Niagara Gazette — It started with Gov. 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 manage the use of the crossbow as it sees fit, which is the way it should be.
The crossbow initiative then appeared in Cuomo’s Executive Budget (which was turned in this past week), an important next step to help make this happen. The ball is now in the court of every single sportsman and woman in the state who would like to see the crossbow push happen in New York. It’s important to write those letters, send those emails and make those phone calls to all your locally-elected politicians. In addition, you might want to Cuomo, as well as the heads of the Assembly and Senate, a note to let them know that you stand behind this important initiative. After 25 years, the crossbow may finally be an important hunting tool in the Empire State!
That’s not to say it wasn’t before. A couple of years ago, the crossbow was permitted for two hunting seasons, but there were so many restrictions that you could only hunt with it during the regular and late muzzleloader seasons, when firearms could be used and the weather was poor. It wasn’t the hunting tool of choice for sure. Prior to that time, there was a provision for a special crossbow permit, but it was so restrictive that only a handful existed in the state. One of the “tests” to see if you qualified was if your finger moved. If it did, then you did NOT. You had to fire the crossbow with your mouth, a “sip and puff” release that was expensive and degrading for someone who might be 90 percent quadriplegic but could still use their finger. Crazy!