Pennsylvania GC Votes to Restrict Use of Crossbows

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The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners, by a vote of 4-3, gave preliminary approval to regulatory changes that would, if approved at a subsequent meeting and published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, restrict the use of crossbows for the upcoming fall hunting seasons.

Those voting 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 against the proposal were Game Commissioners Greg Isabella, David Putnam and Robert Schlemmer. There currently is one vacancy on the eight-member Board.

Under the proposal given preliminary approval, any archery license-holding hunter could use a crossbow during the first two weeks of the statewide early archery deer season (Oct. 3-16); only disabled hunters with a permit to use a crossbow could use them for the remainder of the early archery season, as well as all of the late archery season. Crossbows would continue to be legal for all deer seasons, including the early and late archery seasons, in WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D. Only those with a disabled person permit to use a crossbow could use a crossbow during the two-day archery bear season. Lastly, crossbows could be used by any muzzleloader license-holding hunter in both the October antlerless muzzleloader season (Oct. 17-24) and the late flintlock muzzleloader season (Dec. 26-Jan. 9).

The Pennsylvania Bulletin is the Commonwealth's official gazette for information and rulemaking by various branches of government and state agencies, including the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Under the Commonwealth's Documents Law, any proposed change in regulations must be given preliminary approval by the Board of Game Commissioners at a public meeting. Following its preliminary approval, the proposed rule-making must be reviewed by the state Office of Attorney General and published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin to allow for public comment. After considering public comment, the Board is permitted to take final action on the proposal at a subsequent public meeting, after which it must again be reviewed by the Office of Attorney General and published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin before taking effect.