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Discussion Topic: On Pennsylvania’s Crossbow Rules

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August 28, 2009

Discussion Topic: On Pennsylvania’s Crossbow Rules

By Dave Hurteau

Crossbows will be legal during the Keystone State’s fall archery season. The only question is: How much of the archery season? In July, after having voted to allow them for the whole bow season, the state backpedaled and gave preliminary approval to a proposal that would limit their use to just the first two weeks.  Now, the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners is planning to hold a special meeting on September 3rd to make a final decision.

What do you think that decision should be? There are lots of archers who want nothing to do with crossbows and plenty who say bring them on. Is the fairest solution to split the bow season between them? Or should PA just go all the way, allow crossbows for all archery seasons, and ask those opposed to face the facts that crossbows encourage additional, much-needed participation, especially from women and youths, and are therefore an inevitable part of bowhunting’s future?

Comments (13)

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from MB915 wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Well I am a believer that crossbows should be allowed in every states archery season. No split seasons. In Pa, a state that I archery hunt, there are a lot of people who do not feel that way. But the PGC cant just go back on their decision. A lot of people have purchased cross bows, and would not have done so if they knew the season was only going to be two weeks.

With the new board member selected by the PGC, he made it clear where he stands on the crossbow issue. I see the sept 3 decision being a full inclusion of crossbows in archery season.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jjas wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

As I state everytime this topic comes up........

I find it ironic that the people who complain the most about xbows are the same ones carrying 80% let off compounds with fiber optic sights, shooting carbon arrows with the latest high tech broadheads and releasing the arrows with a mechanical release.

These same folks are wearing the latest scent reduction camo, sitting in padded treestand seats (or comfy ground blinds) overlooking either a genetically enhanced food plot or a travel corridor picked by the use of the their trail cameras that "called" their cell phones w/pictures of the big buck roaming the property.

Yet these people are the one screaming about how a xbow isn't a "real bow" or "it's not real hunting when you use a xbow"....

It's a bit hypocritical, don't you think?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from peter wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

i use an old recure, that should be enough, im fine with people usin compounds but crossbows go to far, at the very least the season should be split

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

This is shaping up to be just like the classic bait dunkers vs fly fisherman debates. I am from PA, and the deer numbers there are astounding. In the eastern part of the state where there are no rifles allowed, this will open up opportunities for more hunters. I know there are places advertising in the papers for bow only hunters to come and thin out number on private land. Maybe it's the box hunters who feel they will be encroached upon? I think they are one in the same with the goal of harvesting a deer with a more primative means, I agree with jjas about the technology used by the average bowhunter now a days.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Enough already. Make a ruling and stick with it. I don't care either way. I hunt archery in Pa. and rifle when i don't tag out with my bow. I don't see this affecting me much.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Skeeb wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

If people want to hunt with crossbows, let them. As stated above, it will spark some interest into more youth and possibly women. If it shoots arrows or bolts, it should be allowed through the whole season, Period.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Huskydutchman wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I am a PA archery (and rifle) hunter. I would have preferred to keep cross-bows out of archery season, simply to have less deer killed. That being said, I bought an expensive crossbow when they were legalized. I have no idea how they can change the law after the Hunting Digest (Rules Book) is out and licenses have been sold. How can they possibly prosecute a person who says, "I just did what the book you gave me when I bought my license says I could do." I will abide by the law, but now that crossbows are here, I hope we can at least use them for this season.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

"allow crossbows for all archery seasons, and ask those opposed to face the facts that crossbows encourage additional, much-needed participation, especially from women and youths, and are therefore an inevitable part of bowhunting’s future?"

Bam. Nailed it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kosmos wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

Each bow season I go out into the woods and cut a green branch from an osage tree, skin off the bark with a sharp rock and make a bow. For a bowstring just twist up some cedar bark fibers and for arrows I use the straightest sticks I can find laying on the ground. I don't go in for those fancy broadheads, I just whittle me a nice sharp point on my arrows with the same rock I use to skin the bark off my osage branch. So I guess you could call me a traditionalist. That being said, I think crossbows are just fine for the regular archery season if you really want to spend all that money.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

Kosmos, I like you. I don't take traditionalism that far, but I am in favor of wood bows as well as crossbows.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from JohnR wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

Shane you took the words right off of my keyboard! Pennsylvanian hunters have my sympathy for having an anti-gun governor, and for living in a state that does not allow semi-auto rifles for hunting.
I hope that crossbows hunters get to hunt the whole season.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from northern_mi_hunter wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

I live and both bow and rifle hunt in Michigan. I was opposed to the opening up of bow seasons for crossbows. My reason is that there will be a huge influx of hunters into the bow season. BUT these will not be new hunters, they will just be rifle hunters who were to lazy to practice with a bow that will now bow hunt also. This will lead to many more bucks not making it untill rifle season, and harvesting a mature buck during the rifle season will be almost impossible.

It is one thing to allow xbows during bow seasons in states like Illinois and Iowa that dont have the hunting pressure states like Michigan has. The area of public land that i hunt has up to 40 hunters per square mile during rifle season. During bow season it was usually under 5 after the first week...

And for those of you who dont think xbows will have alot of rifle hunters switching over, look at this example... My rifle camp has 8 hunters, only 2 of which bow hunt. Now 4 of the rifle only hunters have went out andd bought Xbows. In the area i hunt Xbow users must be 50 or over, but all 4 of the hunters who switched to Xbows all were capable of shooting a regular bow, but they were too lazy to practice. Now all they have to do is site in thier Xbow and off they go.

Many more mature bucks will now be harvested before they even have a chance to pass on thier genes. Our rifle season starts Nov 15th, and untill now most bucks were able to atleast make it untill then to do some breading... This state already has over 65% of the buck harvest consisting of 1 1/2 year old bucks. Now hardley any bucks will make it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Allow them for the entire season for those not able to use a bow... other than that, make a limited season on them for all "normal" users.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from jjas wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

As I state everytime this topic comes up........

I find it ironic that the people who complain the most about xbows are the same ones carrying 80% let off compounds with fiber optic sights, shooting carbon arrows with the latest high tech broadheads and releasing the arrows with a mechanical release.

These same folks are wearing the latest scent reduction camo, sitting in padded treestand seats (or comfy ground blinds) overlooking either a genetically enhanced food plot or a travel corridor picked by the use of the their trail cameras that "called" their cell phones w/pictures of the big buck roaming the property.

Yet these people are the one screaming about how a xbow isn't a "real bow" or "it's not real hunting when you use a xbow"....

It's a bit hypocritical, don't you think?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from MB915 wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Well I am a believer that crossbows should be allowed in every states archery season. No split seasons. In Pa, a state that I archery hunt, there are a lot of people who do not feel that way. But the PGC cant just go back on their decision. A lot of people have purchased cross bows, and would not have done so if they knew the season was only going to be two weeks.

With the new board member selected by the PGC, he made it clear where he stands on the crossbow issue. I see the sept 3 decision being a full inclusion of crossbows in archery season.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

This is shaping up to be just like the classic bait dunkers vs fly fisherman debates. I am from PA, and the deer numbers there are astounding. In the eastern part of the state where there are no rifles allowed, this will open up opportunities for more hunters. I know there are places advertising in the papers for bow only hunters to come and thin out number on private land. Maybe it's the box hunters who feel they will be encroached upon? I think they are one in the same with the goal of harvesting a deer with a more primative means, I agree with jjas about the technology used by the average bowhunter now a days.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Enough already. Make a ruling and stick with it. I don't care either way. I hunt archery in Pa. and rifle when i don't tag out with my bow. I don't see this affecting me much.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Skeeb wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

If people want to hunt with crossbows, let them. As stated above, it will spark some interest into more youth and possibly women. If it shoots arrows or bolts, it should be allowed through the whole season, Period.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kosmos wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

Each bow season I go out into the woods and cut a green branch from an osage tree, skin off the bark with a sharp rock and make a bow. For a bowstring just twist up some cedar bark fibers and for arrows I use the straightest sticks I can find laying on the ground. I don't go in for those fancy broadheads, I just whittle me a nice sharp point on my arrows with the same rock I use to skin the bark off my osage branch. So I guess you could call me a traditionalist. That being said, I think crossbows are just fine for the regular archery season if you really want to spend all that money.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from JohnR wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

Shane you took the words right off of my keyboard! Pennsylvanian hunters have my sympathy for having an anti-gun governor, and for living in a state that does not allow semi-auto rifles for hunting.
I hope that crossbows hunters get to hunt the whole season.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

"allow crossbows for all archery seasons, and ask those opposed to face the facts that crossbows encourage additional, much-needed participation, especially from women and youths, and are therefore an inevitable part of bowhunting’s future?"

Bam. Nailed it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

Kosmos, I like you. I don't take traditionalism that far, but I am in favor of wood bows as well as crossbows.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from northern_mi_hunter wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

I live and both bow and rifle hunt in Michigan. I was opposed to the opening up of bow seasons for crossbows. My reason is that there will be a huge influx of hunters into the bow season. BUT these will not be new hunters, they will just be rifle hunters who were to lazy to practice with a bow that will now bow hunt also. This will lead to many more bucks not making it untill rifle season, and harvesting a mature buck during the rifle season will be almost impossible.

It is one thing to allow xbows during bow seasons in states like Illinois and Iowa that dont have the hunting pressure states like Michigan has. The area of public land that i hunt has up to 40 hunters per square mile during rifle season. During bow season it was usually under 5 after the first week...

And for those of you who dont think xbows will have alot of rifle hunters switching over, look at this example... My rifle camp has 8 hunters, only 2 of which bow hunt. Now 4 of the rifle only hunters have went out andd bought Xbows. In the area i hunt Xbow users must be 50 or over, but all 4 of the hunters who switched to Xbows all were capable of shooting a regular bow, but they were too lazy to practice. Now all they have to do is site in thier Xbow and off they go.

Many more mature bucks will now be harvested before they even have a chance to pass on thier genes. Our rifle season starts Nov 15th, and untill now most bucks were able to atleast make it untill then to do some breading... This state already has over 65% of the buck harvest consisting of 1 1/2 year old bucks. Now hardley any bucks will make it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Huskydutchman wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I am a PA archery (and rifle) hunter. I would have preferred to keep cross-bows out of archery season, simply to have less deer killed. That being said, I bought an expensive crossbow when they were legalized. I have no idea how they can change the law after the Hunting Digest (Rules Book) is out and licenses have been sold. How can they possibly prosecute a person who says, "I just did what the book you gave me when I bought my license says I could do." I will abide by the law, but now that crossbows are here, I hope we can at least use them for this season.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from peter wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

i use an old recure, that should be enough, im fine with people usin compounds but crossbows go to far, at the very least the season should be split

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Allow them for the entire season for those not able to use a bow... other than that, make a limited season on them for all "normal" users.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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