I would like to propose a change to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code, SECTION 43.201. (ARCHERY STAMP REQUIRED) Subsection a. specifically change ''only crossbows used by hunters with upper limb disabilities'' to crossbows.
I am proposing this change for the following reasons:
1. By definition a crossbow is still a bow. Webster’s dictionary defines a bow as, “A weapon for shooting arrows, made from a flexible strip of wood ect., strung from end to end with a cord.” The projectile a hunting crossbow fires is an arrow,” a straight slender shaft with feathers or vanes at one end with a pointed head at the other”. The modern hunting crossbow delivers approximately the same ballistic performance with a 500-grain arrow/broadhead combination as a 65-70 pound compound bow.
2. Crossbows have proven to be a good recruitment tool for bringing youth and women into hunting. They are also an excellent way to enable older hunters to remain in the field bow hunting for many years. In Wisconsin for the 2000 archery season they sold 5976 licenses to hunters over 65. In 2003 with a newly enacted law (Yr 2000) allowing hunters over 65 to use a crossbow 7254 tags were sold and in 2004 8848 tags were sold. After being included in the entire archery season for twenty-six years in the state of Ohio and thirty years in Arkansas, crossbow hunters the presence of crossbows has not impacted the numbers of deer harvested nor have they kept any other hunters from harvesting any animals. The type of weapon has no bearing on whether a hunter harvests an animal, only the skill level of firing the chosen weapon to ensure a clean humane kill and the woodcraft applied to hunting it.
3. The learning curve is about the same for either weapon. Although fired from the shoulder the crossbow's recoil is forward and not to the rear like a firearm and the front of the weapon is exponentially heavier than any rifle on the market. . Like the vertical bow, the crossbow launches an arrow by a forward movement of limbs and string. The limbs (draw-weight) on a crossbow must be heavier because the power stroke is so much shorter than that of a modern compound bow.
4. With all of the technology currently applied to compound bows the crossbow is at a disadvantage. A compound bow does not need to be held at full or half draw due to products like the PABTS, produced by Pullin Archery Products, which holds the string and arrow at full draw and falls away when released. Compound bows can be fitted with scopes, fall away rests, trigger type releases, and silencers. The crossbow trigger mechanism is holding over 150 pounds of pull and requires a significant amount of pull on trigger, unlike either firearms of compound bows. Additionally the crossbow is significantly louder than any other bow.
5. Crossbows have been described as “being more like a rifle than a hand-held bow”. While crossbows are indeed, aimed like a rifle, they lack the noise, flash, odor, recoil, range, accuracy and kinetic energy of a hunting rifle.
6. The crossbow hunting opportunity has proven to greatly enhance management programs in urban/suburban areas (where firearms use is restricted or illegal) with high deer herd concentrations.
7. After being included in the entire archery season for twenty-six years in the state of Ohio and thirty years in Arkansas, crossbow hunters have proven to be just as safe and ethical as vertical bow hunters.
8. Like any other shooting skill, using a crossbow safely and accurately will require a combination of old and well-learned knowledge, as well as new information specific to the weapon.
9. Most crossbow safety is obvious and relates to common sense issues taught during a fundamental hunter education training session.
10. Through license fees and the retail sales of crossbows, their accessories, related products (tree stands, camouflaged clothing, scents, arrows, broad heads, etc.) and hunting recreational travel expenditures incurred, this increased hunting opportunity offers positive financial impact for the state.