Crossbows Allowed for 2011-12 Season in New York

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New York's DEC passed new legislation affecting the upcoming hunting season. Big game hunters will be able to use crossbows. Those hunting deer and bear can use the crossbows in the early bear season, regular firearm season, and all late muzzle-loading seasons.

Licenses go on sale today throughout the state. Some licenses will be good from October 1- Sept. 30, 2012. For deer management permits, also known as doe tags, applications will be taken starting today until October 1. There is a 10% increase in the deer management permits. They are given out at random selection. Youth hunters can now get a junior bow-hunting license at 12 instead of 14.

Those who purchase early might not be able to get a guidebook at the same time due to late publication, but can go back later and get one, or find all the regulations online at the DEC website. To get a license one must have proof of a hunter education certificate or a previous license. From


groovy mike's picture

you are right about the confusion - it makes no sense

Thanks for posting the dates for applying for doe tags (antlerless permits) – I might have missed the deadline if you hadn’t reminded me. I need to make sure that my son who has a lifetime license also gets in to a retail license sales agent before October first so that he can apply for a doe tag ttoo. As for allowing crossbows in New York state - this is one of those good news and bad news things. It is good news that New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will allow the use of crossbows for hunting. I'm all for allowing hunters to take deer and bear with a crossbow, but the idea that a crossbow is unacceptable for use during the regular archery season seems ludicrous to me. I hope that this is some sort of transition to ease crossbows into use in the archery season in future years. This seems to be treating crossbows more as firearms than as bows, and that just seems silly. I am eager to try crossbow hunting, but I am NOT willing to sacrifice any rifle hunting time in trade for time afield hunting with a crossbow. In fact, the ONLY application I see for using a crossbow during the regular or muzzle loading season is if you find yourself hunting in areas in close proximity to homes where the noise of a shotgun or rifle being fired would be unwelcome. It seems like good news to me that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has increased the number of antlerless permits issued too. Thanks for the links and information to keep us posted on this developing issue.

hunter25's picture

I was a little confused at

I was a little confused at first as I thought that crossbows were going to be allowed in the archery season but after reading this I don't think that is true. It just appears that they were not allowed at all before and now you have a chance to use them in the rifle or muzzle loader season if you want to give it a try. I have never even shot one before but would like to check one out, my ex father in law has one now as he has gotten a disability permit to use one in archery season here in Colorado. I think something like being used in the muzzle season is the best option myself as it does not quite qualify as true archery gear in my opinion. Maybe if I shot one some I might change my mind as I don't really kow the true potential of the weapon.