With new state legislation authorizing the Department of Environmental Conservation to allow taking of big game (deer and bear) or small game by the use of a crossbow at certain times and places in New York, the DEC is now accepting public comment on proposed regulation changes so crossbows may be a legal implement for the fall 2014 hunting seasons.
The DEC will accept written public comment on the proposed hunting rule changes through July 21, 2014.
Specifically, the law changes authorize DEC to:
- Allow the take of deer and bear by the use of a crossbow during a limited portion of the early bowhunting seasons (14 days at the end of the existing bowhunting season in the Southern Zone, and 10 days in the Northern Zone) and during any big game hunting season in which use of a firearm (shotgun, rifle or muzzleloader) is allowed, except for the Youth Deer Hunting weekend and the January firearms deer season on Long Island.
- Allow the take of small game mammals, wild turkey and other upland game birds by the use of a crossbow during their respective hunting seasons.
The DEC’s proposed rule changes also clarify the technical descriptions of a legal crossbow and the license privilege and training requirements for any person hunting with a crossbow, as specified in legislation.
The new law prohibits all hunting with crossbows in Suffolk, Nassau and Westchester counties or in the archery-only portions of Albany and Monroe counties, and the DEC’s proposed rule reflects these restrictions.
Details of the proposed rule can be viewed in the June 4 publication of the New York State Register and on DEC’s website at dec.ny.gov/regulations/34113.html#Part1Part2p.
For a general summary of the law, see DEC’s information on crossbow hunting at dec.ny.gov/outdoor/68802.html. DEC’s position on crossbow use for deer hunting is provided in Appendix 5 of the NYS Deer Management Plan (dec.ny.gov/docs/wildlife_pdf/deerplan2012.pdf).
Citizens who wish to make formal public comments through July 21 may do so by sending an email to: email@example.com (include “crossbow regulations” in the subject line) or by writing to: Bryan L. Swift, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Bureau of Wildlife, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754.