State legislature could redefine 'bow' to include crossbows

Highlander Archery
 
Posts: 547
Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2008 2:29 pm

State legislature could redefine 'bow' to include crossbows

Postby Highlander Archery » Sun Oct 05, 2008 1:36 pm

State legislature could redefine 'bow' to include crossbows

Sunday, October 05, 2008
By John Hayes, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Sleek, efficient and accurate at short ranges, the new high-tech sporting arms being sold at big chain sporting goods stores aren't your medieval ancestor's crossbows.

Most retailing at about $450 and up, crossbows are so prevalent in stores you might think they're commonly used during Pennsylvania's statewide archery deer season, which began yesterday.

In fact, the crossbow is legal in just about every hunting season except archery. Regulations regarding its use, the ethical debate about its employment during archery seasons, and even the legal definition of "bow" involve more hair splitting than was ever attributed to William Tell

Crossbows are legal in Pennsylvania during all big game rifle and muzzleloader seasons, including turkey seasons. They're legal to use for deer in special-regulations areas surrounding Pittsburgh and Philadelphia where the use of rifles is banned, and during special archery deer seasons in those Wildlife Management Units. They're legal during archery deer seasons for disabled hunters with special permits, and they're legal across the state line in Ohio.

Many archers have long opposed the crossbow in archery seasons on ethical and resource management grounds, while others continue to regard it as a technical innovation in sporting arms no different than the advent of the compound bow or in-line muzzleloader.

What's changed in 2008 is Pennsylvania House Bill 2653, which if passed would redefine the legal definition of "bow" to include hand-held devices that can be loaded with an arrow, locked in place and cocked. That change in the language of Title 34, the state Game and Wildlife Code, would shift crossbow regulation from a game management issue to a legislative directive and permit crossbow use during archery deer seasons. There is no vote pending on the bill.

There's another change on the horizon. When members of the Pennsylvania Game Commission gather for their quarterly meeting Oct. 23-24 at the Holiday Inn Meadowlands, 340 Racetrack Road in Washington, Pa., they'll vote on an agenda item that would make crossbows legal during all hunting seasons -- big and small game -- except archery deer seasons. Crossbows would continue to be legal in the 2B, 5C and 5D archery seasons.

Prior to 2000, only hunters with disabled person permits could use crossbows in Pennsylvania. Legislation was passed that year removing the crossbow from the list of prohibited sporting arms. In 2001 the Game Commission regulated crossbows in some hunting situations, and in 2004 the agency further liberalized its use.

Members of United Bowhunters of Pennsylvania have been trying to keep crossbows out of the woods during archery seasons for years.

"We feel very strongly that it is not archery equipment," said spokesman Ed Wentzler. "The legislature has no business making wildlife management decisions -- that's a regulatory issue."

It isn't the sporting arm itself that's bad, Wentzler said, and he has no problem with crossbow use by the disabled, during rifle seasons or even during archery seasons in high-density deer areas such as 2B, which includes most of Allegheny County.

"But with its increased accuracy up to 60 or 80 yards, the potential is there for the deer harvest to skyrocket during the wrong time of year," he said. "It's happened in other states [where crossbows were legalized]. Every sport has its ethical lines. Crossbows just cross that line for archers."

The Pennsylvania State Archery Association is less certain. Because of the continuing controversy, the group doesn't have an official position on crossbow use.

"Some members use it, some don't," said spokesman Greg Schoen. "Personally I feel there are disadvantages to the crossbow, just like regular bows. I don't think that it gives you as much of an advantage as everybody thinks. If they legalize them [for use in archery seasons], I have no problem with that."

Daniel James Hendricks, publisher of the Minnesota-based Horizontal Bowhunter Magazine, said claims of the crossbow's deadly accuracy are often overblown.

"Because of the longer power stoke, vertical bows store more kinetic energy than crossbows," he said. "[The bolt] comes off the [crossbow] strings like gangbusters, but it loses energy quickly. Striking power is probably identical [to traditional bows] out to about 30 yards. After that the arrow from a crossbow drops faster than from a compound bow."

The big advantages of the crossbow, he said, is that it's easier to draw and easier to master.

While there's some circumstantial evidence that the crossbow has had a negative impact on Pennsylvania deer populations, no formal study has been done in this state. It remains speculative, said commission spokesman Jerry Feaser, that crossbow use during the pre-rut would necessarily result in overly high deer harvests.

"The legislature has always had the authority to determine what is a lawful hunting device," he said, "and the change in Title 34, if passed, would redefine the crossbow as a legal archery implement. But we would still have the ability to manage harvests by adjustments to season lengths and bag limits."

West Newton archer Walt Farneth bought his crossbow when his arm was injured. Fortunately the arm healed in time for archery season and he's never used his new toy during a hunt.

"I'd use it in a heartbeat," he said. "If it were made legal [for use in archery seasons] then there wouldn't be an ethical issue. If I don't use it in the near future, I'd probably use it when I get older and can't draw my bow."

Crossbow debate poll

Do you support Pennsylvania House Bill 2653, which would redefine the legal definition of "bow" and permit the statewide use of crossbows during archery seasons? Cast your vote at post-gazette.com/sports/huntingfishing.
John Hayes can be reached at jhayes@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1991.
First published on October 5, 2008 at 12:00 am

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08279/917552-358.stm

User avatar
dtrain56
 
Posts: 455
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 3:41 am

RE: State legislature could redefine 'bow' to include crossbows

Postby dtrain56 » Tue Oct 07, 2008 8:17 am

I feel that cross bows should be legal to use in PA but don't kid yourself or the public by thinking it is like bow hunting...example i hunting this weekend and got busted pulling my bow back...deer see movement very well and the "gun like" action of a cross bow gives the hunter an advantage..but that said i had 2 shooter bucks pass by me this weekend, just out of bow range(60-80 yards)and neither would have been killed by a crossbow either
 
My dad uses one because he is disabled... I know the effectiveness of a cross bow well, it is a great weapon but does not have much more effective killing range than a bow, because of the short bolt kenetic energy after fifty yards is very low and i would not trust a shoot over 45 yards a bows effective range is about the same but personally would feel comfortable shooting more that 35 yards.

NWPAHunter
 
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2008 10:50 am

RE: State legislature could redefine 'bow' to include crossbows

Postby NWPAHunter » Wed Oct 08, 2008 2:30 pm

I think that the PGC will do whatever helps them sell liscenses...
 
I Agree that crossbows are no more effcient than todays compounds. I would not go out and buy one, but I really don't think it would have the adverse effect that most hunters think will come. Most rifle hunters believe that we archery guys get all the good bucks. Archery hunters dont want guys in the woods with an "advantage" or competing for the same deer with that "advantage".
Two guys I work with wounded deer, one a buck and one a doe since the season opened. I would personnally rather see Bowhunter Education mandated before they allow more people into the woods with equiptment they know little to nothing about thinking that its as easy as it looks on TV.

Highlander Archery
 
Posts: 547
Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2008 2:29 pm

RE: State legislature could redefine 'bow' to include crossbows

Postby Highlander Archery » Thu Oct 16, 2008 4:36 pm

I'll be testifying on this next week.

User avatar
bushwacker
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 12:35 pm

RE: State legislature could redefine 'bow' to include crossbows

Postby bushwacker » Tue Nov 11, 2008 1:26 pm

I hope they legalize them. I bought one to use in Ohio and love it. I wouldn't shoot past 40 yards. with either. too many little branches that you don't notice that far out. And it isn't fair to the deer if you hit a branch and end crippling it.

Highlander Archery
 
Posts: 547
Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2008 2:29 pm

RE: State legislature could redefine 'bow' to include crossbows

Postby Highlander Archery » Thu Nov 13, 2008 3:49 am

ORIGINAL: bushwacker

I hope they legalize them. I bought one to use in Ohio and love it. I wouldn't shoot past 40 yards. with either. too many little branches that you don't notice that far out. And it isn't fair to the deer if you hit a branch and end crippling it.


Come Jan. the PGC should be voting for full implementation

User avatar
Jdbllung
 
Posts: 100
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 1:02 am

RE: State legislature could redefine 'bow' to include crossbows

Postby Jdbllung » Mon Dec 22, 2008 1:20 am

ORIGINAL: NWPAHunter

I think that the PGC will do whatever helps them sell liscenses...

I Agree that crossbows are no more effcient than todays compounds. I would not go out and buy one, but I really don't think it would have the adverse effect that most hunters think will come. Most rifle hunters believe that we archery guys get all the good bucks. Archery hunters dont want guys in the woods with an "advantage" or competing for the same deer with that "advantage".
Two guys I work with wounded deer, one a buck and one a doe since the season opened. I would personnally rather see Bowhunter Education mandated before they allow more people into the woods with equiptment they know little to nothing about thinking that its as easy as it looks on TV.

 
 
I feel PA should implement an equipment efficency test, not yearly, but at a regular interval.  I shoot my bow year round, just to stay in practice.  I am lucky to have a few climbable trees on my property, I still live in the city unfortunately, so I use my climber to re-create the scenario as close as possible. 
  We found 2 doe on the property we hunt during rifle season this year that were both shot with a bow.  One was gut hit and the other was a rump hit, and both of them were within 50 yards of a well used logging road.  We lease the property we hunt from and our host has told us to post it if we want, but we have held off to allow some of the neighbors to continue to hunt the property, but after this I don't know anymore.  My point being, for us bowhunters out there let's do all we can to make the most humane kill possible.
Happiness is a good blood trail! Jeremy W.

beagleman23
 
Posts: 202
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 3:46 am

RE: State legislature could redefine 'bow' to include crossbows

Postby beagleman23 » Wed Dec 24, 2008 3:39 am

HighlandArchery-
  Good Luck!
They won't change 'NO Sunday hunting' or their stance on the their primitive weapons season.  I think the hang fire flinchlock is almost dangerous.  PA needs to enter the 21st century.

User avatar
Patriot
 
Posts: 1594
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2008 10:00 am

RE: State legislature could redefine 'bow' to include crossbows

Postby Patriot » Wed Dec 24, 2008 4:01 am

I'm not sure exactly how I feel about crossbows.
 
I certainly think they should be allowed during bow season for folks who physically can't pull a vertical bow.
 
I definitely wouldn't want a bunch of "yahoos" wandering around the deer woods with crossbows and shooting up the place.  That was written for effect.....I think they should be allowed during bow season as long as they are technologically inline with verticle bows.  60-80 yard shots don't seem ethical in my eyes.
Paul K. "aim small, miss small"
Image

Highlander Archery
 
Posts: 547
Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2008 2:29 pm

RE: State legislature could redefine 'bow' to include crossbows

Postby Highlander Archery » Wed Dec 24, 2008 6:37 pm

ORIGINAL: Patriot

I'm not sure exactly how I feel about crossbows.

I certainly think they should be allowed during bow season for folks who physically can't pull a vertical bow.

I definitely wouldn't want a bunch of "yahoos" wandering around the deer woods with crossbows and shooting up the place.  That was written for effect.....I think they should be allowed during bow season as long as they are technologically inline with verticle bows.  60-80 yard shots don't seem ethical in my eyes.


Crossbows are balistically = to Compounds, actually inferior at longer ranges. As with any weapon, the user is the key element. I could go on with a ton of evidence to contradict the anti-crossbow crowd.  The fact that P&Y and the other "United Bowhunter" orgs. did not even have ATA at their summit in 2005 should send a Red flag to anyone. In fact they conviened that summit to chastize ATA and had no interest in hearing the input of the Archery Industry.

http://www.archerytrade.org/downloads/ataaction07-05.pdf


Return to Pennsylvania

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 0 guests