structure or public building without the owner’s permission. When carrying a crossbow in or on your vehicle, it cannot be cocked. Make sure you take an arrow with a field point that you can discharge into the ground at the end of the day if you are driving to your hunting destination. You must be at least 14 years of age (because it’s not considered archery equipment).
Once you have that crossbow in hand, make sure you shoot it and become familiar with its limitations. Yes, there are limitations. Know its effective range. For me and my crossbow, that effective range is 25 yards and closer.
As far as licensing, you will need a muzzleloader tag and a big game license to be able to hunt with a crossbow. If you think that having an archery tag will suffice, think again. An archery tag means nothing if you plan on hunting with a crossbow during the two weeks before the regular season or after the regular season. It was probably one of the concessions that needed to be given up to allow for crossbows during the archery.
Another concession was not allowing junior hunters to use a crossbow during the Youth Hunt over Columbus Day weekend. If you ask me, it was a bonehead move that should have been thought out a little bit better. You will allow shotguns and rifles but not crossbows? Come on! Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.
Early on, one of the big reasons for crossbow usage during the early archery season was for physically challenged hunters. They couldn’t pull a bow back any more and they still wanted to be out in the woods hunting. In addition, the earlier timeframe was important because the weather has a tendency to be a bit warmer – important from the standpoint of comfort. The attitude of the many of the anti-crossbow people was that maybe those people (physically challenged sportsmen and women) should be hanging up their hunting boots then. Really? We need to wake up and look at the big picture here.
|Crossbow Clarifications Surface
Bill Hilts Jr.
Now that we know that
crossbows have been legalized in the state with a plan to have the
hunting tool in place by this fall, it’s time to try and figure out what
the restrictions will be – at least for the time being.
IT'S LEGAL IN NEW YORK! [Finally] 3/31/14
night, [May 31st 2014] the Senate and Assembly both passed
the Budget and this morning Governor Cuomo signed it into law.
Outdoors Niagara Note: Rick McDermott of Oswego County (present leader of the NY Crossbow Coalition) Is an honoree for The New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame and will be inducted at its annual awards banquet on April 26 2014
Bill Hilts Jr. Comments:
The big news this week came after I finished by column for Sunday.
[May 27 2014] After
it was all wrapped up, an email from Rick McDermott, leader of the New
York Crossbow Coalition, told it all in two words of the subject line:
Regulations explained by DEC
|CROSSBOW UPDATE AND HURRAH!
Governor Supports Crossbow Initiative; The Fight
is On! - January 2014
It started with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State
address, when he included the use of crossbows as an important
initiative to pursue in the Empire State. It’s something that’s been
pushed for by every major conservation group in the state for years.
Finally, it’s drawn the attention of the state’s top politician and
he’s pushing to make the crossbow a legal hunting implement in the
state, letting the Department of Environmental Conservation to
manage the use of the crossbow as they see fit – the way it should
READ THE HISTORY OF THIS
LEGISLATION IN THE ARTICLES BELOW:
Crossbows Back In the News - December - By Bill Hilts Jr.
Be sure to read the Crossbow Update at the end of this column
It’s official. Gov. Andrew Cuomo vetoed the legislation that would have reestablished the use of crossbows for another two years, as well as eliminated the youth hunt that was started up this year – at least the allowing of any kinds of firearms in the early archery season.
It’s been a bit confusing for some of you that have been trying to follow these issues through second and third hand reports from fellow sportsmen and women. That’s one of the reasons why this column insisted on joining a club and/or subscribing to publications like New York Outdoor News or Lake Ontario Outdoors for up-to-date information.
Two years ago, legislation was passed that allowed for crossbow usage during the big game season. The original bill called for the use of crossbows during the early archery season on private land. If you owned your own land and you wanted to hunt with a crossbow, why shouldn’t you? There were more relaxed standards for physically challenged, too. At the last minute, that was all removed underhandedly and the legislation that came out was not what we asked for. Crossbows could only be used during the regular (firearms) seasons and the late muzzleloader season in the Southern Zone.
This time around, the anti-crossbow proponents were up to some of their tricks once again. They thought that by pushing the same legislation again it would give them another two years to have the woods to themselves. One fly in the ointment, though, was the fact that a youth deer hunt popped up during Columbus Day weekend. The same people opposing crossbows didn’t like that either, so they managed to slip in an amendment that would have essentially eliminated the youth hunt and make it archery only, which wouldn’t stop any of the regular bow benders from hunting. After a decent amount of opposition, Gov. Cuomo vetoed the bill and sent legislators back to the drawing board. Or did they?
After it was announced that the bill was vetoed, Assemblymen Sean Ryan and Pat Gallivan reintroduced their bills from last year (A283) that very simply did was should have been done from the start – make the crossbow a legal hunting tool in the state and allow for the DEC to manage its use accordingly as the wildlife managers of the Empire State. Plain and simple. Let’s get the deer hunting management out of Albany (which is really New York City and Long Island) and into the hands of the state agency charged with handling wildlife issues. We’ll pass along the corresponding Senate bill when we get it.
Crossbows have a place in New York. We would be better off reevaluating all of our hunting seasons then to fight so hard to keep the crossbows out of the woods. Many groups have supported the use of crossbows over the years. From the New York State Conservation Council to the Conservation Fund Advisory Board, they have looked to the crossbow as a way of injecting new money into the wildlife programs in the state. It would also help out groups like senior and junior hunters, physically challenged sportsmen and women who are starting to enter the big game ranks. And it’s not just big game either. Crossbows could also be an option for turkey hunting as but one example.
Crossbow Update – JANUARY 2013
The above is from the NYS DEC Website. Follow this link to read rules and definitions completely: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/68802.html
More information can be found at these websites - Click the logos
United Foundation For Disabled Archers
Horizontal Bowhunter Magazine
OUTDOOR NEWS for October
By Will Elliott
Now that the crossbow has become a legal hunting device in New York State, New York Bowhunters (NYB) leadership has raised their sails and cheered what they deem another successful voyage.
To sustain this seafaring metaphor, it looks as though the NYB anti-crossbow advocates are acting like a boat load of Ahabs.
Since NYB was formed in 1991, a powerful faction of members serving as officers, directors, and committee leaders, has likened their distain for crossbows with an obsession akin to Herman Melville’s Captain Ahab in the classic sea tale “Moby Dick.” Ahab’s whaling ship, Pequod, became the stage for the captain’s fixation on killing this white whale he had encountered earlier. During that encounter, the whale destroyed Ahab’s ship and bit off his leg.
For the NYB organization, the anti-crossbow faction has had a fixation to kill any New York State legislation that would allow crossbow use while hunting in this state.
Well, for NYB lobbyists, the evil, leg-biting crossbow (Moby Dick) has just tapped the hull of NYB’s Pequod. Yet the NYB establishment considers its anti-crossbow efforts a complete success.
Previously, this anti faction had successfully alienated New York State outdoor writers who chose to discuss anything favorable about crossbow use. Previous NYB president Kevin Armstrong once wrote that anyone with a typewriter/keyboard can become an outdoor writer. Current NYB president Gary Socola has echoed that sentiment.
If so, why has not Armstrong and Socola become the next Melville or Ernest Hemingway?
Perhaps their obsession with stopping crossbows has curbed their literary output. But Socola waxed widely after NYB lobbying altered the initial Francine DelMonte and George Maziarz crossbow legalization bills.
In its final legislative form, the crossbow bill serves all purposes of the NYB antis – not the general will of hunters statewide.
In doing so, NYB not only assailed members of the New York State Outdoor Writers Association (NYSOWA), the anti faction further incurred the ire of the NYS Conservation Council. While doing so, they added the Safari Club International (SCI) and the DEC.
As for outdoor writers, NYB critics like to say that the pro-crossbow sentiment comes mainly from a few writers in Western New York. However, during the latest round of debates, NYB experts attacked outdoor writer Bill Connors when he correctly cited statistics on crossbow dynamics in the state of Georgia.
Curiously, Connors is not a member of NYSOWA and he writes columns for the Poughkeepsie Journal in southeastern New York.
In fact, many of this state’s writers have written favorably about crossbow use, but their production is prompted by their own preferences – or assignments of editors.
As a past president of NYSOWA, I can affirm that this writers group does not support or oppose proposed legislation – or political candidates, appointments, product items, or reality-show contestants.
As for NRA support of crossbows, NYB officials took exception to this NRA stance. President Socola wrote an interjection: “”(not sure how being pro-crossbow is protecting my firearms right)…”
Ironically, NYB crossbow critics during the tenure of the past three presidents delight in referring to this device as a “cross-gun.”
As for rights, disallowing crossbow access during the regular archery season to thousands of prospective users can be seen as denying hunting rights.
The NYB attack on the DEC is two-fold. Socola questions why the DEC would hold meetings and spend our tax dollars on a Cornell survey. Socola goes on to state: “…our DEC knows nothing about crossbows.”
The DEC has access to records and reports from 48 states that have previously legalized this device, and DEC officials conducted public meetings and enlisted Cornell to conduct a study – yet NYB critics discredit the DEC’s knowledge.
Curiously, the NYB Web site featured for more than a decade a Cornell study done showing the statewide preference for crossbow use was slightly less than 50 percent. Somehow, a 1994 study is valid but current preferences should not be accepted.
Clearly, support for crossbow legalization for all throughout all open hunting seasons has come from individual hunters and private and professional organizations statewide and nationally.
The problem is that this support is not shown in solid numbers when legislators deliberate crossbow concerns. NYB vice-president Martin Seeley, when thanking members for hammering legislators with phone calls, e-mails, and faxes, posed the question: “Are they really out there?”
The answer, of course, is they – hunters and shooters favoring or not opposed to crossbow use – are “out” there. That is, they are not in Albany hounding key legislators every time crossbow legislation hits assembly and senate floors. One regional director praised a member who spent a full month in Albany pushing legislators away from crossbows.
In the next breath, NYB appeals to members for support money to further the positive –not anti-crossbow – programs such as archery in schools, handicapped shooter, overseas outreach, and other efforts that might not be as easily heard during Environmental Conservation Committee meetings.
Eventually, crossbows will become legal in all seasons, as it has become accepted in many other states. And, as in those other states, vertical bow hunters will continue to log most record kills.
We can only hope that after all this crossbow contention has ended, NYB doesn’t become a sunken Pequod.
JULY 4 2010
By Bill Hilts Jr.
Watered-downed Crossbow Bill Passes Both Houses
Some form of crossbow legislation passed both houses – Senate and Assembly – earlier this week. We’re still trying to figure out what we ended up with as of this writing due to some last minute amendments that came through to muddy the waters up. It started with a phone call from my brother at 6:45 a.m. last Wednesday letting me know that Sen. George Maziarz was just on WLVL Radio in Lockport announcing the passage of the crossbow bill from both the Senate and Assembly. Something that we’ve been fighting for since 1990 when we first experienced these hunting tools while on an outdoor adventure in Ohio. Twenty years later, it appears that our pleas have been heard. But to what extent? At first glance, it appears as though changes were made to the legislation due to pressure from the New York Bowhunters. I looked at a video of a presentation made by a NYB representative at a committee meeting of the Senate’s Environmental Conservation Committee and my first question was is it legal to misrepresent the truth and state untruths before such a committee? Al (I couldn’t hear this last name) from NYB claimed that their organization represented ALL the bowhunters of New York State. I’m a bowhunter from New York. So are my brothers. So are many of my friends. They didn’t represent us, yet they were claiming they were. A membership of somewhere between two and three thousand members, they claim to be the voice of all 172,000 bow hunters in the state. At least that was the last number for 2009-2010 from the DEC website. In 2008-09, there were over 204,000 archery tag holders in New York. It sounds like they should be more concerned about retention and recruitment rather than keeping people out of the woods.
He went on to state they these crossbow are deadly – being able to shoot “accurately out to 100 yards out of the box.” He also claimed that “many” handicapped permits are currently available in the state right now. So what constitutes “many?” Something like 33 permits have been issued for physically challenged hunters. However, if you can move your trigger finger – that’s right, just move it – you don’t qualify. You must use this bow by using a mouth release only – sip and puff. Their attitude, and they’ve stated it publicly on “many” occasions, is that some time you have to admit you can’t pull the bow back and hang it up – you shouldn’t be out there.
So where did we go with this legislation? First, kudos to Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte who led the charge in the Assembly; as well as Sen. Dave Valesky and Sen. George Maziarz in the Senate. Without their support, we never would have gotten as far as we did. At the very least, we are further than we ever have been before. As far as the legislation, it looks like one thing is for sure – you can use a crossbow during the regular firearms and muzzleloading seasons in the state. That isn’t going to generate any special license sales for sure. One clause that was included in the original bill was that the crossbow could be used during any season on private land. Why not? NYB pushed to have that removed and they succeeded. Another portion of the bill addressed physically-challenged hunters. If you had a doctors slip showing that you couldn’t pull a compound or recurve bow back, you could obtain a special use permit and be able to use them during the archery season. NYB pushed to have this removed, too, and it appears that they were successful. Physically-challenged sportsmen need to be allowed to hunt in warmer weather and the early archery season should be when these sportsmen can hunt with a crossbow. How about an Oct. 1 start to an early season just for handicapped sportsmen until the start of the regular archery season? When are people going to realize that NYB want to keep people out of the woods to have the resource for themselves, ultimately controlling how you and I hunt? If anyone wonders why the bill is what it is, now you know. There is still one more hurdle for this round. We still need Governor Paterson’s signature. Be sure to drop him a note or give him a phone call to let him know that the crossbow bill needs to be signed (A.924-E/S.6793-B). And be sure to drop a note to these legislative supporters of the crossbow as we continue to move forward on this important issue. Let them know you are not happy with the final version. There is a sunset clause in this legislation that allows for this to come up for review in two years. And it doesn’t go into effect until Oct. 1, 2011.
Press Release June 30 2010
Assemblywoman DelMonte's bill
to legalize crossbow hunting passes both houses -
A bill introduced by Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte (D-Lewiston) passed both the Assembly and Senate that lays the groundwork for legalized crossbow hunting in New York State (A.924-E/S.6793- B). Current law only allows longbows to be used for bow hunting while crossbows are solely permitted for certain physically disabled hunters; however, that limits certain hunters - such as seniors and veterans with disabilities - from bow hunting because longbows can be prohibitively heavy. "Hunting is an important recreational activity and wildlife management tool and we should be expanding the opportunities for those who wish to hunt but are physically limited from doing so," said DelMonte. "Denying certain hunters a tool that can allow them to continue a beloved pastime just doesn't make sense to me, and that's why I believe the state should legalize crossbow hunting."
DelMonte's legislation requires acceptable crossbows to use 14-inch and longer arrows and include a working safety. The bill would also empower the state Department of Environmental Conservation to establish a crossbow hunting season to coincide with rifle hunting season and allow crossbow use on private property during any deer-hunting season. She said states that embrace crossbow hunting, including Georgia, Michigan and Ohio, appear to benefit from the activity's merits, as it's an environmentally sound recruitment and retention tool for hunters.
Only two states ban crossbow hunting - New York and Oregon. "It has been more than 20 years in the making, but finally New York State has joined with 48 other states and legalized the modern crossbow," said Bill Hilts Sr., president NYS Crossbow Hunters Assn. "Thanks to the determined efforts of Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte and Senator David Valesky, New York residents can enjoy the challenges of using a crossbow, if they so wish. The horizontal bow will be most welcomed by the youth, women, elderly and physically challenged of our state. The crossbow is just another safe way to hunt!"
"Hunting brings nearly $1 billion annually to New York and is a critical contributor to our economy and culture," DelMonte continued. "This bill maintains safety while catering to a wider array of hunters. Hunting access will improve, and a broader variety of hunters will only improve appeal, helping generate needed revenue while attracting tourists to the Niagara region." DelMonte recently held a press conference in Albany to urge for the bill's passage. She was joined by a bipartisan group of legislators, the Safari Club, the NYS Conservation Council, the Niagara County Federation of Conservation Councils and SCOPE.
The bill is the latest in a long line of sportsmen-minded measures DelMonte has supported in recent years, including: o Ch. 344 of 2008 - a law granting big-game hunting privileges to 14- and 15-year-olds in New York State as long as they're supervised by an experienced hunter; o Ch. 600 of 2005 - a law allowing sportsmen to use rifles to hunt deer and bear in 11 upstate counties; and o A.3270 of 2010 (passed the Assembly) - a bill that would create the Empire State Fishing Trail program to capitalize on the state's emergence as a top bass fishing destination.
SENATE NEWS RELEASE ON WEDNESDAY JUNE 30 2010
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Bill to give the DEC crossbow control
NEWS OUTDOORS REPORTER - [Buffalo NY]
The beat and heat goes on between the pro-and anti-crossbow factions.
The New York Bowhunters (NYB) remain chief among the anti-crossbow crowd. When founded in 1991, NYB posited banning crossbows in New York State as one of its leading efforts.
Since then, NYB has gone on to sponsor many worthwhile youth, veteran and handicapped programs. But the NYB leadership remains adamantly opposed to crossbows.
NYB often refers to the crossbow as a “crossgun,” implying that it is more of a firearm than an archery device. Also, NYB spokesmen consider the skill level needed to use a crossbow to be well below that required of an archer shooting and hunting with a vertical bow handheld at full draw.
Over the years, NYB has taken exception to crossbow supporters, particularly outdoor writers who have used the crossbow and written columns favoring its legalization in New York State as a hunting device.
For nearly two decades, NYB officers and crossbow advocates have tangled bow strings around crossbow issues.
Former NYB President Kevin Armstrong commented that anyone with a typewriter could be an outdoor writer. Current NYB head Gary Socola referred to Bill Hilts Sr., American Crossbow Association official, as “Hitler” when it comes to passing crossbow legalization in New York.
In his latest appeal to NYB members to block pending legislation, Socola decried media reliability after Bill Connors, outdoor columnist for the Poughkeepsie Journal, discredited Socola’s data on crossbow dynamics in Georgia six years after it was legalized in that state.
Connors pointed out that Georgia state officials had placed all hunting devices under one license category, which voided any statistics, including those used by Socola, on crossbow use decline or increase.
Socola cites Hilts and Region 9 (far Western New York) factions as the main source of self-serving support for crossbow legalization, but appeals statewide have shown support for its use as a hunting device.
Assemblywoman Francine Delmonte (D-Niagara Falls) has sponsored bill A924, which is moving forward to give the Department of Environmental Conservation powers to regulate crossbow use throughout the hunting season.
DEC officials, once reluctant to comment on crossbow issues, have begun to see it as a viable hunting option. Patricia Riexinger, DEC Director of the Division of Fish, Wildlife, and Marine Resources, wrote: “I view X-bows as an important tool for managing deer populations. I also believe that they are a legitimate implement for enabling people to hunt a little longer.”
Delmonte has scheduled a press conference at 10 a. m. Wednesday in Albany on the crossbow legislation. Harold Palmer, New York State Conservation Council legislative vice president, is making arrangements for groups and individuals to attend this meeting. For details, call Palmer at (315) 894-3302.
More coming to this page! If you have something
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N.Y. CROSSBOW BILL RIGHT ON TARGET
By KEN MORAN, New York Post
[Click to go to story]
|ODN NOTE; The following email was received
on Outdoors Niagara; from Daniel James Hendricks, Crossbow Advocate:
"Mark - Great to see a crossbow page on your site. I have attached the last editorial from the Horizontal Bowhunter Magazine. Perhaps you can use it, perhaps not. You have my blessings if you decide it is printable. I would like to help with more if you are interested. Thank you."
Daniel James Hendricks Crossbow
Following is a story of crossbow hunting in general. Daniel James Hendricks is the publisher of Horizontal Bowhunter Magazine
THE HANDWRITING ON THE WALL
The lack of hunter unification is something that we can all do something about.
An AP article by David Crary entitled “Numbers of Hunters Fall, Worrying Some” serves as the proverbial handwriting on the wall and should stir even the most callous hearted of contemporary hunters. We are all in trouble!
|Crary points out that the latest statistics
from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service document a 10% decline in the
last decade of the number of hunters, age 16 and older. Even more
surprising were the numbers of fisherman lost during that same period. A
staggering 15% drop in total numbers is just one more symptom of an
ailing outdoor industry that is stuck in a gut-wrenching, downward
Reasons given by experts for declining hunter numbers include the loss of hunting land to urbanization, prohibitive costs of modern hunting, land access, and lack of hunter unification.
As a hunter that just recently lost another chunk of his sacred suburban bowhunting ground to the clearing of lots for a commercial housing project, I can identify with the first point. Even in expanding rural communities, more and more good chunks of hunting land are being chopped up and put on the sales block in the name of profit and progress.
Bowhunters watch helplessly as the price of basic equipment rises, not to mention the cost of all the accessories that are quickly becoming necessities for the savvy archer. It is becoming a rich man’s sport and therefore prohibitive to citizens in the lower income brackets. Tack on the theft that is taking place by the oil companies for petroleum products, which taxes every trip into and out of the field and now you are talking about a passion that is capable of consuming large chunks of a family’s disposable income.
As more prime hunting land is removed from the local hunter’s access through group buy-offs by out-of-towners and private leasing, it is becoming even harder for the locals to find good private ground. This naturally increases traffic and hunting pressure on the parcels of the public land that are available. All of these reasons are cause for serious concern, however, the last point listed in Crary’s article is inexcusable.
The lack of hunter unification is something that we can all do something about. Solving that problem starts with the person that stares back at you from the bathroom mirror each morning. When we are continually informed by a multitude of knowledgeable and professional sources that we must all work together to guarantee our pursuit of the wild and the bounty and beauty it provides, it staggers my mind that so many of us still spend our time, our energy and our financial resources on mortal combat against our hunting brothers and sisters.
All of us that are supportive of the crossbow hunting opportunity know exactly what I’m talking about. When radical groups, which represent a vocal minority of bowhunters make a statement like “the crossbow is the most serious threat to bowhunting today”, we can put our finger directly on the type of thoughtless, selfish cancer that is threatening the future of all hunting. In all fairness, this is perhaps the most prevalent example of blatant hunter cannibalism, but it is not the only violation that is currently taking place. There are skirmishes in the black powder community, conflicts over shooting preserves as well as many other struggles that keep hunter’s attention directed away from the real threats that are methodically dooming us all.
In my travels, I am heartened to discover that more and more people are grasping the big picture. Hunters are quickly realizing that personal greed and selfishness are not the ways to abet our very real struggle for survival. If we are to preserve our heritage, we must recruit new members of all ages and both sexes. The only thing that is more important than numbers, however, is uniting those numbers into a single voice that speaks for the rights and freedom of all hunters.
If you do not approve of someone else’s method of hunting, don’t try to kill it by going to war against it, that is the action of an anti-hunter. It’s really that simple! If you don’t like it, then don’t do it! When and if each of us learns to live and let live with our hunting brethren, then perhaps we will have a chance to protect what is so near and dear to us all. Undeniably, if hunters continue to tear away at one another like a pack of rabid dogs, the future of all hunting will be dark and predictably short.
Good hunting and please take care, be well and God bless.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: If you have an interest in hunting with or shooting a crossbow, please visit our websites horizontalbowhunter.com crossbowhunting.com to learn more about the American Crossbow Federation, Inc. (ACF), The ACF is dedicated to promoting and preserving all forms of legal hunting with all legal weapons, especially the crossbow.
One of the greatest benefits of belonging to the ACF is that you will receive the quarterly publication, the Horizontal Bowhunter Magazine, an International Quarterly dedicated to informing, educating and entertaining the modern crossbow hunter and perpetuating the crossbow hunting opportunity for everyone that chooses to use one.
|Turf wars over crossbow issue is just plain
By Bill Conners Outdoors Columnist, Poughkeepsie Journal
I got a late start on this week's column - not because I didn't know what I wanted to write about, but because I couldn't quite figure out how I was going to write it.
The "it" is the opening of archery season for deer. This year, archers will start going afield on Oct. 17 here in the Southern Zone. You would naturally assume it should be a happy occasion. You would be wrong.
Yet another archery season will come and go, and still folks who can no longer pull a bow back will not be able to hunt again this year because a small but vocal group of bow hunters refuses to get out of the road and let the Legislature legalize crossbows.
Actually, the Legislature doesn't need permission to make the crossbow a legal hunting instrument here in New York, as many other states have already done. But just as they allow themselves to be bullied on so many other issues, they have not yet figured out how to ignore the ranting of little more than a handful of archers and make it possible for thousands of hunters to use an implement that has been in use for hundreds of years.
There are persistent rumors that the lead organization in the effort to keep the number of bow hunters down - New York Bowhunters - has fewer members since they started their campaign against the use of crossbows. I suspect there is at least a modicum of truth to the rumors. I also suspect they will say I'm wrong. Show me.
In the meantime, they continue to argue that the crossbow shouldn't be legal, but if it is, it should be used only during the regular gun season because there is something "un-pure" about it. In truth, it is no less pure than the compound bows that 99.9 percent of them already use.
If the bowhunters were actually worried about the purity of their sport, they would be shooting bareback bows. That is longbows of the days of old, minus any trappings of modern technology. The longbow has been in use for thousands of years. It is pure. Compound bows didn't surface until 1967, thanks to the ingenuity of one Wilbur Allen of Allen Compound Bows.
Allen, and a bow maker by the name of Jennings, started producing compounds in 1968. The technology has continued to advance to the point that due to the cams on the typical compound bow today - while it may take 55 or 60 pounds to pull the string back, the "let-off" created by the cams drops the energy required to hold the bow string back by as much as 90 percent or more - doesn't sound pure to me.
Unfortunately the 90-percent let-off created by the cams does nothing for someone who can't pull the bow back to begin with. Yes, there are devices and gimmicks to help, but a crossbow for most people solves the problem.
This is a turf war, pure and simple. Legalization of the crossbow and its allowed use during the archery-only season will put more hunters in the woods. When that happens - and I do mean when - New York Bowhunters will have to implement a counseling hotline.
They do not want the number of hunters in the woods during archery season to grow. The mere thought that it could happen has them placing calls to Albany just to make sure that the chairman of the Environmental Conservation Committee, Carl Marcellino, still hasn't figured out that there is no plausible excuse for not letting the legislation come to the floor of the Senate.
That having someone hunting a few hundred feet or a few hundred yards from you using a crossbow will somehow impact the quality of your hunt is absurd. If two hunters are more than just a few yards away from each other, they probably wouldn't know that the other has even released an arrow. They don't seem to care that the other hunter could be 61 years old and suffering from limitations imposed by shoulder surgery.
That bowhunters think there is something pure about using a modern compound is amazing. Just comparing a 1967 Allen compound to those manufactured today is like trying to compare a washboard to a front-loading washer. They both get the clothes clean, but they sure don't do it the same way.
So why not allow the use of crossbows? We need additional hunters out there, and that might help get them there.
Bill Conners of the Federation of Dutchess County Fish and Game
Clubs writes on outdoors news, notes and issues every Thursday in Players.
He can be reached via e-mail at [email protected], or by calling the Players
Hot Line at 845-437-4848.
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The following is old "stuff" but still worth reading to catch up!
|From a recent column from Joe
Ognibene's Outdoor Scene:
NOTE: This article is left here indefinitely in honor of this Niagara Gazette columnist and personal friend who passed away recently.
Sooner or later New York’s seniors and disabled will be given the opportunity to decide if they do or do not want to use a crossbow for deer hunting. Until then they can only envy those in Illinois who recently were given this choice. Illinois officials amended the Wildlife Code to allow seniors 62 and older the use of the crossbow during the entire bow-hunting season with no if, ands or buts. It is expected the number of bow hunters will increase dramatically with the revision of the code. Illinois officials do not expect any harm will come to the ever-expanding deer herd by allowing seniors the use of crossbows.
New York State, on the other hand, still insists for anyone to use a
crossbow they must be a paraplegic without the use of any limbs or fingers.
This disgusting and shameful requirement was enacted with the blessing of
the New York Bowhunters who for years claimed the compound bow was a
“traditional” weapon. Neither, the crossbow nor compound bow, are
traditional. They are both the result of intensive experimentation and
development by engineers over the years. If truth were known the crossbow of
today looks more like its predecessor than the compound compares to the
six-foot, lemon wood bow of yore. The primary difference between compound
and crossbow is one is fired horizontally, the other, vertically. Other than
that they both have wheels and pulleys to make life easier for the shooter.
As soon as Senator Carl Marcellino, the one holding up the vote to legalize
the crossbow and pet of NYB, is out of office the bow hunters of New York
might be given the opportunity to decide for themselves what they want to
use. The world as we know it will not end if the crossbow is allowed in the
Ognibene Outdoor Scene
October 7 2007
On Saturday the archery deer season opened and, sad to say, we still are not allowed the use of a crossbow to take deer. For many who at one time enjoyed waiting in a tree stand for a deer to come by day has lost all meaning because the ravages of time or infirmity has robbed them of the ability to pull a bowstring. Recently Bill Conners, outdoor columnist for the Poughkeepsie Journal, wrote that the “turf war over crossbows is just plain silly.”
Most outdoor writers, and he too, mention that those who can no longer pull a bowstring are forced out of bow hunting because a “small but vocal group of bow hunters refuses to get out of the way and let the Legislature legalize the crossbow.” That small but vocal group Conners refers to is New York Bowhunters. Whenever it appears legalization of the crossbow might come about they organize a flurry of telephone calls to Senator Carl Marcellino, the one holding up voting on legalization by not allowing it to come to a vote. It is obvious NYB is well organized and proves Adolph Hitler was right when he wrote, “a well organized minority will always defeat the disorganized majority.”
In this ongoing fight over legalizing the crossbow the disorganized majority must realize the most important issue is the right to choose what you want to use to hunt deer and then demand it. I like using a 12-gauge, semi-automatic shot gun for deer hunting. That does not give me the right to deny you using a pump 16-gauge shotgun simply because I like the 12-gauge semi-autoloader. Conners goes on to write, “they, NYB, do not want the numbers of hunters in the woods during archery season to grow.” “That having someone hunting a few hundred feet or a few hundred yards from you using a crossbow will somehow impact the quality of your hunt is absurd. If two hunters are more than a few yards away from each other, they probably wouldn’t know that the other fellow has even released an arrow.”
In his column Conners mentions what this column has many times, that a modern compound bow is a not a “traditional” bow. It never has been or ever will be. The same is true of the crossbow. The hue and cry against the crossbow is the same that was heard back in the mid 60s when compound bow first arrived on the scene. When the crossbow is legalized, and it will be, many thousands disabled or elderly former archers will gladly pick one up and rejoin the sport. When that time comes, and it will, members of NYB might have to have counseling to get over the shock of having to hunt at the same time with those who disagree with their selfishness.
Click to enlarge
Senator Maziarz poses with Mark O'Brien, a young Iraq War veteran who
is promoting the greater use of crossbows in New York State.
Obviously Young O'Brien is dismembered and a
Thank You Senator Maziarz and
|N.Y. CROSSBOW BILL RIGHT ON TARGET
By KEN MORAN, New York Post
The use of crossbows in New York State is again on the table with considerable angst from both sides. The proposed legislation comes after neighboring states already allow crossbows and other states across the country are making similar moves. Some sportsmen are wondering if the bill could become a reality this time around.
The bill calls for the DEC to develop standards for crossbow hunting by July 9, 2009. It would be up to the DEC to establish season lengths and address issues such as whether crossbows would be allowed during the regular archery hunting seasons or the gun season.
The bulk of the opposition to crossbows comes from New York Bowhunters, Inc., the statewide group representing thousands of archery hunters. NYB always has been against any type of weapon that isn't a conventional bow that is drawn and held by hand during the archery season.
Right now, the only ones who can use the crossbow are the physically challenged.
I don't see any reason why the crossbow should not be allowed during the gun season. Over the past 20 years, the number of gun hunters has dropped considerably, allowing for growth in the number of hunters during that time of the season.
To create a separate season for crossbows would only cut back time from
archery or gun seasons. Bow-hunters in New York already got the short end
of the stick by the move to a Saturday opener for the regular firearms
deer season, which is usually the beginning of the rut and used to offer
some of the best whitetail hunting of the archery season.
NIAGARA NOTE: There is a favorable crossbow hunting bill before the
NYS Assembly sponsored by Assembly Woman Francine DelMonte. GO HERE TO READ IT
The Bill Authorizes the department of environmental conservation to promulgate standards
authorizing hunting with a crossbow by July 1, 2009..... Bill #A08654
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Published: May 30, 2010, 12:30 am