New York hunters can now use crossbows to hunt game animals.
The State Department of Environmental Conservation last week approved new rules to allow crossbows during the upcoming hunting season starting in October.
Under the new rules hunters must be age 14 or older to use a hunting crossbow and they must complete a safety training course. To be considered legal, crossbows must have a 14-inch bolt, a peak draw weight between 100-200 pounds, and must be 24 inches in length.
Hunters can use crossbows to take down both big and small game. The new rules prohibit shooting a crossbow from within 250 feet of churches, schools, playgrounds, farm structures or homes, unless private landowners give permission. Crossbows are also prohibited in Long Island and three suburban counties.
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The DEC drafted the rules after Gov. Andrew Cuomo decided in March to remove New York’s ban on crossbow hunting, according to the Democrat & Chronicle.
As New York legalizes crossbow hunting, other states, such as Wisconsin, have already taken steps to legalize the weapon. DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens said in a statement that crossbows hunting are part of a growing national trend.
“Crossbow hunting is growing across the country and the new law expands the opportunities for hunters to use crossbows when hunting in New York,” Martens said.