After years of debate, rancor and a trial hunting season that ended earlier this year, Senate Bill 1699-A will be heard by the New York Senate Environmental Conservation Committee Tuesday at 9 a.m.
The bill was introduced by Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan and is cosponsored by several members of the New York Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, including: Sens. Andrew J. Lanza, George D. Maziarz, Thomas F. O’Mara, James L. Seward, and Senate Co-Chair of the Caucus, Sen. David Valesky, among others.
SB 1699-A would allow the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to promulgate standards to allow for a legalized crossbow hunting season. In so doing, New York might soon join the 21 other states that currently allow crossbow use during the entire archery season (49 states currently allow some form of crossbow use).
The incorporation of crossbows as a hunting implement in New York is likely to increase hunter recruitment and retention. Offering another facet of bow hunting may draw more people into the sport and may allow older hunters to remain outdoors for longer. Further, crossbows, like compound bows, are also recognized as a useful tool for the management of wildlife populations in suburban and urban areas – areas in which the concerns of human-wildlife conflict and damage to the ecosystem are particularly high.
A recently released report by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources titled Crossbow Deer Hunter Survey (January, 2013) supported the claim that crossbows are a useful tool to recruit and retain archery hunters.
The study found that “about 19 percent (18,731) of the hunters using a crossbow in 2011 [in Michigan] had never hunted with anything other than a firearm prior to the expanded use of crossbows.”
The study further found:
At least 77 percent of the crossbow hunters agreed that in comparison to other types of bows (1) crossbows were easier to use, (2) it took less time to become proficient with crossbows, (3) they were more accurate with crossbows, and (4) they were more confident they could harvest a deer with a crossbow. About 50 percent of crossbow hunters agreed that (1) using crossbows allowed them to hunt more often, [and] (2) they would not hunt during the archery season if crossbows could not be used …”
Watch this video for information on crossbow maintenance: