The same tired arguments about crossbows got trotted out recently during the state’s deliberations about using them during archery season and, again, proponents got shot down in the final vote.
It’s happened in almost every state where the topic is brought up for discussion and change. It’s going on in New York right now, too, and has happened in Southeastern states in recent years as crossbow seasons and regulations have been expanded.
A Kansas Senate Natural Resources Committee voted 5-4 during a March 15 meeting to table a bill allowing crossbow hunting during archery season. That means the bill’s probably as dead as a deer hit with a crossbow bolt.
It had been presented as a way to kill more deer, get more hunters involved, remove roadblocks from some potential hunters and not ignore a viable hunting weapon that has been around for centuries. Opponents said expanding their use will water down hunting, bring out poachers, increase the number of quickie hunters looking for something easy and help ruin Kansas deer hunting.
The state wildlife agency says it’s looking at crossbows. Like other state agencies that issue these kinds of statements, they’re simply dragging their feet and postponing the inevitable. All they have to do is look at other states that have gone through this exact scenario to see that hunting and deer populations didn’t get ruined.
In a Topeka Capital-Journal report, Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, R-Shawnee, said the bill is “not really a deer management issue.”
“This is just giving people the ability to hunt in a season in a way they haven’t before,” she said. “It’s going to create lot of animosity. Bowhunters spend a lot of time training, and learning their skills. Crossbow hunters just do not have to have the same threshold. There’s lot more competition in bowhunting. It’s a sport.”
Natural Resources Committee chairman Ralph Ostmeyer, R-Grinnell, disagreed.
“What we’re talking about is another way of putting an animal down,” he said. “The research is out there that shows it’s not any more dangerous. I know the bowhunters are strictly against this, but I don’t understand why. What they consider a sport, this isn’t going to change that at all.”
Read the full report: Click here
What’s the big deal about allowing crossbows to be used in archery and firearms seasons by more hunters? What do you think? Let us know your opinions.