Crossbow hunting in New York State

George D. Maziarz

July 01, 2010

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.