Gassett Plans to Suspend 2005 Crossbow Season Expansion

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Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources Interim Commissioner Dr. Jon Gassett will inform the Fish and Wildlife Commission at its quarterly meeting Friday that the March decision to expand the 2005 crossbow season will be temporarily set aside.

“We want additional time to further explore the social implications of lengthening the season parameters during which hunters may use crossbows to take deer and wild turkey,” said Gassett. “In accordance with the regulatory process, I plan to remove language from the proposed regulation that expands the crossbow season for the 2005 season.

“We want to use this year to gather additional data and take a closer look at the user side of the issue,” he said.

The nine-member Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission voted at its March quarterly meeting to allow hunters desiring to take deer and wild turkey with a crossbow to do so throughout the archery season.

“A number of sportsmen and women questioned the proposed regulation as to whether allowing persons to use crossbows throughout the entire season might be too aggressive and might result in user conflict,” said Gassett. “Public input is an important part of this process.

“This Commission’s long-practiced philosophy has been to provide and increase recreational opportunity for hunters and anglers whenever the resource can sustain it,” said Gassett. “We have clear data that indicate allowing crossbow hunters to hunt throughout the archery season poses no biological threat to our white-tailed deer or wild turkeys. This is a social issue about shared use.”

The Commission meeting begins at 8 a.m. Friday at the KDFWR offices in Frankfort.