Pennsylvania GC Votes Down Crossbow Restrictions

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The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners voted down a proposal that would have placed restrictions on crossbow use for the 2009-10 seasons. The 4-4 tie vote is not sufficient to give the proposed rulemaking the final adoption needed, so the previously approved regulations governing the use of crossbows for the 2009-10 seasons - as outlined in the 2009-10 Digest - will remain in effect.

On July 9, by a vote of 4-3, the Board gave preliminary approval to regulatory changes to restrict the use of crossbows for the upcoming fall hunting seasons. Following the July 9th vote, the proposed rule-making was reviewed by the state Office of Attorney General and published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on Aug. 22.

Those voting today in favor of the proposal were Game Commissioner Ron Weaner, who requested that the proposal be placed on the July meeting agenda; as well as Game Commissioners Tom Boop, David Schreffler and Jay Delaney. Those voting today against the proposal were Game Commissioners Greg Isabella, David Putnam, Robert Schlemmer and Ralph Martone.

Based on today's action, crossbows may be used by hunters participating in the archery deer and archery bear seasons for the 2009-10 seasons, as well as turkey seasons and the two-week firearms deer seasons.

Under the regulations, a crossbow must have a minimum 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.

Hunters participating in the October muzzleloader antlerless deer season or late flintlock muzzleloader season are not permitted to use the crossbow in place of their muzzleloader. Hunters participating in the overlapping archery deer seasons may use a crossbow.

A sunset date for this expanded crossbow use will require a future Board to vote on the measure again before June 30, 2012.