View Full Version : NYS Senate passes crossbow hunting bill

Horizontal Hunter
07-01-2010, 09:19 AM
NYS Senate passes crossbow hunting bill

Updated: Wednesday, 30 Jun 2010, 8:49 PM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 30 Jun 2010, 8:47 PM EDT

Posted by: Eli George
ALBANY, N.Y. (RELEASE) - Senator George Maziarz (R-C, Newfane) is pleased to announce that the State Senate has given final passage to legislation (S.6793-B) he co-sponsored to allow for hunting with crossbows in New York State.
“Normally I’m forced to spend a lot of time in Albany fighting against new laws that infringe on sportsmen’s rights,” Senator Maziarz said. “Today, I’m very pleased that we’re doing something positive for the hunting community. By incorporating the use of crossbows, we are opening up more hunting opportunities for a variety of New Yorkers, including seniors and the disabled. This is a step in the right direction that is long overdue.”
Senator Maziarz has been working to get a crossbow bill passed into law for a number of years. He first introduced legislation in 2003 to direct the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to promulgate rules and regulations for hunting with a crossbow. His predecessor, Senator John Daly, had advocated for similar legislation in the 1980’s and 1990’s.
“Opening the door to crossbows is good for the sportsmen community as a whole,” Senator Maziarz added. “Getting more people involved can only be a good thing for preserving and expanding sportsmen’s rights in Albany.”
The legislation approved today specifies that crossbows shall be authorized for any big game season when the shotgun or muzzle loader is permitted. Crossbows for hunting deer and bear must have a fourteen inch bolt, a seventeen inch width, a twenty-four inch length, a draw weight of between one hundred and two hundred pounds, and a trigger safety. Training on the safe use of crossbows will also become part of the curriculum of basic hunter education courses.
Incorporating crossbow hunting in New York State has been supported in the past by groups such as Disabled Sportsmen of America, Safari Club, New York State Conservation Council, the Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs, and the Shooters’ Committee on Political Education (SCOPE).
The bill also eases the requirements for physically disabled persons to obtain permission to use a longbow modified with a mechanical device to help draw, hold, and release the long bow.
Senator Maziarz has encouraged Governor David Paterson to sign the bill into law.


07-07-2010, 07:19 PM
Rod, Gun & Game: Crossbow bill passes Senate and House 2010-07-07

Forrest Fisher

There are a lot of happy hunters in New York this weekJudging by my e-mail, there are a lot of happy, elderly archery hunters this week. New York legislation regarding the legalized use of crossbow for hunting has passed the New York House and Senate.

The bill authorizes the NYS-DEC to establish standards for using crossbows for hunting. Rules state that the arrows, or bolts, must be 14 inches long. According to Leo Zimmerman of Horton Crossbows, bolts are a slang term for crossbow arrows. In actuality, Zimmerman says, “They are really arrows. They have three fletchings and feature a removable target tip or hunting tip.”

Rules also mandate that the crossbow have a safety device on the trigger, because they retain a loaded arrow and that the maximum peak draw weight be limited to 200 pounds.

At present, the way I read the 15-page bill, crossbows will be allowed during the regular firearm and muzzle loader big game seasons for regular hunters; disabled hunters will enjoy more relaxed rules during the regular archery big game seasons.

At East Aurora Fish and Game, as well as at Bison City Rod and Gun, news of the bill brought jubilation. While both clubs have elderly memberships, the gentlemen and ladies there indicated strong favor for crossbows. They only questioned, “Why can’t we use them during the regular archery season?” Trophy whitetail deer states like Ohio do allow crossbow during archery season, setting an example for other states to study in that regard.

The successful crossbow bill was introduced by Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte. Current law only allowed non-crossbow archery equipment to be used for bow hunting while crossbows have been solely permitted for very few physically disabled hunters. Seniors and veterans seem to be looking forward to crossbow; many of them cannot draw a bow due to physical and medical conditions, but they still want to hunt with arrows.

Crossbows can be cocked using a relatively effortless handle crank so that no large physical effort is required to draw the equipment, making it possible for ageing hunters to consider the crossbow. DelMonte said, “Hunting is an important recreational activity and wildlife management tool and we should be expanding the opportunities for those who wish to hunt but are physically limited from doing so. Denying certain hunters a tool that can allow them to continue a beloved pastime just doesn’t make sense to me and that’s why I believed the state should legalize crossbow hunting.”

According to Bill Hilts Sr., president of the NYS Crossbow Hunters Association, “The horizontal bow will be most welcomed by the youth, women, elderly and physically challenged of our state. The crossbow is just another safe way to hunt.” According to Ohio records, the kill rate is higher with a crossbow than with conventional archery equipment. That means fewer wounded deer that cannot be found to many of the skeptics.

DelMonte added, “Hunting brings nearly $1 billion annually to New York and is a critical contributor to our economy and culture. This bill maintains safety while catering to a wider array of hunters. Hunting access will improve and a broader variety of hunters will only improve appeal, helping generate needed revenue while attracting tourists to our Niagara region.”

Support for the bill came from groups like the Safari Club, the NYS Conservation Council, the Niagara County Federation of Sportsmen, Erie County Federation of Sportsmen and SCOPE. Officially, the legislation still needs to be signed by the governor to become law and many are hoping the change will take effect this season.

Lake Erie fishing action
The yellow perch bite has slowed down, with walleye trollers catching more stripe backs with chattersticks than minnow dunking anglers. While wind and waves kept most anglers off the lake last week, the weekend was fair and anglers returned to the waterway.
Walleye anglers working the waters off Sturgeon Point and Cattaraugus Creek had a tough time too, though those anglers that ventured father southwest to Barcelona seemed to find fish in short order.

Offshore trollers working the top 40 feet scored well, as did several old-fashioned spinner/worm anglers using three-way rigs in a drift pattern fishing in 40 to 50 feet. The offshore trollers caught much larger fish using the standard array of stickbaits, spinner/worm rigs fished off downrigs, planer boards and seven to eight colors of leadcore.

Trolling speeds vary from angler to angler, but most speeds are between one and one-half to two and one-half miles per hour. Many of the successful anglers utilize modern sonar devices on the market now to find their fish by searching bottom structure as well as thermal breaks. The depth charts are built into the sonar and allow dynamic hot spot decision making.

Closer to Buffalo, night trolling along the breakwalls is still as effective as it was 30 years ago. Long, high floating stickbaits are the popular choice for third shift fishermen.

NYSDEC sets WNY Baitfish meeting
It has been four years since the DEC banned the transportation of baitfish in New York state and finally the DEC will seek public input on the current ban on transporting uncertified baitfish.

The ban was established in 2007 after an outbreak of viral hemorrhagic septicemia in Lake Erie and Lake Ontario in 2005. VHS causes internal bleeding and sometimes death in certain fish when they are stressed in cooler temperatures.Eight other pathogens were also addressed when the rules were established.

The current regulations ban the motorized overland transport of personally collected baitfish that are uncertified and untested for fish diseases. This is the only part of the state’s fish-health regulations that DEC is seeking comment on at this time. Lake Erie perch fishermen have an interest in the outcome of this regulation, as anglers numbers have dropped since the new rules force anglers to pay $50 for 500 minnows. Moose Slomba, a veteran Lake Erie perch angler, says, “The new rules are just killing us all; one by one, folks are just quitting. They sell their gear, their boat and that’s it. Nobody can afford to pay these outrageous prices for perch minnows.”

DEC has a series of public meetings set for across the state; in WNY, the meeting will be conducted on July 13 at 7 p.m. at the Sheridan Parkside Community Center, 169 Sheridan Parkside Drive, Tonawanda. Call 851-7010 for more information.

In addition to public meetings, written and online comments will be accepted until September 10. Written comments should be submitted to Shaun Keeler, NYSDEC, Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233 or e-mailed to fishregs@gw.dec.state.ny.us (fishregs@gw.dec.state.ny.us). Additional background information about the overland transport regulation and about the upcoming meetings is available on DEC’s Web site: www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/66191.html. (http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/66191.html.)

Outdoors calendar
July 12: West Falls Conservation, monthly meeting; 55 Bridge Street, West Falls; call 652-4650.

July 19, 24: Trapper Education, Elma Conservation Club. Pre-register by calling 681-5690.

July 24-25: Hunter Education, Waterfowl ID Education, Erie County Conservation Society, Holland. Pre-register by calling Cheryl at 655-2328.

July 30 - August 1: NCCC Lake Erie walleye contest, Dunkirk Harbor, 100 teams; there is an entry fee; call 366-3639 or 366-8836 for more information.

Contact Forrest Fisher with news at: nugdor@yahoo.com (nugdor@yahoo.com).