PA permits crossbows for a 4-year test period

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Everyday Hunter
 
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PA permits crossbows for a 4-year test period

Postby Everyday Hunter » Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:44 am

The Pennsylvania Game Commission today made a decision allowing crossbows in the state's archery season. The measure passed 4-3, with Palone, Isabella, Schleiden and Schreffler voting for, and Delaney, Boop and Weaner voting against.

I will post the press release from the PGC when I get it, but for now, the provision is in a test phase set to begin in 2009 and expire in 2012, and it does not permit the hunter to use an optical sight that magnifies the target. I believe these rules apply across the state. The PGC is generally fairly conservative in it's decisions, and prefers to run its tests statewide when possible so that different rules in different areas do not cause hunters to gravitate to those areas and thus skew the results. By having a "sunset" provision, the PGC is not required to address the issue again, but can if it wants.

This has been a long debate, and it won't make everyone happy. But at least it settles this issue until some real information develops to say whether it's good for the resource or not.

More to come...

Steve

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Everyday Hunter
 
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RE: PA permits crossbows for a 4-year test period

Postby Everyday Hunter » Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:52 am

...and, here is the press release from the PGC:
From PGC Release #013-09, Jan. 27, 2009
BOARD APPROVES EXPANDED USE OF CROSSBOWS
The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today gave final approval to expand the lawful use of crossbows to include both the archery deer and bear seasons for the 2009-10 seasons.  The Board amended the proposal by including a sunset date for the expanded crossbow use that will require a future Board to vote on the measure again before June 30, 2012.

Under the new regulation, a crossbow must have a peak drawn weight of at least 125 pounds, and a bolt must be equipped with a broadhead that has an outside diameter or width of at least 7/8 inches with at least two cutting edges on the same plane throughout the length of the cutting surface, and shall not exceed three inches in length.

Also, before giving the measure final approval, the Board adopted an amendment to prohibit the use of magnifying scopes for archery equipment and crossbows during the archery bear and deer seasons.  The use of non-magnifying scopes – such as those that provide a red dot for sighting purposes – will continue to be legal.

The proposal given approval also would remove the lawful use of crossbows during the October muzzleloader or late flintlock muzzleloader season. Other changes made by the proposal simplify and make the language of the regulations easier to understand.

Steve

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RE: PA permits crossbows for a 4-year test period

Postby Highlander Archery » Tue Jan 27, 2009 5:46 pm

I posted this in the breaking news forum this morning too. 

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Everyday Hunter
 
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RE: PA permits crossbows for a 4-year test period

Postby Everyday Hunter » Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:35 am

Yes, I see that (and just now responded to the good point you made.)

I guess it's a little hard in some cases to know whether to post a news item in the state forum where it happens, or to post under "Breaking News." The line between the two can sometimes be a little blurry. Nonetheless, this is a major development in a state like Pennsylvania that is generally pretty conservative when it comes to change in hunting regulations.

Thanks.
Steve

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RE: PA permits crossbows for a 4-year test period

Postby Highlander Archery » Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:29 am

No problem Steve, we covered both bases. Now there is no excuse for NOT finding the info.

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RE: PA permits crossbows for a 4-year test period

Postby stickslingerd » Thu Jan 29, 2009 3:46 am

I'm a PA resident and I think this is a HUGE mistake by the PGC.  I've seen it happen in MD.  people don't practice with the CB's and go out and treat it like gun season, taking 50 to 100 yrd shots thru woods. I think we'll see a LOT of wounded deer.  By allowing these we're losing the sacred art of archery. 
Hunt hard, hunt often... today may be the day.

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RE: PA permits crossbows for a 4-year test period

Postby Everyday Hunter » Fri Jan 30, 2009 1:56 pm

ORIGINAL: stickslingerd

I'm a PA resident and I think this is a HUGE mistake by the PGC.  I've seen it happen in MD.  people don't practice with the CB's and go out and treat it like gun season, taking 50 to 100 yrd shots thru woods. I think we'll see a LOT of wounded deer.  By allowing these we're losing the sacred art of archery.

Then you're probably glad it's approved for a test period of four years, rather than a permanant change. It may well end up being permanent, but the results will dictate that.

By the way, you mentioned 50 to 100 yard shots. I just saw a website of an outfitter from another state and he said that he had every hunter within bow range of a 120+ whitetail -- which he defined as 50 yards! I've never shot at a deer with a bow beyond 20 yards.

Steve

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RE: PA permits crossbows for a 4-year test period

Postby dtrain56 » Fri Jan 30, 2009 4:53 pm

a lot of fear over nothing....my dad has used a crossbow for several years do to a medical reason...nobody is going to shoot 100 yard shots...first of all the bolt drops like heck after about 45 yards and someone taking that kind of shot would have to aim well above an animal
 
 
also i have seen many irresponsible hunters on "TV" taking bow shots of 50 yards plus...with a compound bow...you will always have some body takinf rediculous shots...
 
it will effect the woods in the sense that more hunters will get into the woods before gun season... and you might have less poeple in the woods during gun season

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RE: PA permits crossbows for a 4-year test period

Postby coach » Sat Jan 31, 2009 3:54 am

dtrain56 is right. I'm not sure where all of you get the information about people taking 80-100 yrd shot with a crossbow.  Either they are irresponsible or they are bad at judging distance.
 
Most people that uses crossbows.....were actually Bow Hunters before.  I still use my recurve, compound and my crossbow.
 
I target practice up to 40 yards.  I could up to 50, but i don't feel comfortable. So I don't do it.
 
My Excalibur Pheonix crossbow, goes 305-310 feet per second.  You now have bows that goes faster.
 
Anybody who takes a shot over 50 yards with crossbow....is either irresponsible...or....they have been practising and they feel comfortable with the shot.    The only real difference with crossbow and bows....is
 
-  less movement
-  you may gain a little more distance (10-15 yrds)
-  some may go a little faster
 
What else ?   So what is the problem ?
 
Nothing else.
Cheers
Ottawa, Ontario

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RE: PA permits crossbows for a 4-year test period

Postby Highlander Archery » Sat Jan 31, 2009 7:11 am

ORIGINAL: stickslingerd

I'm a PA resident and I think this is a HUGE mistake by the PGC.  I've seen it happen in MD.  people don't practice with the CB's and go out and treat it like gun season, taking 50 to 100 yrd shots thru woods. I think we'll see a LOT of wounded deer.  By allowing these we're losing the sacred art of archery. 



There are far larger issues in PA than what tool someone chooses to hunt with: Animal Rights groups are attempting to infiltrate PGC and allow general fund monies to dictate policy regarding game management.


January 28, 2009

PRESS RELEASE

People throughout the US and in PA are becoming aware of the great increase
in killing. The economic situation is painful: to lose one's job, one's
home, one's future. But to hold your child in your arms, killed from a
school shooting or collateral damage from an urban driveby, or to be or have
a family member killed in rural America, where the FBI says killings are
increasing substantially, is worse.

The culture glorifying killing must be ended. And in PA it starts with
glorifying killing by the people who just like to kill things (their words)
for recreation. They call it the "great tradition of hunting" and say if
they don't teach it to their kids by the time the kids are 8, the kids don't
want to participate.

But this is not a great tradition. Hunting is what you do for your car keys.
When you find them, you don't gleefully and with high-tech weapons kill them
for fun. It is killing for fun.

It is a perversion of the PA constitution which gives the natural resources
of PA including wildlife to all the people and of the Game Code which
entrusts the management of the wildlife to the Game Commission, not to breed
more deer and other wildlife for killers to kill for fun but to conserve and
maintain them.

Groups and individuals across PA are coming more and more to an awareness of
the need to bring the preservation of our wildlife back to the principles of
the great conservationists llike Teddy Roosevelt and to the principles of
love and living with others so needed in this twenty-first century, here at
home and around the world.

PA Wildlife Alliance has asked Gov Rendell and the senators of PA to
recognize the need to return to preservation principles of our natural
resources in the letter below and shall begin to talk with them about
correcting the perversion of the Game Commission. They will be speaking with
the Senate and House Game Committees; they will be speaking to parents,
decent people, and school children through this year, 2009, the year of the
deer.

Please help us and carry the word to the people. Faith, hope, and love - and
the greatest of these is love - not killing.

PA Wildlife Alliance

PA WILDLIFE ALLIANCE

20 Walker Road

Macungie PA 18062


January 19, 2009



Dear Governor Rendell and Senators of Pennsylvania,

In May of 2007 the killing of defenseless animals for recreation was brought
to our attention when the executive of Lehigh County signed an agreement
with the Pennsylvania Game Commission to permit killing deer and wild turkey
on the North Range of the Trexler Game Preserve, a fenced and posted animal
sanctuary General Trexler created in 1906 and willed to Lehigh County. We
were horrified by this destruction of a 100-year-old animal sanctuary.

When we went to the Game Commission website to get information, we were more
horrified by the membership of the Game Commission Board (quotes are from
Game Commission abstracts):

Roxanne Palone: "lifelong [killing animals for recreation] enthusiast" MA forest management, West Virginia University

Russell Schleiden: "active [killer of animals for recreation] since age 12"

Greg Isabella: "[killer of animals for recreation] for 30 years"

Tom Boop: "lifelong [killer of animals for recreation]"

Dan Hill: "lifelong active [killer of animals for recreation]"

Dave Shreffler: member of clubs for killing animals for recreation forestry manager, Maryland Forestry Association

James Delaney: "avid [killer of animals for recreation] of 32 years"

Ronald Weaner: "lifelong [killer of animals for recreation]" teaching emphasis on forestry
farmer

This membership is in contravention of the Pennsylvania constitution, which
states:

Sec 27: The people have a right . . . to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic
and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania's public natural resources are
the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee
of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit
of all the people. [our emphases] and of the Pennsylvania Game and Wildlife Code, which states:

103.a. The ownership, jurisdiction over and control of game or wildllife is
vested in the commission.

b. The commission shall utilize hunting and trapping as methods of
effecting necessary management of game, furbearer and wildlife populations.
[our emphases]

The animals belong to all the people. Killing animals for recreation does
not conserve or maintain them for all the people and, with knowledge, is
rarely if ever necessary for their management.

Appointing recreational killers to the board charged with managing wildlife
populations is a perversion of the purpose of the Game Commission. Instead
of the Game Commission managing wildlife populations to conserve and
maintain them for the benefit of all the people, the board made up of avid
lifelong killers for recreation is managing wildlife for the recreation of a
small group of people. The Game Commission puts in food plots and improves
habitat for deer to provide more deer each year for killers to have to kill
for recreation. This is not conserving or maintaining wildlife, and it is
grossly inhumane and barbaric in the civilization of the twenty-first
century. You do not raise animals to kill for fun.

"There are too many deer" has been used as an excuse for the killing. But
the Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania are suing the Game Commission for not
providing them enough deer to kill for fun. Advisory Councils for the Game
Commission in 24 of the 25 GC Wildlife Management Units have said there are
too few deer.

You are responsibile for appointing or approving Game Commission Board
members, with three appointments out of eight members to be made now. It is
vitally important that you appoint wildlife specialists, conservation biologists, who have knowledge and attitude to conserve and maintain wildlife for the benefit of all the people.

Game commissions in states were originally established¯in Pennsylvania in
1895¯at the urging of the great conservationists of the turn of the last
century like Teddy Roosevelt. Game officers were originally called animal
protectors. It seems probable that the perversion of the ideal of conserving
wildlife is due to funding the Game Commission with hunting license fees
(and logging).

The commission should be funded by general funds. But now in a time of great
economic problems, the funding to achieve its conervation purpose can be
initiated in various ways. We give some examples; thought should produce
others. The public can contribute if a line is added to the state income tax
return where individuals can donate $20 or more for the support of the
commission. Another wildlife license plate can be instituted. The state game
lands (1.4 million acres), deeded to the PA Commonwealth to be used by the
commission, can and should be opened, developed, and used as state parks for
all the people. A moderate entrance fee can be charged to support the
commission and maintain these parks.

As development continues in Pennsylvania, wildlife will be more pressed by
human incursion. We do not want to deprive our descendents of enjoying the
soul-restoring esthetic values of land and wildlife. And we want to provide
a place for wildlife to continue to exist and to be managed knowledgably and
humanely, not killed or wounded and left to die for the recreation of a few.

We note that in 2003 you created by executive order an Advisory Council for
[Killling] and Conservation to make recommendations to you for appointments
to the Game Commission Board. That is a contradiction in itself: Killing is
in no way or ever conservation. Conservation is bandied about to make
killing sound good and enable it to continue for the fun of a small avid
group. Killing is not good, ever. If, after scientific consideration of
problems and how to deal with them by wildlife biologists, killing is a
necessity, it should be done with sorrow, not avid recreation.

You stated in announcing the council that it was to provide the "best
possible advice on [killing]." The head advisor you appointed to be an
"advocate for [killers] and conservationists" is also proud to be another
"lifelong [killer]" (in the site biography). The council tells us applicants
to the Game Commission Board are evaluated on the basis of their support for
killing animals.

Managing the wildlife of Pennsylvania and the Game Commission's role in
doing so are important for their conservation and maintenance for all the
people. We submit you, governor and senators, must immediately and carefully
consider and correct the perversion of this purpose of the Pennsylvania
constitution and of the great conservationists and appoint and approve
members to the Game Commission Board based on their qualifications for
managing wildlife to conserve and maintain them for all the people of
Pennsylvania and generations yet to come as development continues and
diminishes wildlands - conservation biologists, not people to raise animals
for avid killers to kill for recreation.

Governor Rendell, we herewith request a meeting with you for our board to
discuss such qualifications for appointment to the Game Commission Board and
to present suggestions of wildlife conservationists for appointment.

Thank you for your consideration and we respectfully request a reply as soon
as possible.



Sincerely,



Carol A. Loomis



Carol A. Loomis, Secretary

PA Wildlife Alliance, with the support of but not limited to the following
organizations and their membership throughout Pennsylvania:

Citizens Task Force on the Trexler Game Preserve

Preserve the Preserve

Freedom for Animals

Friends of the Game Preserve

Global Wildlife Alliance Hillside SPCA, Pottsville, PA

Humane League of Philadelphia

Lehigh Gap Nature Center

Lehigh Valley Animal Rights Coalition

Make Peace with Animals

MidAtlantic Animal Rights Coalition

Mobilization for Animals Pennsylvania

New Hope for Deer

Nonlethal Options for Animals

Preserve the Preserve

Public Eye: Artists for Animals

Reach Out for Animal Rights

Students for Animal Protection

Tyler Park Woods

Wildlife Friends

Yardley Park Deer


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