Crossbows have been a hot issue lately. The newly formed New York Crossbow Coalition (NYCC) has been garnering support for use of the crossbow during all seasons. As you may be aware, use of the crossbow here in the Southern Zone is currently during our regular deer hunting season and the special late muzzleloader season only. Indeed, by last seasonís deer harvest of 491 statewide with the crossbow, itís certainly not being used as a management tool. In actuality, its hardly being used at all. I mean, come on, you have a choice of taking your rifle or crossbow out deer hunting...what are you going to do?
The present law enacted in 2011 will sunset (expire) after the end of the 2012 seasons. This means that if no new crossbow legislation is passed, the crossbow will not be allowed to be used in any season in 2013 and beyond. The NYCC is working on legislation now to define the crossbow as a legal hunting implement so that DEC can regulate it in all seasons. Right now, you can't even use an crossbow to shoot carp while bowfishing. Keeping the crossbow out of any other season surely has no merit.