RE: Legislators and crossbows again
This is copied from another board. It is Representative Marc G. responding to the legislation he plans to introduce:
"As one of the oldest members of this board I will answer this once as to why I feel I needed to take this position and be so direct about my feelings.
I invite debate on any issue relevant to the feelings of sportsman and our Commonwealth, if you listened to my testimony accurately or read it in the future before I mentioned crossbows at all I reached out to Executive Director Roe on many issues effecting all of us which I believe could be changed in positive ways:
Pass a Wildlife Violators Compact (my legislation)
Support and make law an increase in fines and penalties across the board for both Game and Fish Agencies
Establish a NO NET LOSS law in which sportsmen can never lose public lands that are open to hunting and fishing currently.
Expand Mentored hunting Opportunities
And I SUPPORT and pledged to help make an increase for a general Hunting License a reality.
Asked about the Elk Tag (my bill) and who is getting it this year - National Wild Turkey Federation
I also want to stop spotlighting but thats for another day.
As a State Representative from Allegheny County we have had the opportunity to use crossbows for the last five years with any configuration (scope/red dot/pin)to harvest deer. Yes I own a crossbow but haven't hunted with it for 3 years in Pennsylvania and have never harvested a deer with a crossbow, I average between one or two deer per year harvest with a bow, I shoot an old bow not some high tec super let off compound, but I have no problem with the amazing advances that bow manufactures have made in perfecting the weapon.
Agree or disagree with my position I have never seen the BOC take away any legal option for use in hunting that was already permitted and used by thousands upon thousands of hunters disabled and healthy. I'd rather they didn't pass the regulation then take away something folks have purchased used and by definition are now illegal in seasons and areas that for no other reason then to reach a "compromise".
I have every right to ask questions seek positive change and defend my constituents many who will be effected by this regulation change.
Zone 2B is big maybe 25% of all hunters reside in the SRA and when you figure that the Archery tag purchases still declined (even with crossbows)deer populations still grew (even with crossbows) and crossbow hunters are like everyone else no more violations then bowhunters in these areas what is the problem?
I'm for inclusion not exclusion and until we see a growth in our ranks I would support any effort to put more people in the woods enjoying our great sport. Every year since I've been elected we have lost on average 2.5% of license buyers from the previous year this isn't a growing sport so we need to encourage participation to stop the losses.
In my testimony I asked the BOC to make the change not the legislature its not our place to intervene but to disenfranchise so many hunters with one decision and place upon them an unexpected financial burden of which they had no control is not responsible and yes the largest portion of those effected is from the SRA/Disabled and I will speak on their behalf.
I stand by the call for change and will ask the BOC to revisit the issue in April and if not pursue whatever means to correct this unfair burden on the thousands of hunters in our ranks.
My rifle is a black rifle