Senate Ok’s Bill to Make Crossbow Hunting Permanent in N.y.

Two-Year Experiment is Set to Expire in December

Senator Patty Ritchie today announced Senate passage of a bill to permanently allow crossbow hunting in New York State, just a few short months before a two-year experiment that currently allows crossbows is set to expire.

The measure, S.6747, which was cosponsored by Senator Ritchie, directs the state DEC to set standards for an annual “crossbow hunting” season where the agency deems their use appropriate, and allows the department to set safety standards for their use by licensed hunters.

“By allowing crossbow hunting, we’re giving hunters another way to enjoy the outdoors, promoting recreation and increasing tourism to Upstate communities,” Senator Ritchie said.

“States that have long allowed crossbow hunting have not reported any significant problems with their use. Instead, they report that crossbows have helped increase interest in hunting and the outdoors,” Senator Ritchie said. “And making the law permanent is way of being responsive and supportive of what sportsmen want.”

In Senator Ritchie’s 2012 Hunters Survey, three-fourths of sportsmen said they support extending the crossbow law beyond the December 31 expiration.

And a recent Statewide Deer Hunter Survey conducted by Cornell University for the DEC found a majority of New York deer hunters support the legalization of crossbows.

“Hunting and fishing are a $1.5 billion business in New York State, and many communities rely on outdoor recreation for the livelihoods of residents, to draw visitors and create jobs,” said Senator Ritchie. “For our economy, and for the love of the outdoors, this law makes sense.”

Crossbow hunting is currently allowed in the state under a 2010 law that is set to expire at the end of the year.

The bill, which now goes to the Assembly, has strong support from a number of hunting and sportsmen’s organizations.