Thanks to a new budgetary agreement, New York crossbow hunting will now be allowed.
The Wall Street Journal reported on the chance, which includes specific language in the budget that creates a crossbow hunting season in New York, for use on any small game and for big game that already has a firearm season, including turkeys.
The biggest shift, and the part that will put a smile on New York crossbow hunters’ faces, is that the state will allow crossbow use in the last 14 days of the Southern Zone archery deer and bear season and the final 10 days of the Northern Zone archery deer and bear seasons.
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However, Westchester and Suffolk counties will be excluded from crossbow use.
Also notably, the setback distance (the minimum distance from a dwelling that a shot from a bow, crossbow or firearm can be taken without the owner’s permission) will move from 500 feet to 150 feet for archers and 250 feet for crossbow hunters.
That particular change is seen as a victory by the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation, which has been looking for ways to cull the deer herds that have made their way into urban areas.
Crossbows are noted as a good way for hunters to get into archery, especially those female, disabled and older hunters who may lack the upper body strength to become skilled with a regular hunting bow.
Will you be crossbow hunting in New York this year?