Technology is flat out changing the way we hunt. Wyoming hunting laws may change to do something about it.
In a move that'll make the "don't call a crossbow a bow" crowd very happy, Wyoming is giving consideration to restricting crossbows to rifle season only. They cite the reason for change is due to current technologies available to hunters taking away from the sport's fair-chase element. However, this accounts for just a few of the laws the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission is considering changing. Specific scopes and specific trail cameras are also in the crosshairs.
"When it comes down to the balance between opportunity and fair chase, it becomes a public discussion," said Chief Game Warden Brian Nesvik in an interview with the Casper Star Tribune. "It's different in different states. In Wyoming, it's acceptable to use hounds to pursue lions. With some places that's not allowed, but hunters can use dogs to chase bears. In Wyoming, that's not acceptable. The public has a huge role in identifying what fair chase is."
As many hardened compound bow hunters say, crossbows are not bows, they're a hunting tool. Traditional recurve bow hunters say the same thing when their style of bow is passed up.
According to the article linked above, the other issues the state is taking up is the use of smart rifles that work in conjunction with their scope for extreme, long-range hunting. Hunters are now capable of taking 1000-yard shots with half the practice one would likely need to make such a shot with standard equipment. According to some, this really pushes the bounds of ethics and what hunting is about at its heart.
The other area the public will be discussing is the use of live-feed trail cameras. Hunters can get live coverage of their trail cams in the field with notifications of activity. Again, many feel this blurs the lines of fair chase.
Technology can be a great thing, but it can take away from the tradition of hunting. I for one am on the side of reducing some of these advantages. I would rather consider myself a hunter than a harvester any day.