And another xbow article
The future of crossbow is still up in the air
Buzz up!By Bob Frye, TRIBUNE-REVIEW OUTDOORS EDITOR
Monday, July 6, 2009
About the writer
Bob Frye covers the outdoors for the Tribune-Review. He can be reached via e-mail.
Pennsylvania's crossbow debate might finally come to an end this week. Or it might not.
Game commissioners are scheduled to vote Thursday on a proposal to limit crossbows to the first two weeks of the statewide archery season.
If it passes, the proposal would allow hunters to use a crossbow in the first two weeks of the archery deer season without first having to get a disabled permit.
That's more opportunity than crossbow hunters had a year ago but less than was granted them earlier this year. Commissioners voted in April to allow crossbows to be used in the full six-week archery season and in the two-day archery bear season.
Fans of crossbows labeled that an overdue victory, one that could lead to more hunters sticking with the sport and/or new ones giving it a try, while vertical bow users â€” led by the United Bowhunters of Pennsylvania â€” decried it as a defeat for scientific wildlife management.
The composition of the board has changed since that vote was taken, however. And that has prompted commissioner Ron Weaner to try to change the rules regarding crossbows again.
Agency staff have tried to distance themselves from the debate, noting in the agenda â€” at the point where they typically suggest approving or disapproving a proposal â€” that "this is a commissioner-directed agenda item."
There appears to be cause for some trepidation.
On the same day that commissioners are to vote on the crossbow proposal, members of the state House of Representatives' Game and Fisheries Committee will meet to consider several pieces of legislation, including House Bill 965. It would legally change the definition of a bow to include the crossbow.
According to some sources, lawmakers reportedly threatened months ago to legalize crossbows via legislation if commissioners didn't do it on their own. Some are said to be upset now â€” after hunters have purchased crossbows and other gear in anticipation of using them throughout fall â€” that commissioners might backtrack on their use.
House Bill 965 â€” if it made it through both the House and Senate and was signed by the governor â€” would define crossbows as bows and effectively take the matter out of commissioners' hands.
My rifle is a black rifle