This bill has been amended

Bill S6793A-2009

Authorizes the department of environmental conservation to promulgate standards authorizing hunting with a crossbow

Authorizes the department of environmental conservation to promulgate standards authorizing hunting with a crossbow.



  • Jun 2, 2010: PRINT NUMBER 6793A



PURPOSE: This bill would allow the Department of Environmental Conservation to promulgate standards to allow for a legalized crossbow hunting season.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 of the bill amends Subdivision 2 of section 3-0301 of the environmental conservation law by allowing DEC to create standards to allow for a legalized crossbow hunting season. As well as allowing the use of a crossbow on private property during any deer hunting season. This section also defines a crossbow as a bow and string that launches a minimum fourteen inch arrow, which is mounted upon a stock with a trigger that holds the string and limbs under tension until released. All crossbows must have a working safety. The minimum limb width is defined as seventeen inches, has a minimum peak draw weight of one hundred pounds, and a maximum draw weight of two hundred pounds. It further defines that the overall length of a crossbow from butt to the stock of the limbs must be twenty-four inches.

Section 2 of the bill amends subdivision 3 of section 11-0901 of the environmental conservation law to account for amendments made to section 11901 of the environmental conservation laws.

Section 3 of the bill amends subdivision 15 of section 11-0901 of the environmental conservation law, allowing the department to adopt regulations to allow the taking of big game or small game by use of a crossbow to any person with a disability. This section also defines "a person with a disability."

Section 4 of the bill states that the department may, by regulation, authorize the use of crossbows by any licensed person in any big game season in which the use of a firearm is permitted.

Section 5 sets forth the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION: Currently, hunting with a crossbow is not permitted in New York State except under very limited conditions relating to being Almost completely physically disabled. However, a person is permitted to hunt with a long- bow. In states including Georgia, Michigan, and Ohio that allow the use of crossbows, crossbows appear to be an important recruitment and retention tool for hunters. Many people start out hunting with crossbows and eventually switch to longbows or compound bows. Also, the sportsmen in these states have realized that the recruitment of additional hunters outweighs any differences over hunting tools.

The sportsmen's cause and the future of hunting is only enhanced by more people entering the ranks of active and participating sportsmen. Further, these states found that crossbow use has not resulted in a decrease in "bag limits," nor has poaching increased. As expected, where crossbow hunting is permitted, it has been documented as a

safe, responsible and popular means of hunting, and it has had no ill effect on wildlife resources or on any other group of sportsmen.

Crossbow seasons also create hunting opportunities for people with disabilities, and those that cannot use a longbow or compound how. Many people want to hunt with archery equipment, but simply are not able to physically maneuver a longbow or a compound bow - i.e. disabled persons, older persons or persons that lack the upper body muscle strength needed for longbows or compound bows. Crossbows can be used by all of these persons, affording them the opportunity they are now missing. Finally, the bill defines crossbow in accordance with the standards adopted by the American Crossbow Federation.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: S.1333/A.5011 Referred to Environmental Conservation 2005/2006; Referred to Environmental Conservation 2007-2008; S.22/A.8654 Referred to Environmental conservation

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Positive to the State, as there will be an increase in the number of licenses that are issued.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect October 1, 2010, provided that sections three and four of this act shall take effect February 1, 2011, and that any rules and regulations necessary for the implementation of this bill shall be promulgated before February 1, 2011.


STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6793--A IN SENATE February 8, 2010 ___________
Introduced by Sens. VALESKY, MAZIARZ, STACHOWSKI -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Environmental Conservation -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to authorizing persons to hunt with a crossbow and providing for the adoption of regulations by the department of environmental conserva- tion for such purpose; and to repeal certain provisions of such law relating thereto THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 2 of section 3-0301 of the environmental conservation law is amended by adding a new paragraph dd to read as follows: DD. ON OR BEFORE JUNE THIRTIETH, TWO THOUSAND ELEVEN PROMULGATE STAND- ARDS TO ALLOW FOR LEGALIZED CROSSBOW HUNTING THROUGHOUT THE STATE INCLUDING THE USE OF A CROSSBOW ON PRIVATE PROPERTY AS A LEGAL HUNTING IMPLEMENT DURING ANY DEER HUNTING SEASON. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS PARAGRAPH, THE TERM "CROSSBOW" SHALL MEAN A BOW AND STRING (EITHER COMPOUND OR RECURVE) THAT LAUNCHES A MINIMUM FOURTEEN INCH ARROW (NOT INCLUDING POINT), MOUNTED UPON A STOCK WITH A TRIGGER THAT HOLDS THE STRING AND LIMBS UNDER TENSION UNTIL RELEASED. THE TRIGGER UNIT MUST HAVE A WORKING SAFETY. THE MINIMUM LIMB WIDTH TO A CROSSBOW SHALL BE SEVENTEEN INCHES, HAVE A MINIMUM PEAK DRAW WEIGHT OF ONE HUNDRED POUNDS AND A MAXIMUM PEAK DRAW WEIGHT OF TWO HUNDRED POUNDS. THE MINIMUM OVER- ALL LENGTH OF A CROSSBOW FROM BUTT TO STOCK TO FRONT OF LIMBS SHALL BE TWENTY-FOUR INCHES. S 2. Paragraph g of subdivision 3 of section 11-0901 of the environ- mental conservation law, as amended by chapter 34 of the laws of 1979, is amended to read as follows: g. [Wildlife] EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN SUBDIVISIONS 15 AND 16 OF THIS SECTION, WILDLIFE shall not be taken by the use of a cross-bow, by a long bow drawn, pulled, released, or held in a drawn position by any
mechanical device attached to a portion of the bow other than the bowstring, or by the use of a device commonly called a spear gun. S 3. Subdivision 15 of section 11-0901 of the environmental conserva- tion law, as amended by chapter 81 of the laws of 1988, is amended to read as follows: 15. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of this section, the department may [issue a permit to take] ADOPT REGULATIONS TO ALLOW THE TAKING OF big game or small game by the use of a bow equipped with a mechanical device for holding and releasing the bowstring, attached to the handle section of an otherwise legal bow, OR BY THE USE OF A CROSS- BOW, to any person WITH A PHYSICAL DISABILITY who is [permanently] phys- ically incapable of drawing and holding a bow because of a physical [handicap or] disability, subject to such restrictions as the department may [deem necessary in the interest of public safety] ADOPT BY REGU- LATION. FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS SUBDIVISION, A PERSON WITH A PHYSICAL DISABILITY SHALL MEAN ANY PERSON WHO SUBMITS TO THE DEPARTMENT A STATE- MENT OF A PHYSICIAN DULY LICENSED TO PRACTICE MEDICINE THAT SUCH PERSON IS PHYSICALLY INCAPABLE OF ARM MOVEMENT SUFFICIENT TO RELEASE A BOW AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION 4 OF THIS SECTION OR AS OTHERWISE DEFINED IN DEPARTMENT REGULATION. S 4. Subdivision 16 of section 11-0901 of the environmental conserva- tion law is REPEALED and a new subdivision 16 is added to read as follows: 16. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY INCONSISTENT PROVISION OF THIS ARTICLE, THE DEPARTMENT MAY, BY REGULATION, AUTHORIZE THE USE OF CROSSBOWS BY ANY LICENSED PERSON IN ANY BIG GAME SEASON IN WHICH THE USE OF A FIREARM IS PERMITTED. S 5. This act shall take effect October 1, 2010; provided, that sections three and four of this act shall take effect February 1, 2011; and provided further, that any rules or regulations necessary for the timely implementation of the provisions of this act on its effective date shall be promulgated on or before February 1, 2011.


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