The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board has proposed expanding crossbow hunting in time for its fall archery season.
The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board has plans to expand crossbow hunting to make for easier and more accurate hunts during its fall archery season.
Currently only physically disabled hunters are permitted to go crossbow hunting during the Green Mountain State’s archery season, where most of the hunters must use the traditional vertical bow.
Officials hope the proposed change will give aging hunters more opportunities for hunting and will encourage others, who can’t use the vertical bow, to go crossbow hunting. About 6,000 of the 20,000 hunters who participate in Vermont’s archery season use crossbows, and the numbers are growing.
Rick Sanborn, the owner of R&L Archery in Barre, spoke about crossbow hunting, “We have an aging population of hunters. I’m a part of it. We’re the Baby Boom Generation, and we’re starting to fall apart. Every year there’s more people who qualify.”
The Fish and Wildlife Board wants the proposed changes to be implemented in time for the upcoming fall archery season. These regulation changes must first be approved by Legislature, according to Mark Scott, wildlife director for the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife. Scott told reporters many other states already have similar regulations in place, adding, “The plus with crossbows … is that people can become more proficient using the implement with a lot less practice than with a traditional bow. The reality is that’s probably not a bad thing.”
Opposed to the potential change is, Arick Miller of Barre, who hunts every fall. Miller had this to say about crossbows, “Why not learn the bow and do it traditionally? I was brought up on this thing. I’ll never pick up one of those (crossbows) unless I’m disabled.”
The Board must approve the proposal three times before it can take effect, the first approval went through last month. Hearings will be held in March, and those interested in joining the conversation can do so via the Fish and Wildlife website.