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Maryland Proposes Spear Hunting Ban, Big Game Air Gun Hunting Restrictions

Facebook/Take Down Outdoors

Spear hunting would be banned in Maryland under proposed regulations.

Spear hunting has been relatively unknown in recent years until the recent angry aftermath of Ohio bowhunter Josh Bowmar's bear spear hunting video that went viral. And now, some states are beginning to see the effects of that incident in proposed regulations. Maryland is among the first of them to do so.

The Associated Press reports the Maryland Department of Natural Resources are introducing a proposal that would effectively ban spear hunting in the Old Line State. The negative publicity of the Bowmar incident made world-wide headlines and cost Bowmar and his wife an endorsement with Under Armour.

Public comment on the issue will be accepted through October 17, but the proposal is to add specific language that only weapons listed in the regulations can legally be used to take black bear and deer.

In addition to spear hunting, the proposal looks to address other new weapons issues. Many states are dealing with new types of weapons that are only just now beginning to be used to hunt big game.

One of these weapons is the airbow which is only recently taking the hunting world by storm. Much like the crossbow, opinions are divided on the weapons that use compressed air to send an arrow into flight.

There were talks of classifying airbows as airguns back in July when proposals were first made to legalize the weapon for use on Maryland big game.

In a similar situation to airbows, big-bore air rifles are now also starting to be noticed by hunters and state lawmakers. The Associated Press is reporting one of the proposals by the Maryland DNR is to restrict deer hunting with these high-powered air rifles to the firearms season only.

Hunters would not be allowed to use air guns for deer during muzzleloader seasons.

It hasn't been specified as of yet if airbows would be classified as air guns, but if that turns out to be the case and airguns are limited to firearm season, it would seem airbows would only be legal during firearms season too.

For now, it seems Maryland hunters will just have to wait and see what is decided before taking a new form of weaponry afield this season.

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Maryland Proposes Spear Hunting Ban, Big Game Air Gun Hunting Restrictions