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Crossbow legislation falls woefully short

It also is awkward to hold a bow at full draw all the time. It gets very tiring, even from a sitting position, and some people simply do not have the arm or shoulder strength to do so or even hoist a bow.

So, why block these individuals from filling their bow tag by using a crossbow?

The use of crossbows is now allowed in some capacity in all but two states - and 18 states have provisions allowing physically-challenged hunters to use them during regular archery seasons.

Many provinces in Canada are the same. In fact, I leave in just a few short week's to hunt in Manitoba, where I am allowed to use a crossbow with my handicapped archer permit.

Some bowhunter groups - such as New York Bowhunters Inc. - have lobbied hard against the use of crossbows, even among the physically-challenged, arguing its use would open the flood gates on applications from people perfectly capable of using a traditional bow.

That's like saying we shouldn't issue handicapped parking passes to people in wheelchairs because able-bodied people may abuse the right.

Why punish the disabled simply to control permit abuse? It seems to me this could be controlled through strict screening during the permitting process itself.

Bowhunter groups also argue the use of crossbows would fill the woods with hunters during archery season - a time they have historically enjoyed to themselves.

But, the statistics don't seem to support the argument. In nearby Pennsylvania, for example, where crossbows have been allowed since 2009 for anyone possessing an archery license, the number of hunters has remained unchanged.

Granted bowhunters harvested a few more deer with crossbows - most likely because of their accuracy - but is that such a bad thing? I'd dare say less deer were wounded, and tags are issued to be filled.

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