Niagara Gazette


June 15, 2014

HILTS: Crossbow regulations open for comment

Niagara Gazette — The final steps are in place for New York hunters to comment on the proposed crossbow hunting regulations as they were approved earlier this year.

On June 3, the New York Crossbow Coalition sent out a press release stating that the regulations have been listed in the State Register. The public comment period is open for 45 days and it’s important to let your voice be heard. Text of the proposed rule and any questions can be fired off to Bryan Swift with the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) at 518-402-8922 or

In a nutshell, the new crossbow proposal would make this management tool a legal hunting implement in the state — with some restrictions. The crossbow can only be used during the last 10 days of the Northern Zone season and the last 14 days of the Southern Zone season. You need to use a muzzleloader tag to use the crossbow in the early archery season, as well as in the late season. You can’t use the crossbow in Westchester and Suffolk counties. In addition, they don’t qualify in 4J and 8C where deer may only be taken with a long bow. I really don’t think the regulations make any sense, but then again common sense is usually limited when it comes to crossbows.

Crossbows are archery equipment. Just because a trigger is involved, a small group of anti-crossbow dissidents would have you believe that they are closer to a gun. They are not. If the trigger is one of the key components, then archery releases for long bows should be outlawed — or put into the same classification as crossbows. How dare anyone make things easier for people! What about the argument that it’s “cocked?” So what? You are still shooting an arrow, bottom line. Compound bows with up to 80 percent let-off should also fall into a different classification if the crossbow can’t be included.

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