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Crossbows introduced for regular archery season in PA

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Crossbows introduced for regular archery season in PA

Old 06-30-2008, 09:24 AM
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Default Crossbows introduced for regular archery season in PA

From Sundays Pittsburgh Tribune review

By Bob Frye
Sunday, June 29, 2008

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Could hunters who use crossbows to take deer in places like Allegheny County get the opportunity to lug them off to deer camp someday soon?
Maybe so. The Pennsylvania Game Commission will look into the possibility of allowing hunters to use crossbows for big game in all seasons.
Hunters can already use crossbows in Pennsylvania in certain situations. Anyone who can get a doctor to say they're physically incapable of drawing a conventional bow can get a permit to use them in any big game season. More able-bodied hunters can also use them to hunt elk, bears, and even deer in special regulations areas.
They've been off limits in other situations, though -- most noticeably the statewide archery deer season.

At last week's Game Commission meeting in Harrisburg, however, commissioner Russ Schleiden of Centre County asked agency staff to investigate the pros and cons of introducing crossbows to all seasons in time for the 2009-2010 hunting seasons.
He asked for a report to be presented at the agency's October meeting, which will be held in Washington County.
"The crossbow has been approved for just about every season but one," said Schleiden, of Centre County. "I feel it's been long overdue."
The idea is sure to generate lots of debate.
The United Bowhunters of Pennsylvania -- the group representing the state's organized archers -- has long opposed the legalization of crossbows for the archery season.
In a report on the organization's web site, UBP president Wes Waldron said the group opposes "the use of crossbows in the general archery season by those fully capable of drawing and holding a conventional bow."
The previous three attempts at legalizing crossbows for Pennsylvnaia's archery deer seasons were all sparked by requests from crossbow manufacturers, dealers, and state lawmakers, Waldron added.
Commissioner Tom Boop of Northumberland County believes that is the case again this time.
Typically, he said, commissioners make changes to game laws based on "a perceived need, or a perceived desire," expressed by the agency's constituents. But he said he's heard from no hunters asking for crossbows.
"I think it's fair to say that this is being driven by manufacturers and lobbyists and not from our stakeholder groups," Boop said.
Indeed, the only person to testify in support of crossbows at the agency's June meeting was a representative of a crossbow manufacturer.
Schleiden -- who said he does not own a crossbow and has no plans to get one -- hinted that there is broader support for the tool, though he did not specify who that might be.
"I think you'll find out once we introduce it," he said.
Schleiden did admit that introducing crossbows to archery season could have ramifications. If too many hunters take up crossbows and shoot too many deer, the commission might have to consider shortening archery season or bag limits, he said.
But that's what the study is designed to determine, he said.
First of all, I'm amazed that this topic hasn't been posted sooner. Maybe it's not quite the hot button it once was....

At one time I was adamantly opposed to their use in regular archery season but I'm backing away from that position due to a lack of evidence that it has negatively impacted season lenghth or tag allocationsanywhere it's been used.

What IS disturbing is the part of the article where it says that the pressure to expand crossbow use isn't coming from hunters. The article impliesthat the driving force here seems to be coming purely from commercial interests. If that's the case, thats simply wrong! (before the USP crowd screams about timber company influence being no worse etc etc,timber comapniesare landowners who provide deer habitat. They do have a stake in deer management and seasons. Crossbow manufacturers do not provide anything but a product for hunters. There's a big difference there.

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Old 06-30-2008, 10:14 AM
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Default RE: Crossbows introduced for regular archery season in PA

I still oppose the use of crossbows during the general archery season in this state. The woods are already too crowded. There is plenty of opportunity to use a X-bowunder the current seasons.
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Old 06-30-2008, 10:17 AM
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Default RE: Crossbows introduced for regular archery season in PA

Can only recall a handful of "regular"people asking for broader xbow use, at PGC meetings over the past several years.

Manufacturers and reps, on the other hand, have been showing up for years demanding xbow use in archery seasons. One year three signed up in order. The first one came down and spoke while holding a bow. Second one came down to speak while the first one stayed there, third one came down, other two stayed behind himholding a bow and maybe a xbow?...great use of "visual aids" in a presentation.

Another time, Tom Fegely's wife spoke about the great opportunities xbows reprepresented for those who cannot master a recurve, longbow or compound. She neglected to mention she was also a xbow manufacturer's rep.

One guy comes every Jan. to rail and rant about the unfair advantages archers have at the best bucks, demands xbows be legalized for archery seasons and that archery seasons be shortened. Each year his rants become more rediculous and off the wall.

Wonder if he'll still demand shorter bowseasons, if xbows are allowed?

My personal opinion, is that archers worked long and hard to get their own season. Most are dedicated enough to become the best archers they can be. I see no reason to "cheapen" the experience by allowing something that can be mastered fairly easily by most people, in comparision to mastering an actual bow.

Supposedly Ohio has not had a problem with higher "bow" kills allowing xbows. But if PA archery seasonkills rise appreciably due to more xbows, doubt things would stay the same here.

That "They have an unfair advantage" train of thought expressed by many non-archery hunters, makes no sense to me. If someone wants to get out early and get first crack at the bucks, let 'em learn to use a bow like everyone else has done here for years. If you have a physical impairment and can't shoot a bow, it's already legal to use a xbow with a permit.
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Old 06-30-2008, 01:32 PM
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Default RE: Crossbows introduced for regular archery season in PA

PA is so far behind on hunting issues it is ridiculous, This argument about how you practice and xbows don't, and it is unfair is all a bunch of crap.That is exactly whyPA hasno Sunday hunting as most neighboring states do, also why thehunting population is decreasing in PA. Wonder if you all felt the same when you went from recurves to compounds.
Fact of the matter is a xbow is no more effective than the shooter, the territory and the deer in it's sights. It all comes back to scouting, hiuntng stand and wind placement. If the deer ain't there you can't shoot it.Half the dimwits who climb a tree w/ a compound don't practice until the wek before season. In this day and age very few people haver the time todedicate and willingness to dedicate to shooting archery. Do you think it might save some trophy's if it was easier for old Phil to shoot a Xbow then try and control a compound?

Oh by the way, I hunt 3 states, I hunt xbow and compound and have just started picking up a recurve again. In the states that allow xbow they coincide nicely w/ all other stringed weapons. Of the trophy's and or category that is documented by some authority you will not see the xbow having anymore records than the compound. If you really do your homework you will see the ranges of kills are in the same general area. We better stop bickering w/ our different disciplines and concentrate on a real enemy (PGC, Obammy, PETA) instead of our own ideas of what is and isn't fair in the woods!
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Old 06-30-2008, 03:00 PM
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Default RE: Crossbows introduced for regular archery season in PA

Well said, lets focous on how much we enjoy the outdoors in our own way. remember Jim Zumbo and the mess he got into commenting on the "black gun" and how it should be outlawed? Ted Nugent set him straight on that. I also own a compound as well as a crossbow, tend to use the compound more because its lighter but thats my choice as it should be. Second Amendment ( teds version) you should be able to kill your own dinner, and eat it too. however you do it enjoy it wile it lasts, divided you can be concored. those of us that archery hunt in Ohio stand as one. you should have the option of taking what you want hunting without getting a doctors note.
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Old 06-30-2008, 03:12 PM
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Default RE: Crossbows introduced for regular archery season in PA

My biggest concern with introducing the crossbow for the able bodied is that itis at least percieved as easier to use is that some hunters will go out and buy one and expect to shoot it for an hour or two and then hunt deer with it. Not that that doesnt happen occasionally with compounds but IMHO the problem would be bigger if xbows were legal. I definitely would not support their introduction without mandatory bowhunter ed, something we already ought to have anyway for both compound and traditional hunters.

Hopefully, mandatory bowhunter ed would weed out those who would buy an xbow simply as a shortcut into a challenging method of hunting. We don't need one day wonders out there potentially wounding deer and makinga great sportlook bad.
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Old 06-30-2008, 07:16 PM
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Default RE: Crossbows introduced for regular archery season in PA

I'm not sure where I land on this one. I am usually all for anything that allows more people to hunt and in different ways.I don't know why I am on the fence on this one.
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Old 06-30-2008, 08:02 PM
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Default RE: Crossbows introduced for regular archery season in PA

I'm on the fence as well. What you said about supporting any hunting opportunity has merit but Rybo's point that the archery season aint exactly a lonely timein much of our woods is valid too. The biggest worryI have is that there will be no going back once it's done. That being said, I just don't see the doomsday for our season that I once believed would come with the xbow. Yes PA is somewhat different in hunter numbers than some states that have them but are we really that different?

My jury is hung 50/50 on this one.
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Old 06-30-2008, 08:36 PM
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Default RE: Crossbows introduced for regular archery season in PA

Is there any plus side to this? Just asking.
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Old 06-30-2008, 08:45 PM
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Default RE: Crossbows introduced for regular archery season in PA

........I don't know either. I just remember the screaming, wailing and gnashing of teeth when the compound was introduced. It was predicted that it would be the total downfall of archery and anyone with one was certain to kill a deer.
Uhhhh....didn't happen......
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