(NY) Crossbow proposal gains support


PDA






Drizzt
February 18, 2003, 06:14 PM
Press & Sun-Bulletin (Binghamton, NY)


February 15, 2003 Saturday

SECTION: SPORTS; Pg. 5C

LENGTH: 543 words

HEADLINE: OUTDOORS - Crossbow proposal gains support

BYLINE: DAVE HENDERSON

BODY:
Legislation to legalize the crossbow as a hunting implement in New York has always met with indifference in Albany, thanks to a small but efficient lobbying effort by New York Bowhunters Inc.

But over the last two years more key organizations have taken up the crossbow banner and supporters feel that the newest bill actually has a chance.

Sponsored by Senator George Maziarz, S.1333 would add the crossbow to the list of acceptable hunting implements while season-setting and other regulations would still fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Environmental Conservation. The crossbow is already legal in the hands of severely disabled hunters but the criteria is so strong that only a handful of people in the state qualify.

The NYS Conservation Council has backed the introduction of crossbows and the Fish and Wildlife Board endorsed it -- and this year the state's Conservation Officers Association withdrew its opposition and declared itself neutral on the subject.

Bob McNitt, longtime outdoors columnist for the Norwich Sun and former editor of New York Sportsman Magazine, wrote an impassioned letter to Assemblyman Cliff Couch on the new bill:

"Although I'm an avid bow and firearms hunter -- and have been for 45 years -- I've been embarrassed by N.Y. Bowhunters Association's (NYB) officers' tunnel-visioned attitude toward crossbows, which is just another tool hunters may use to manage and control overpopulations of deer wherever they may occur.

"Sadly, many aging NYS bowhunters abandon the activity due to physical decline and, despite all the 'modifications' that NYB suggests to keep them hunting, few do because of the extra cost and probably the pride they took in once being an effective bowhunter.

"Few of these once-effective bowhunters qualify as being sufficiently 'disabled' to obtain a special permit. So NYS loses another two-season hunter, as well as the revenue of his or her license fees.

"We bowhunters in NYS enjoy the longest and most liberal hunting season of any hunting group in the state, and I recall the negative attitude taken by NYB against the idea of special muzzleloader seasons, which eventually happened but is still a fraction of the length of archery or regular firearms seasons.

"And yet, following the introduction of the special seasons, deer numbers continued to grow and prosper, while muzzleloaders generated more recreational days and added critical monies to DEC's Conservation Fund. Plus, bowhunters and firearm hunters continued to enjoy increasingly successful hunting.

"When we consider an aging NYS hunter force, a declining number of new hunters entering the scene, and the ongoing need for hunting as a deer management and funding tool for DEC, the time is past due that any one special interest group should prohibit any positive action that would slow or reverse this trend.

"And while I may never use a crossbow to hunt, I would never argue against its lawful use as just another hunting tool being used by fellow sportsmen and women. In my mind -- and many others, including many NYB members -- legalizing crossbows in NYS is a win-win situation, regardless of what NYB officially says ... a victory for sportsmen, for game management, and for the state."

If you enjoyed reading about "(NY) Crossbow proposal gains support" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Pawcatch
February 19, 2003, 05:13 AM
Bow hunting orgs. here in Georgia really protsted against allowing crossbows during bow season
.Most of them said,"allowing crossbows during bow season will bring too many hunters into the woods".
They honestly didn't want anymore people hunting during bow season.

Greybeard
February 20, 2003, 01:04 PM
Cross bows were finally deemed "legal" for non-handicapped Texas deer hunters just a few years ago - but only during the firearms season. Individuals with a doctor-documented upper limb handicap are allowed to use them during archery season.

If you enjoyed reading about "(NY) Crossbow proposal gains support" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!