Pennsylvania To Allow Crossbows During Bowhunting Season

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today gave final approval to expand the lawful use of crossbows to include both the archery deer and bear seasons for the 2009-10 seasons.  The Board amended the proposal by including a sunset date for the expanded crossbow use that will require a future Board to vote on the measure again before June 30, 2012.

Under the new regulation, a crossbow must have a peak drawn weight of at least 125 pounds, and a bolt must be equipped with a broadhead that has an outside diameter or width of at least 7/8 inches with at least two cutting edges on the same plane throughout the length of the cutting surface, and shall not exceed three inches in length.

Also, before giving the measure final approval, the Board adopted an amendment to prohibit the use of magnifying scopes for archery equipment and crossbows during the archery bear and deer seasons.  The use of non-magnifying scopes – such as those that provide a red dot for sighting purposes – will continue to be legal.

The proposal given approval also would remove the lawful use of crossbows during the October muzzleloader or late flintlock muzzleloader season. Other changes made by the proposal simplify and make the language of the regulations easier to understand.


  1. Justin Zarr says:

    I know a lot of people look down upon the use of crossbows during the regular archery season, but I've never quite understood why. It's not the weapon people use that causes inbalances of deer herds, hunting accidents, or unethical shots – its the decisions of the hunters themselves. This is where the real focus should be – on educating and training hunters to be more responsible in the amount and type of game that they harvest. But anything that gets more people involved in the sport of hunting, and bowhunting in particular, is okay with me. We need as much support as we can get.

  2. bird man says:

    I feel a bit different about the matter, its about putting in the time and getting a result, a positive one! Our society is lazy and wants the easyest way to a results! The disapline you need fades and we are left with a generation of "I want it now people"! I practice, put in my time and all good archers know the skill level it takes to harvest "mature" white tails! I guess it will be great sales for Wall Mart! The Pa Game commission will take any ones money for another fee in is desprite attempt to repair the damage it has done with the sportsman and woman of pa! We will kill more and wounder why we have no deer as we cointune to beat the deer herd to the ground till we are forced to hunt ground hogs for big game! The people that are limited in abilities I'm all for them and cross bows but i will not trade lazyness for my hard work and time I know it take to hunt, be a hunter and hunt fare! I will not use the tag line "we need support" to hook people to the sport by handing them a crossbow out of the package and send them stomping threw the woods! Start with a kid and a bb gun, thats what will hook them, not a cross bow and a fake reason for it! I don't like them, never have and untill they can put the time as I do at the range then i think we will be handing over another cookie to the monster, the machine and the society owed your dreams and your hard work! what ever happen to hard work pays off!!!!!!

  3. Justin Zarr says:

    I think it's rather unfair to label all crossbow hunters, or hunters not hunting with a traditional bow for that matter, as "lazy". When it comes to harvesting mature whitetails on a consistant basis there are no shortcuts no matter what weapon you choose to use. Being a successful hunter is much more reliant on your skills as a HUNTER than as a SHOOTER. In the same light, it's unfair to say that everyone who uses a crossbow just picked one up at Wal-Mart, unpackaged it, and went into the woods that afternoon.

    For the life of me I will never understand why anyone who hunts would choose to argue against a legal and ethical means of harvesting an animal, effectively trying to deprive someone the same enjoyment and satisfaction that they themselves take from hunting. Just because it's not the same way you choose to hunt doesn't make it wrong.

    And if you have a problem with the way the game comission is managing the herd in your state, that's a completely separate problem. That problem runs much deeper than what type of weapon you're using to hunt with.

  4. bird man says:

    I value hard work and tradition to the point i want to work for what i got! I have and always will put in time for what ever result I am given by the higher powers! I come from a hunting communty at seem to not even be able to understand tracking deer these days, if it doesn't fall down when you shoot then you missed it! My views are strong from my experience, not from yours or any other person in this world! I love hunting and I harvest for the meat and the nature with in me! I'm not a sport hunter but I do reconize letting animals grow and mature! I will use the word LAZY again to keep your attention! People are lazy, lets not sugar coat it and go hand in hand down the yellow brick road! With the way things are these days we need a kick in the pants sometimes not a hand out which we have come to expect, we become more lazy! If your a hard working person that gives back more then you take my hats off to u brother, but if ur sitting on ur butt waiting for the govt check to come your the person I'm talking about! I'm off my point now but i had to get that out! Example Its like pulling up to race with a mustang 5.0 and ur in a vw bug! When I loose I will want what you have so I can win! I want a mustange, faster, more powerful and better out of the hole! I don't want to loose my brother bow hunters to the "lazy bow" I have problem with the Game Commission, their the ones that let this beast out of the bag! Do it on there land not mine if they want it! I have to deal with something on my own property that I don't want! The same guy that will head to wall mart will be in my treestand beside me! What is ethical to you may not be to me so take easy street if you wish but I know what i'm up against and I take on the extra chalanges! The point is we will loose hunters and there skill by making it a little bit easyer, hunting is hunting and it is always tuff, but the deer hardly stand a chance! I love my guns but if I had a choice I would use my bow any day of the week! Thats my choice because that the levels the playing field between me and that animal! Thats my choice! If your a crossbow hunter thats your choice! I would much rather see a good hunter with better ethics hunting and the willingness to take the extra challanges once they have achieved a level of personal sucess! Then we are talking about a better sportsman! At the end of the day I have to ask myself what i want out of this, and i love the willingness to get up at 5 in the morning and stay till dark to get what I want! You sound like a good person but I just want to not loose any more brothers to easy street! Best of luck heading out to shed hunt! Its the machine is all around you!

  5. its funny that everyone against this says i believe in traditional or primitive hunting.Yet anyone who uses a compound bow they are not traditional nor primitive. a traditional bow would be re curve or long bow with no sights what so ever. I know where i hunt there are many compound bowhunters who dont put the time in shooting everyday, and then go out and wound countless deer due to there lack of preparation. We wonder why the anti-hunting groups get things done.

  6. Crossbows aren't actually bows, i don't see a trigger on my mission bow so why does it belong in the archery seaon. Now i can understand if you do have a disablility and need to use a crossbow, fine, but if there is nothing wrong with you, then your just lazy and sad. I shoot my bow everyday and never have lost a deer or anything to that matter, I travel the country hunting and never once had that problem, so on that note, watch what you say, you could start a war!!!!

  7. bird man says:

    I love to hear you people justify your lack of effort in being an even better sports man then just a sportsman! I think you will see the trend start where you get poor sportman out there that should not even be out there and would not be out there if it wasent for something that takes less effort then the next guy in a tree! Fine you want a crossbow season you got one, but mark my word don't compare my effort to your when your holding your buck up please! I hunt year round and I find more animals dead from gun season then any! Do I look down on gun hunters no, I look down on poor sportman that shoot at everything brown, don't make an effort to complete there efforts in pulling the triger! Weather its a bow or gun educate yourself and please don't get into this crossbow "lazymans" effort! The State of PA is going down hill in is funding, its support and its values! If all of these thing were in place we would not be having this conversation! The Game Commission need a few more dollors of the sportsman of Pa and they keep adding more seasons to beat the deer numbers to the ground with your own money and efforts! We need to crack down on piss poor people that are weekend killers and find a place for them in front of the TV and video games! I got a great idea go crow hunting! You will see the break down of the archery hunter (crossbow or Long bow) when this deamon is unleased into the privite land owners back yard! Thanks for the mutiflora rose bush pa game commision and thanks for the lazybow! Over and out!


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