Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pennsylvania Permits Crossbows

© By Othmar Vohringer

Crossbow hunters can add another state to the growing list of states that make crossbows legal for all hunters.

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners approved in a meeting on Tuesday crossbows as legal hunting tool in all archery season. This was the final step in a previously approved motion this past October.

With that move Pennsylvania’s antiquated hunting rules have been dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st Century. Previously it was only lawful for handicapped hunters to use crossbows.

In order to appease the sizeable portion of bowhunters that protested this decision the Game Commission amended the original draft and excluded the use of any magnifying scopes with the exception of red-dot type non-magnification scopes. The commission also reserved the right to vote on the decision again in 2012.

However, this did not prevent the assembled traditional archers from giving the commission an earful of the usual totally unfounded fears and negative hype about crossbows.

Personally I welcome this decision and think it is about high time to make the crossbow a legal hunting tool everywhere. Here in Canada we use crossbows for many years and it has proven a great asset to bowhunting and the recruitment of bowhunters. It might also be interesting to mention that none of the often fabricated negative aspects of crossbow hunting have been noted.

Pennsylvania is the 25th. U.S. state legalizing crossbows for all, not only disabled, hunters. Some states have created special seasons for crossbows, while others have included crossbows into the archery season – in my opinion that is the right place for crossbows – and still other states have made the crossbow legal for all hunters but added species restrictions or the hunter has to take a crossbow course.

To find out the specific crossbow regulations check with your states wildlife agency (DNR), or your Canadian province hunting synopsis.

Image courtesy of Excalibur Crossbows

Related articles:
Where I Stand On Crossbows

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gary@basecamplegends.com said...

My father-in-law's health is such that he cannot pull a bow so is a cross bow shooter in Idaho. I haven't seen him devastate the deer population to much. True at 40 - 60 yards he is more acurate, but it comes down to preference, what degree of challange you're looking for.

Othmar Vohringer said...

Well Gary that is exactly how I see too. Thanks to crossbows your father is still able to hunt and that is a great thing to be able to do. On the other hand I never could see any reason why only physically challenged should be able to use a crossbow and I am glad that this toll is made available to all hunters. It only ads to the diversity of our heritage and provides more opportunity and new challenges.


bushman said...

I hate when one type a hunter attacks another who prefers a different tool ta hunt with.
Betcha none a them ever used a xbow. You try anything over 30 or 40 yards, you gonna get string jumpin or movin. In reality, I think a bow is a better weapon ta hunt with. Only thing bout a xbow, it's easy ta use. Let's gunhunters take advantage of the bow season.
I think thats the real problem...

Othmar Vohringer said...

You got it exactly right bushman. Every single crossbow opponent I talked with, and it must have been hundreds, not one of them had any personal experience with crossbows. All them said that they “heard about it, or something to that effect. I convinced one to shoot my crossbow and after he said, “Holy cow that is not as easy as I thought it would be. I guess you do need to develop the same skills as when shooting a compound bow.” I rest my case.


Adam said...

I don't have a problem with making cross bows legal I don't hunt with one but one day when my health won't permit me to hunt with a compound you can bet I'll be getting me a cross bow. I agree with you m100% on this one Othmar!

CDGardens said...

I would appreciate having the crossbow as a viable alternative here in Iowa. The DNR allows it for the disabled hunter...However, it might proove to be another way to get more people interested in hunting,or extend the seasons for those who already hunt.

Othmar Vohringer said...

It will come CD. As time goes on more states will make crossbows a legal hunting tool for ALL hunters. Many states start to see behind the smoke screen of anti crossbow deception and realize the benefit crossbows have to get more people into hunting and add more opportunity.


Othmar Vohringer said...

Thank you Adam. Not everybody has to agree on crossbows or hunt with one. But it nice to see hunters like you and others having an open mind about it and accept crossbows for what they really are, a viable hunting tool just like the compound or any other bow.

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