NY Crossbow Regulation Summary

Created by Jeff Brown 13 Jun 2014 @ 11:45
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Although the New York Department of Environmental Conservation is still drafting the final regulations concerning crossbow use for hunting this fall, they recently released a summary of regulations. Check them out here:

• Crossbows may not be used in any season until DEC has adopted regulations specifying how and when they may be used. Crossbows may be used to take unprotected wildlife at any time.

• Crossbows may be used only by licensees who are 14 years of age or older.

• Without landowner permission, crossbows may not be discharged within 250 feet of any home, school building or playground, public structure, farm structure in use, or occupied factory or church.

• A crossbow may not be possessed in or on a motor vehicle unless it is un-cocked.

• While on lands inhabited by deer or bear, and in or on a motor vehicle using artificial lights, a crossbow may not be possessed unless it is unstrung or taken down or securely fastened in a case or locked in the trunk of the vehicle.

• The new law essentially treats crossbows as a muzzleloader. Hunters must possess a muzzleloader hunting privilege to legally hunt with a crossbow during any muzzleloader season OR during open portions of the early bowhunting seasons. Muzzleloader privilege is not required when hunting with a crossbow during the early bear season or the regular firearms seasons.

• Crossbows may be used to take bear during the early bear season, early muzzleloader season in the Northern Zone, regular firearms seasons in the Northern and Southern Zones, and the late muzzleloader season in the Southern Zone.

• Crossbows may be used to take deer during early and late muzzleloader season in the Northern Zone and late muzzleloader season in the Southern Zone using Bow/Muzz tags, DMPs, DMAP tags, or an unfilled Regular Big Game tag (late season only); regular firearms seasons using a Regular Big Game tag, DMPs, or DMAP tags.

• Crossbows may also be used to take deer or bear during limited portions of bowhunting seasons as follows, provided that the hunter possesses the muzzleloading privilege: During the last 14 days of the early bowhunting season in the Southern Zone (i.e., November 1 - November 14, 2014); during the last 10 days of the early bowhunting season in the Northern Zone (i.e., Oct. 15-24; this includes the seven-day early muzzleloader season in the Northern Zone).

• Junior big game hunters (age 14-15) may not use a crossbow to take a deer during the Youth Deer Hunt weekend (Oct. 11-13). Adult mentors who accompany a junior big game hunter on the Youth Deer Hunt weekend may not possess a crossbow (or firearm) while afield on those days.

• DEC is aiming to adopt regulations allowing use of crossbows for hunting wild turkey by fall 2014 and all subsequent spring and fall seasons.  

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