Last week Maine Governor Janet Mills expanded hunting opportunities in her state by signing into law Legislative Document 27 (LD 27), "An Act to Allow the Use of a Crossbow for a Limited Duration during the Archery Season on Deer and the Fall Season on Wild Turkey." Sponsored by Rep. Tim Theriault (R-79), the bill expands crossbow hunting opportunities during the archery seasons for three years beginning in 2020.
The CSF post continued, “Crossbows have been shown to appeal to hunters who may lapse in consistent participation, thereby encouraging more regular license sales, which will serve to bolster conservation funding for the state through the American System of Conservation Funding.”
Crossbows also can be more appealing to some novice hunters who have had no previous exposure to hunting. For example, at the Quality Deer Management Association’s (QDMA) Field to Fork program in Athens, Ga., program facilitators found that some of the new adult deer hunters being recruited and mentored were not familiar with firearms and had concerns about using them afield. These same people, though, were very interested in harvesting and eating fresh, organic venison.
The solution? Crossbows, which the newbie hunters quickly learned to use proficiently. This particular Field to Fork program, a cooperative venture by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Georgia Wildlife Federation, National Wild Turkey Federation and the QDMA, has introduced over two dozen new people to deer hunting in just a few years.
When I was interviewing him, Forester mentioned the crossbows they used and how more than half of the newbies later bought rifles to continue their deer hunting. The crossbows eased them into hunting as some were not comfortable starting off with firearms, no doubt from having been “educated” about guns via the mainstream media. (For more information, Hank Forester can be reached at email@example.com.)
About the Author: Brian McCombie is a field editor and editorial contributor for the NRA's American Hunter. He writes about firearms and gear for the NRA's Shooting Illustrated website, as well handling public relations and marketing for companies and manufacturers in the shooting sports industry. He is a member of the National Rifle Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Brian likes hunting hogs, shooting 1911s chambered in 10 mm and .45 ACP, watching the Chicago Bears and relaxing with Squinchy, the orange tabby cat.