While performing an unrelated search on yahoo I came across this link http://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/pdf/2008 ... rvey07.pdf
. Apparently a survey was conducted by the NJ DEP as a result of receiving so many requests to consider the legalized use of crossbows in NJ. Surveys were mailed to 2,030 resident
hunters who purchased licenses using the Division's automated licensing system. One
thousand, forty-seven surveys were returned (51.6 %) indicating a very strong interest in this
subject. A summary of results follows:
PARTICIPATION IN DEER HUNTING IN NEW JERSEY
? Resident license buyers were asked which deer seasons they participate in. Only
three percent of respondents were not deer hunters. User groups were defined by the
seasons hunted, breaking down deer hunters into bow and gun hunters, gun-only
hunters, and bow-only hunters. It was determined that 72% of participating deer
hunters use both bow and guns; 23% hunt with guns only; and 5% hunt with bows
SUPPORT FOR CROSSBOWS FOR DEER HUNTING
? Total support (strong support and moderate support) for the expansion of the use
of crossbows for deer hunting was overwhelmingly in favor (73%) among all
? When broken down by user groups, total support was still in favor of crossbows:
bow & gun hunters, 72%; gun-only hunters, 79%; bow-only hunters, 67%. The
majority of non-deer hunters were also in favor of crossbows (56%).
? When broken down by affiliation (hunt club member, NJ Federation of
Sportsmen's Clubs member, member of both, or unaffiliated), support was still in
favor of crossbows: hunt club, 74%; Federation, 74%; both, 63%; unaffiliated, 74%.
Total opposition (strong opposition and moderate opposition) between affiliations:
hunt club, 23%; Federation, 25%; both, 30%; unaffiliated, 21%.
PLACEMENT OF CROSSBOWS
? Supporters of crossbows were asked in which deer season(s) should crossbow use
be allowed. The selection "all bow seasons" was preferred (54%) by all respondents.
The second most popular choice of all respondents was "all deer seasons" (24%).
? When broken down by user group, the favored response was still "all bow
seasons": bow & gun hunters, 53%; gun-only hunters, 55%; bow-only hunters, 53%.
The second most popular choice among user groups were as follows: bow & gun
hunters, "all deer seasons" (25%); gun-only hunters, "all deer seasons" (21%); bow only
hunters, "all deer seasons", "all gun seasons", and "permit bow season", all tied
PARTICIPATION IN CROSSBOW HUNTING
? Respondents were asked how likely they were to hunt with a crossbow now, if
legalized. The majority of all respondents (60%) will likely use a crossbow.
? When broken down by user group, the majority of hunters still agree they will use
a crossbow now: bow & gun hunters, 62%; gun-only hunters, 59%; bow-only hunters,
? Respondents were also asked if they thought they might use a crossbow as they
grow older. The majority of all respondents would use a crossbow as they age (64%).
When broken down by user group, the majority of hunters think they will use a
crossbow as they age: bow & gun hunters, 68%; gun-only hunters, 61%; bow-only
AGE AND GENDER
? The majority of participating hunters were 40 years old or older (76%); however,
this data is biased toward older hunters as Youth hunters (those with a free youth
license, ages 10 through 16) were not included in this survey.
? The overwhelming majority of respondents were male (99%).
So my take-away from all of this is:
1. The majority of all NJ hunters hunt both Gun and Bow
2. The majority would hunt with a crossbow if legalized
3. The majority would like to see this in all bowseasons
My interpretation of the results is they would simply be trading one hunting weapon for another, with little effect in terms of increasing the overall number of hunters in the woods or a given season (bow or gun). However, since the survey was only administered to current 2007 license holders, it would be difficult to quantify how many new hunters would emerge as a result of legalizing crossbow usage, but still my sense is the number would not be significant.
Under a separate topic in these forums the subject of crossbow legalization was heavily debated. I was personally against it except for those with a disability simply for my own selfish reasons and desire to keep and enjoy the peace of the woods during Bow season...only to find out there are just as many gun hunters as bowhunters!!! Funny how a fear based on false beliefs predicates many of our choices! Moreover, I lost sight of something else important to all of us as hunters...the preservation of the sport itself. And if legalizing crossbow usage, brings more hunters into the woods, I say bring it on...its the right thing to do for the greater good!