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BigOutdoors
09-21-2010, 07:04 PM
Law moves to legalize crossbow hunting
Updated: Monday, 20 Sep 2010, 7:30 PM EDT
Published : Monday, 20 Sep 2010, 7:30 PM EDT

Posted by: Eli George
LEWISTON, N.Y. (RELEASE) - Assembly woman Francine DelMonte (D-Lewiston) announced that legislation she authored to pave the way for legalized crossbow hunting in New York was signed into law this past weekend.

"I led the charge in the Assembly to legalize crossbow hunting in New York State. Hunters spend money on food, lodging, transportation and equipment, creating a billion-dollar industry in New York," DelMonte said. "Adding the crossbow to hunters' quiver will create new interest and excitement in the sport."

Under current law, crossbow hunting is off limits to all but a select few - mostly the physically disabled - making New York one of only two states to ban the activity. DelMonte's law will chip away at the ban and promote greater use, defining acceptable crossbows as those that use 14-inch and longer arrows and include a working safety. The law also enables the state Department of Environmental Conservation to establish a crossbow hunting season and green-light crossbow use on private property during big game gun seasons.

States that embrace crossbow hunting, credit the activity's safe, environmentally friendly nature with rejuvenating their hunting industries, DelMonte said. She hopes New York will follow suit.

The new law continues DelMonte's longstanding commitment to New York's sportsmen. Over the years, she's backed measures to:

+grant big-game hunting privileges to 14- and 15-year-olds in New York State as long as they're supervised by an experienced hunter (Ch. 344 of 2008);
+allow sportsmen to use rifles to hunt deer and bear in 11 upstate counties (Ch. 600 of 2005); and
+create the Empire State Fishing Trail program to capitalize on the state's emergence as a top bass fishing destination (A.3270 of 2010, passed the Assembly).

"Hunting is an important recreational activity and wildlife management tool," DelMonte said. "We should be expanding the opportunities for those who wish to hunt but are physically limited from doing so."