Questions answered about use of crossbow

I hate to say it, but now that the 4th of July is over, we are on the back side of summertime.

Before you know it, bow season will be upon us. New for the 2014 hunting season will be the legal use of crossbows. Here are some answers to questions that have been raised about the use of crossbows.

As per the recently signed law that went into effect back in April, the use of crossbows during the regular archery season will only be allowed during the last 10 days of the northern zone early-archery season and the last 14 days of the southern zone early-archery season. There will not be a special crossbow license. When the crossbow is used will determine which license and privilege are needed.

Deer taken by crossbow during a season when firearms are allowed may only be tagged with a valid regular-season tag, Deer Management Permit (DMP) Deer Management Assistance Permit (DMAP) or a Bow/MZ tag (if the deer is taken during a muzzleloader season). In other words, you may use the same tags as if the deer was taken with a legal firearm.

Note, hunters must possess a muzzleloader hunting privilege to legally hunt with a crossbow during early archery seasons, which would include during the last 14 days of the early bow-hunting season in the southern zone and during the last 10 days of the early bow-hunting season in the northern zone, which includes the seven-day early muzzleloader season in the northern zone.

Deer taken by crossbow during an open portion of the bow-hunting season, as specified above, may only be tagged with a Bow/MZ tag, Deer Management Permit (DMP) or DMAP tag. In other words, you may use the same tags as if the deer was taken with a legal muzzleloader.

Anyone hunting with a crossbow must have completed a Standard Hunter Education course offered by the DEC on, or after, April 14, or a reviewed DEC approved crossbow safety information session, which is available online, or in the annual hunting guide, including the completed self-certification form of compliance. Written confirmation of either certification must be carried when going afield with a crossbow.

Note that crossbows will be legal hunting gear for taking small game mammals, wild turkey and upland game birds. The public is invited to submit comments by email to the DEC by writing

You can also submit letters by mail by addressing them to Bryan L. Swift NYSDEC, Bureau of Wildlife, 624 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754.

Thanks go out to Janine Greene, Paul McKeown, Steve Alstadt and Zen Olow for providing this information .

The AMARA-CAN team walleye tournament is coming to Dunkirk on July 12-13. Sign up will be on Friday July 11 in the Chadwick Bay Marina area. More details will be coming next week.


Upcoming Lake Erie fishing tournaments include: The AMARA-CAN Walleye Classic, which will be held in Dunkirk on July 12-13. Sign up is available on July 11. For more information, call 875-8148.

The Sunset Bay Shoot Out Big Fish Friday is July 25 and the main event is Saturday, July 26. This event is sold out. For details, contact

The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club Walleye Derby is a three-day event that is also sold out. The event is Aug. 1-3. Contact information is available by calling 640-2776.

The Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club will host 3-D archery shoots on July 13, Aug. 24 and Sept. 14. They will also host a 200-yard gun shoot on Sept. 21.

New members are welcome and the club’s monthly meetings are on the first Sunday of the month at 4 p.m. They start the meeting off with a hot meal, so come hungry.

The Lakeshore Longbeards, our local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, will be holding a meeting on Tuesday, July 8 at 7 p.m., at Liberty Vineyards, which is located on Route 20, in Sheridan. The agenda will focus on the Youth Day event called JAKES Day, which will be held on Saturday, July 19 at the Westfield Fish & Game Club located on Ogden Road in Westfield. The meeting is open to the public.

During JAKES Day, sign-in starts at 9 a.m., and the groups will visit various learning stations located at the Westfield Fish & Game Club.

Youngsters must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and there is a $10 fee, which will cover their membership in the NWTF, the cost of a T-shirt, lunch for the kids and guardians, as well as turkey box calls and other goodies. To sign up, call Bob or Judi Turk at 934-4538.

Even though same-day sign-in is available, you are encouraged to pre-register. The Longbeards are also looking for volunteers to dispense food and help with general assistance.

There will be a two-day gun safety course at the Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club on July 10-11 from 5-10 p.m. You must register on the DEC website to attend this course.

There will be a Pistol Course on Aug. 16 at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Note that the price for attending these courses is now set by the county and is now $75. Pre-register for the course by calling Gary at 366-3397

If your club is hosting a shooting event, or training course (turkey shoot, etc.), drop a line and I will be glad to place an announcement in the calendar. I also am available to take photos and hear your success stories by calling 366-1772 or 467-2079.

Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to