another crossbow article

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SilverKype
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2009/05/26 08:13:38 (permalink)

another crossbow article

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09144/972184-358.stm
 
Crossbow Hunting: Back-and-forth rule making isn't over as the Game Commission prepares for another vote
Sunday, May 24, 2009
By Ben Moyer

As sports go, hunting is a long way from ping-pong. But hunters preparing for the 2009 archery season have watched a series of serve-and-return parries among the Game Commission's board of commissioners that suggest a lively match of table tennis.
It's all about crossbows. Specifically, commissioners have sparred over the degree to which crossbows should be used, and how they may be equipped, in seasons previously reserved for conventional archery. Instead of squabbling behind the scenes before the crossbow vote, the debate has been documented in a confusing and contradictory series of regulations.
For decades, hunting with crossbows in the archery season was prohibited in Pennsylvania, except for hunters possessing a "Disabled Person Permit" that declared them physically incapable of using conventional archery equipment, referred to as "vertical bows."
In the late 1990s, the commission approved the use of crossbows throughout archery season but only in urban Special Regulation Areas. That regulation was later amended to include Wildlife Management Units 2B, 5C and 5D, which cover essentially the same territory.
The pace picked up at the October 2008 Game Commission meeting when the board voted preliminary approval to "full inclusion of crossbows during big game archery seasons." That proposal won final approval in a 4-3 vote at the agency's January meeting, despite strong opposition from conventional bowhunters and a minority of commissioners, making it legal to hunt deer and bear statewide with a crossbow during the upcoming 2009 archery seasons.
Commissioner Thomas Boop of Sunbury, Northumberland County, cast one of the three dissenting votes.
"I ask my fellow commissioners, why the rush on this issue?" Boop stated before the vote. "Most commissioners I've talked to, the opposition [against crossbows] was 90 percent."
Commissioner Roxane Palone, of Waynesburg, and board president at the time, voted for expanded crossbow use and defended her stance on the grounds of wider hunter participation.
"If hunting were a growing and expanding sport, I might vote no on crossbows," Palone stated. "But, really, hunting is a waning sport. ... It's not like we have millions of new people knocking down our door to go hunting. And we need to look at ourselves as hunters and not as small factions."
Contacted later, Commissioner Russ Schleiden of Centre Hall, Centre County, said he saw expanded crossbow use as a way to widen hunter opportunity with negligible biological impact.
"I am the one who brought crossbow legalization forward," Schleiden said. "I recalled that [the PGC] had this same argument when we allowed compound bows and it didn't hurt the deer resource. You only get one buck anyway, no matter how you take it."
In January, Commissioner David Schreffler of Everett, Bedford County, complicated matters by offering an amendment prohibiting the use of "magnifying telescopic sights" on all archery equipment, including, and specifically aimed at, crossbows.
The "no scope" amendment passed and, according to sources, won over Schreffler's vote in support of the broader crossbow inclusion. The amendment did not, however, take into account that 60,000 hunters with Disabled Person Permits and unknown thousands in Wildlife Management Units 2B, 5C and 5D were already using scopes on crossbows legally. Plus, how would enforcement officers tell a magnifying scope from a non-magnifying scope without looking into each one?
The contradictory situation brought opposition from hunters already using scopes, and the commission called a special telephone conference vote on March 4 to propose a reversal of the Schreffler amendment. Commissioners voted final approval of the rollback at their April 21 meeting, allowing the use of magnifying scopes on crossbows and all archery equipment statewide.
At that meeting Commissioner Ron Weaner of Biglerville, Adams County, served up another new concept in the crossbow controversy. Weaner announced that he would propose at the July 8-9 meeting to restrict statewide crossbow use in the archery deer season to the first two weeks. Weaner's concept would also retain provisions for crossbow permits in urban deer zones, allow crossbows for deer in the fall and winter muzzleloader seasons (but only for hunters who possessed a muzzleloader license), and prohibit crossbows during the bear archery season.
"My reasoning is that this is a compromise," Weaner said, later. "To anyone who bought a crossbow after the April vote, thinking they could hunt with it, it would be grossly unfair to eliminate crossbows completely. If my proposal is passed [crossbow hunters] can hunt deer any time except the last four weeks of archery deer. It's a reasoned approach and I've gotten a lot of feedback saying it's a workable compromise."
There are indications that Weaner's idea has sufficient support for adoption, especially as the eight-year terms of Commissioners Palone and Schleiden, the two strongest crossbow proponents, expired after the April meeting (Robert Schlemmer, the governor's nominee to replace Palone, hasn't been confirmed by the state Senate; David Putnam, Schleiden's replacement, was confirmed May 5).
Even if Weaner's latest serve scores a point, it is not clear if it can take effect before the 2009 archery seasons, which begin in September. The proposal will require a final vote at some point and the agency needs months to publish hunting regulations in its annual Digest, furnished to hunters.
"Whether or not it could happen for this season, I don't know," Weaner said. "There are a lot of practical problems that staff in the agency would have to deal with before that time."
Weaner doesn't accept Schleiden's dismissal of the biological impact on the whitetail resource.
"I hated to just throw the crossbow thing wide open not knowing the possible impact," he said. "In my understanding, in the past, when the commission would move into something new they would move slowly and get a handle on things and this didn't seem to be happening that way."
According to Weaner, though, there is no ill will among commissioners.
"I believe this has been a case of philosophical differences among the board. Some people just feel that everybody ought to have a chance to hunt in all the seasons, regardless of their commitment or preparation. I respect that but I don't agree with it."
 
The back-and-forth rule making isn't over as the Game Commission prepares for another vote.
 

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#1

17 Replies Related Threads

    bingsbaits
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    RE: another crossbow article 2009/05/26 13:10:54 (permalink)
    They should call this the "Never Ending Story"..
     
    Sure makes us hunters here in Pa look like a bunch of idiots..
     
    This whole thing has been a fiasco from the start....
     
    To here some of these fellas(crossbow purchasers) talk , you are taking away their firstborn by even suggesting a shorter season...
     
    I have said and supported a shorter season all along..I have been called ANTI-crossbow more times just for suggesting it..
     
    Only thing I was ANTI was Anti-Full Inclusion....
     

    "There is a pleasure in Angling that no one knows but the Angler himself". WB
     
     


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    dpms
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    RE: another crossbow article 2009/05/27 14:16:42 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: bingsbaits

    They should call this the "Never Ending Story"..

    Sure makes us hunters here in Pa look like a bunch of idiots..

    This whole thing has been a fiasco from the start....



     
    That it has.  With all of the press I have seen in various publications after January's vote it will be interesting to see what is printed if Weaner's proposal does in fact get preliminary then final.  The lag between the latest news and print deadlines surely complicates things. 
     
    The PCF's own newsletter in a national publication may be affected. When the readers get it in August the info may be incorrect. 

    My rifle is a black rifle
    #3
    S-10
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    RE: another crossbow article 2009/05/28 07:13:07 (permalink)
    That's what happens when a few people try to push through a proposal without thinking it through and against the the wishes of the majority. It's always easier to get it right the first time than to go back and try to make changes.
    #4
    gobyking
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    RE: another crossbow article 2009/05/29 20:36:09 (permalink)
    It should have never passed in the first place back in October. Money from crossbow manufacturers hopefully will someday be found to be linked with those two commissioners who voted yes even though they were leaving. But by then it will be too late to change anything.
     
    BTW the pro-crossbow guys are now fully behind this house bill that changes the definition of a bow so that crossbows can be included as archery equipment. I'm not saying it is or isn't(IT ISN'T) but what the hell do elected officials who are non-hunters know about the sport? Should we ask them now to bring back the heyday of 50 deer seen per day? Maybe they should set the seasons and bag limits, all because of a small yet very well backed minority who cried and stomped in their high heels all the way to a full 6 weeks. As of now, maybe
     
    My favorite quote I read somewhere:
     
    "Crossbows are for sissys. Compound are for average men. Stickbows are for hunters."
    #5
    dpms
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    RE: another crossbow article 2009/05/30 22:21:16 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: gobyking

    My favorite quote I read somewhere:

    "Crossbows are for sissys. Compound are for average men. Stickbows are for hunters."

     
    Who are rifles for? 

    My rifle is a black rifle
    #6
    bingsbaits
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    RE: another crossbow article 2009/05/31 07:41:13 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: dpms

    ORIGINAL: gobyking

    My favorite quote I read somewhere:

    "Crossbows are for sissys. Compound are for average men. Stickbows are for hunters."


    Who are rifles for? 

     
     
    The women and children..
    post edited by bingsbaits - 2009/05/31 07:42:49

    "There is a pleasure in Angling that no one knows but the Angler himself". WB
     
     


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    duncsdad
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    RE: another crossbow article 2009/05/31 07:48:32 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: bingsbaits

    ORIGINAL: dpms

    ORIGINAL: gobyking

    My favorite quote I read somewhere:

    "Crossbows are for sissys. Compound are for average men. Stickbows are for hunters."


    Who are rifles for? 



    The women and children..

     
    How about the MAJORITY of PA hunters?

    Duncsdad

    Everything I say can be fully substantiated by my own opinion
    #8
    gobyking
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    RE: another crossbow article 2009/05/31 12:17:00 (permalink)
    They aren't my words, I think they have a ring of truth to them though.
     
    I have no idea since 80-90% of hunters also rifle hunt so I would guess "the MAJORITY of PA hunters".
     
    Hey, Dunc. Take a look at your signature line, very similar classifications of shotgun hunters.
     
     
    DPMS, you go ahead and classify these:
     
    -Flinters
    -trappers
    -turkey hunters
    -pump action riflers
    -bolt action riflers
    -inliners
    -small gamers
    -waterfowlers
    -pro-crossbows muzzleloader hunters against inlines in the early October muzzleloader season
     
    I will say that the last one would be classified as a hypocrite by many, many people.
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    duncsdad
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    RE: another crossbow article 2009/05/31 12:24:00 (permalink)
    Yes, with the exception that none of those in my signature line are demeaning.

    Duncsdad

    Everything I say can be fully substantiated by my own opinion
    #10
    duncsdad
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    RE: another crossbow article 2009/05/31 12:35:45 (permalink)
    You state that 80 - 90% of archery hunters also rifle hunt.  That may be a little high, but I wasn't even referring to those that do both, I was referring to the 70% or so of PA hunters that only rifle hunt -- hence the majority label -- and I am sure they aren't all women and children.
     
    Yes, my signature line is similar, but it differs in that it is not demeaning to any group, other than perhaps the .410 and braggart thing, and that is not really demeaning when taken in context.  It was taken from a book called "Algonquin: The Story of a Great Birddog" and is in reference to hunting quail over pointing dogs.  Hence, those that did it with a .410 were considered to be just showing off -- especially in field trial competitions.
     
    Which brings up another quote -- "It ain't bragging if you can do it."  So its really kind of a backhanded compliment.

    Duncsdad

    Everything I say can be fully substantiated by my own opinion
    #11
    gobyking
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    RE: another crossbow article 2009/05/31 23:27:34 (permalink)
    How is anyone supposed to know where that quote came from? There is no reference that you put to it. And no, I don't think it is a backhanded compliment although you may interpret it that way.
     
    You sound like an old dude that uses a crossbow. Do you? I have no issues with someone disabled, injured, youth, or elderly using it. It is the perfectly healthy hunters who can use any other bow(compound, recurve, or longbow) that has been available for the past many decades to use in archery that have been pushing for crossbows under the ruse of disabled, injured, youth, and elderly so that they can use one. That is what I dislike immensely. They do not have my respect and don't have many archers respect as well. I'm sure you have some dislikes amongst hunting tactics or seasons. I don't think hound hunting in other states is really hunting either. But that doesn't happen here in PA, so those states must have their own hunters lobby to get it changed. Not my business.
    #12
    duncsdad
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    RE: another crossbow article 2009/06/01 07:06:21 (permalink)
    No, I don't hunt with a crossbow.  I hunt deer with a rifle -- like the majority of hunters in PA.
     
    And also, no, I don't have any dislikes among hunting tactics or seasons.  How others hunt is how others hunt -- I really don't care as long as they keep hunting.  Because as those numbers dwindle, so does the funding for the PGC.  And when that reaches a tipping point, they become a general fund taking agency.  Should that happen, you will see this crossbow interference thing by the legislature become the normal practice in ALL aspects of hunting.
     
    Yeah, I am an old dude.

    Duncsdad

    Everything I say can be fully substantiated by my own opinion
    #13
    dpms
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    RE: another crossbow article 2009/06/01 10:56:38 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: gobyking


    -pro-crossbows muzzleloader hunters against inlines in the early October muzzleloader season
     
    I will say that the last one would be classified as a hypocrite by many, many people.

     
    ???? I usually have a pretty good feel for what going on but did not realize that there is a significant number of pro-crossbow folks that want to remove inlines from the existing early muzzleloader season.  Care to elaborate on where this information came from? 

    My rifle is a black rifle
    #14
    SilverKype
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    RE: another crossbow article 2009/06/02 13:54:36 (permalink)
    Here's the minutes from April's meeting concerning Weaner's proposal.
     
     
    COMMISSIONER WEANER: I'd like to introduce an
    12 item of new business here. I would like our staff to try to
    13 put together a proposal for our next meeting to address some
    14 things that I'm interested in seeing changed in the
    15 continuing controversy that we have with crossbows.
    16 And I don't know whether this can take effect
    17 yet in the upcoming season or whether it would have to
    18 happen in the season after, but I would like to plow ahead
    19 with this proposal and see if it would gain traction amongst
    20 other members of our board here as soon as possible.
    21 I have a four-part plan that I'd like to present
    22 and I'd like the State to develop whatever regulations would
    23 be necessary to implement this so that at the committee
    24 meeting we could study it and hash out the details.
    25 But first of all I'd like to see the crossbow 64
    0064
    1 permit system continue as it had back in 2008. I would like
    2 to see the archery bear season be just like it was in 2008,
    3 meaning that crossbows would not be permitted unless you had
    4 the handicap permit. I would like to see a general crossbow
    5 season for deer to run the first two weeks of the regular
    6 archery season, twelve days, two weeks and two Saturdays,
    7 and for that the archery license would be required.
    8 And I would like to see that if a crossbow
    9 hunter would like to hunt in muzzle loader season or the
    10 late season if they would buy a muzzle loader license just
    11 like they did in 2008.
    12 Those are the four tenets of the plan that I'm
    13 putting forth and I'm recommending that -- or I would like
    14 to see our staff develop information to bring to the
    15 committee meeting as early as possible.
    16 PRESIDENT ISABELLA: Commissioner, do you have
    17 your four-part plan written out?
    18 COMMISSIONER WEANER: I do.
    19 PRESIDENT ISABELLA: May I make a suggestion?
    20 Would you give a copy to the bureau directors of the
    21 respective bureaus or give it to Carl and Carl will
    22 disseminate it to the bureau directors.
    23 COMMISSIONER WEANER: I will do that.
    24 PRESIDENT ISABELLA: Any other new business?
    25 Commissioner Schleiden. 65
    0065
    1 COMMISSIONER SCHLEIDEN: I would comment on that
    2 proposal. Some time ago the board had reminded the
    3 commissioners that if they have a specific proposal that
    4 they would like to make, even though they had staff work on
    5 it and put it together, that in fact they can place that on
    6 the agenda as a commissioner and does not necessarily have
    7 to go with the president and the executive director.
    8 So I would recommend that you put that
    9 together. That's the way you probably should introduce it
    10 on the agenda. Just a recommendation. I'm not going to be
    11 here.
    12 PRESIDENT ISABELLA: Any other new business? Do
    13 I hear a motion to adjourn?
    14 COMMISSIONER DELANEY: I'll make that motion.
    15 PRESIDENT ISABELLA: Motion. Second?
    16 COMMISSIONER WEANER: Second.
    17 PRESIDENT ISABELLA: The meeting is adjourned.
    18 (Whereupon, the meeting was adjourned at 10:17
    19 a.m.)
    20
    21
    22

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    dpms
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    RE: another crossbow article 2009/06/02 15:27:17 (permalink)
    The meeting with the various bureaus will surely be interesting.  Would like to be a fly on the wall for that one.

    My rifle is a black rifle
    #16
    S-10
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    RE: another crossbow article 2009/06/30 10:30:39 (permalink)
    It's all about the money:
    Check out the full page color ads from the crossbow manufactures in the Pa. Hunting and Trapping Digest.-- Must be Payback time


    Liberty Press serves as publisher and handles all advertising accounts for the digest. Ad rates range from more than $10,000 for a full-color page to around $500 for a classified box ad. Promotional advertising does not constitute endorsement by the Game Commission or Liberty Press.
    #17
    dpms
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    RE: another crossbow article 2009/06/30 12:28:07 (permalink)
    I noticed that as well S-10.  Some big time money being spent since January.

    My rifle is a black rifle
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