New York appears to be getting closer to allowing crossbows during big game seasons. A two year season ended December 31st of 2012 but a new law is building momentum.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has unveiled 50 new outdoor projects for hunters, anglers, and other outdoor enthusiasts in the state. The purpose of the initiative is to increase access to 380,000 acres of state owned lands. “These projects will enrich the outdoor activity offerings, improve the quality of life in our communities, and position New York State as a recreation destination.” said Cuomo.
Many of the projects will make trails available to persons with disabilities for the first time and support the New York Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, which plans to boost tourism by improving recreational activities for in-state and nonresident sportsmen and sportswomen. This includes streamlining of hunting and fishing licensing, lower license fees, and improved access.
The initiative also includes proposing to limit the liability of landowners who allow recreational activities on their properties, which could open up vast, untapped resources for additional hunting, fishing and many other recreational pursuits. Most importantly to crossbow enthusiasts, proposing to allow crossbow hunting once again in New York State.
The law that allowed big game hunting with a crossbow for two years expired at the end of 2012. Crossbow hunters were not allowed to take big game with crossbows in 2013. As more states are allowing crossbow hunting, states are beginning to take notice.
As of early 2014, the crossbow proposal was placed in the state budget bill. Politically, this allows the bill to go around Representative Robert Sweeney, who serves as chair of the Environmental committee and has killed the crossbow bill in the past.
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens said, “For generations, New Yorkers and visitors to our state have enjoyed recreational activities in our spectacular forests and scenic trails, and on pristine lakes and rivers. Governor Cuomo’s commitment to expanding outdoor access and recreational opportunities builds on New York’s rich outdoor heritage and will be benefit hunters, anglers and people of all ages.”