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Armed Citizen
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PA is trying to get the crossbow too. Here is an article I posted over there in one of their forums.


Christian Berg | Outdoors
July 8, 2008

Pennsylvania lawmakers and the state Game Commission again are considering the legalization of crossbows for the statewide archery deer season, a proposal that is generating heated debate in the sporting community.

Proponents of expanded crossbow use believe the change would provide a much-needed boost to the state's hunting ranks by making archery more accessible to the masses and drawing new participants -- particularly women and children -- into the sport.

''When you look at the license sales, I think anything we can do to put more people in the bow season will help,'' said Rep. Gary Haluska, D-Cambria, who last month introduced legislation that would legalize crossbows for all archery hunting seasons.

Haluska's House Bill 2653 already has attracted 55 co-sponsors, including half a dozen representatives from the Lehigh Valley region: Joseph Brennan, D-Lehigh and Northampton; Robert Freeman, D-Northampton; Robert Godshall, R-Montgomery; Richard Grucela, D-Northampton; Julie Harhart, R-Lehigh and Northampton; and Douglas Reichley, R-Berks and Lehigh.

The Game Commission, meanwhile, is crafting its own proposal to allow crossbows during all archery deer seasons at the direction of Commissioner Russell Schleiden of Centre County. Schleiden, whose proposal will be discussed at the commission's October meeting, said he doesn't own a crossbow and has no desire to hunt with one. However, he doesn't see much point in prohibiting those who like crossbows from using them.

''My philosophy has always been that we should allow people to use whatever humane, efficient tools they want to hunt game,'' he said. ''A lot of the problems we've had over the years come from trying to match seasons with a particular weapon. It just creates a lot of confusion.''

But opponents argue crossbows have no place in archery season because they are more like a short-range firearm than a bow. Unlike traditional or compound bows, which must be hand drawn in the presence of a deer, crossbows can be cocked ahead of time and fired by bringing a gun-style stock to the user's shoulder and squeezing a trigger. Crossbows also use magnified scopes and other aiming aids typically found on firearms.

''It's a rifle that shoots an arrow, for all intents and purposes,'' said Wes Waldron, president of the 3,800-member United Bowhunters of Pennsylvania. ''Do we want to let that into our archery season?''

In addition to the technical advantages crossbows have over other archery equipment, Waldron said, the United Bowhunters worry that existing archery seasons could be shortened if legalization of crossbows leads to a massive influx of new archery hunters and a dramatic increase in the annual archery deer harvest.

Based on the number of hunters who use crossbows in states where the weapon already is legal, Waldron believes more than 300,000 people would participate in Pennsylvania's archery season if crossbows were allowed here -- an increase of more than 12 percent from the 266,841 archery licenses sold last year.

''No one has looked at the long-term biological or sociological effects,'' said Waldron, who claims the current proposals are the result of ongoing lobbying by crossbow manufacturers and dealers. ''There is no data available to substantiate or disprove the crossbow industry's claim that there will be no substantial impact from a biological or deer-management point of view.''

So, what is the average hunter to make of the crossbow debate?

Although it's impossible to know for certain what would happen if crossbows were legalized statewide, it's worth taking a look at the past to get a better idea of what the future may look like.

Historically, the only hunters allowed to use crossbows were those with permanent disabilities that prevented them from drawing a manually-operated bow. Such hunters are required to have a doctor verify their disability prior to securing a crossbow permit from the Game Commission.

Currently, there are more than 54,000 crossbow permit holders statewide, according to commission spokesman Jerry Feaser. The agency can't say how many of those people remain active hunters, but it's reasonable to assume 10 to 15 percent of Pennsylvania's archery hunters already are using crossbows -- a number Haluska and Schleiden say includes plenty of able-bodied hunters who are abusing the permit system with assistance from cooperative doctors.

The first blanket relaxation of crossbow regulations came in 2001, when the General Assembly removed the crossbow from the list of prohibited hunting devices -- essentially giving the commission authority to decide where and when they should be allowed. That same year, commissioners voted to allow hunters to use crossbows during the archery deer seasons in the Special Regulations counties (Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia) in an effort to reduce urban and suburban deer populations.

Despite the change, sales of archery licenses that year rose less than 1 percent, from 284,223 to 285,987 -- a gain of just 1,764 bowhunters. And by 2002, archery stamp sales fell back to slightly below their 2000 level.

In 2004, the use of crossbows during general archery deer seasons was expanded to encompass all of Wildlife Management Units 2B, 5C and 5D as part of the commission's new WMU system. That change that added portions of seven counties -- including Berks, Lehigh and Northampton -- to the crossbow hunting area.

Again, despite that change, archery license sales actually fell from 285,121 in 2003 to 284,492 in 2004 -- a decline of 628 bowhunters. And as of last year, sales of archery licenses had declined 6 percent from their pre-crossbow level, with a total loss of 17,382 bowhunters.

Clearly, past liberalizations of crossbow rules have not resulted in a surge of new bowhunters or a dramatic change in the archery deer harvest.

It's also worth noting that since 2001, the commission also has legalized the use of crossbows during bear, elk, spring gobbler and all firearms deer seasons -- yet the total number of licensed hunters in Pennsylvania declined 12 percent during that time.

Given all that, those involved in the ongoing crossbow debate will have to forgive my skepticism that crossbows will greatly advance the archery season or destroy it.

[email protected]

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Very good article. Pres like the UBP sounds very much like the Pres of UBNJ. Same misconceptions that a crossBOW is more like a gun and to keep them out of archery season, yada, yada, yada.
 

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need to do that for Michigan
 

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Armed Citizen
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Discussion Starter #6
mideerslayer said:
need to do that for Michigan
When I can find an article that well written that pertains to MI consider it done.
 

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Thanks for the info Dan. I am preparing a letter campaign to all members of the ACF in Pennsylvania to alert them to Bill 2653 as well as Schleiden's proposal. We will be attempting to get as many crossbow supporters at the October meeting with the game commission. Any other suggestions?
 

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Armed Citizen
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Discussion Starter #8
warthog67 said:
Thanks for the info Dan. I am preparing a letter campaign to all members of the ACF in Pennsylvania to alert them to Bill 2653 as well as Schleiden's proposal. We will be attempting to get as many crossbow supporters at the October meeting with the game commission. Any other suggestions?
Learn the NABC Crossbow Talking Points you will probably need them. It would be sweet if you could present them before the anti's get their say. Here is a link to help with that:
http://www.tenpointcrossbows.com/documents/MicrosoftWord-FinalTenPointResponsetoNABCCrossbowTalkingPoints.pdf
(thanks to Randy from TenPoint for that link by the way)

I expect the UBP will predictably play straight from the NABC handbook. If they do then you can see why it would be in your best interest to get the first shot at the points.
That would absolutely deflate their sails before the wind even gets a chance to blow.
It is critical to have the most accurate deer numbers that are available. Population, harvest numbers, all weapons, all seasons, all areas. Get as much information as you can from other states on their numbers too. (I can help with this if you give me time to compile everything)
I already have most information but am expecting more to arrive in the next week or so.
And here is a novel idea I don't think anyone has tried before but I could be wrong. See if Matt Knox deer project leader for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries would like to prepare a statement. I have his email address and phone number. He is a very busy man but I think he might be willing to make a statement on behalf of the state of PA where the crossbow is concerned. I might be able to help with this too but ultimately the time and decision is his. (We aren't friends or anything but I got that sense he might help in this way from him when we spoke).

I should have my survival guide to full inclusion finished by then if all goes well. And if all goes well everything that anyone would want will be in it. I took the text book approach for a number of reasons. But mainly to educate. It's one thing to have an opinion it is another to be able to make an educated decision. Educate first! Free thinking is weapon 1.

Whatever you need I'll help if I can. Just ask me. That goes for everyone else too by the way.
PM me anytime.
 

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Armed Citizen
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Discussion Starter #9
PGC Commissioner contact information.

A few of the PA guys had asked me for this information. Here you go... All the addresses to all the PGC and the Pennsylvania Executive Legislative Liaison. Start sticking those stamps on some envelopes! Good luck PA.


Steven Smith (The Pennsylvania Executive Legislative Liaison)
2001 Elmerton Avenue
Harrisburg, PA 17110

Roxane Palone (President) District 2
139 Johnson Road
Waynesburg, PA 15370

Gregory J Isabella (Vice President) District 8
Firing Line Incorporated
1532 South Front Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147

James Delaney Jr (Secretary) District 7
275 Mayock Street
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18705

Russell Schleiden (Commissioner) District 3
106 Penns Cave Road
Centre Hall, PA 16828

Thomas E Boop (Commissioner) District 5
1275 Mile Post Road
Sunbury, PA 17801

H. Daniel Hill, III (Commissioner) District 1
150 West Fifth Street (office)
Erie, PA 16507

David W Schreffler (Commissioner) District 4
1015 Elk Lick Road
Everett, PA 15537

Ronald A Weaner (Commissioner) District 6
435 Celebration Hill Road
Biglerville, PA 17307
 

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Armed Citizen
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Discussion Starter #10
EMAILS!!!

You asked for them now you have them. In a nice spam bot free way. I looked for this information a couple of days ago and only found actual email addresses. This way you click on who you want then you get their bio with email address. Now start clicking the house members and committee members ASAP!

House Game & Fisheries Committee: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/cteeInfo/cteeInfo.cfm?cde=18&body=H

Senate Game & Fisheries Committee: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/cteeInfo/cteeInfo.cfm?cde=41&body=S

Members of the House of Representatives: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/member_information/representatives_alpha.cfm

Members of the Senate: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/member_information/senators_alpha.cfm
 

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Armed Citizen
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Discussion Starter #11
Postal Mailing Addresses

I have the postal mailing addresses as well but you will have to PM me for these as the list is too large for posting here.
 

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I believe the october meeting will be our best chance to bring horizontal archery into the pa archery season , but everyone still needs to call , e-mail , write or visit your elected officials.
Now is the time to keep the pressure on , the UBP is a formidable adversary and will stop at nothing to keep crossbows out of archery season.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
In the event I should get banned in the PA forums and all my threads and information erased you will be able to find it here. I want you folks to keep that in mind. I don't see this happening just yet but I drew in over 1300 hits in 2 days. The admins are warning me and the anti's keep trying to dilute everything I post. They even comment amongst themselves back and forth to bury what I am posting.
So for those of you that are in the pro fight you will find my most recent info here.
Free thinking is weapon 1.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
It happened.

Logged in tonight and found this:
Your account has been banned or locked. This ban will expire on Thu Aug 07 2008 01:57 AM. If the Administrator has specified a reason for this ban, you will find it below.
Looks temporary? I was not given a reason at this time. I will see if I can find an email address and get the specifics.
 

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What site is that on? The UBP? I have heard from another member that he is also banned. He is currently building a website to support crossbow use in PA and part of it will be a petition to gather a voice. He plans to have support from manufacturer reps and outfitters. It sounds like it could be awesome!

I'll keep you posted!
 

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buckeye dan said:
Logged in tonight and found this:
Your account has been banned or locked. This ban will expire on Thu Aug 07 2008 01:57 AM. If the Administrator has specified a reason for this ban, you will find it below.
Looks temporary? I was not given a reason at this time. I will see if I can find an email address and get the specifics.
Were you "warned" prior and if so about what exactly? (if you don't mind my asking and feel free to PM if you'd rather)
 

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Well after exhaustive attempts at trying to point out the possible benifits of crossbows in PA, dispelling myths, and trying to promote some kind of comprimise with no luck. I have come to a conclusion about this whole issue. Although they are actually small in number, we are dealing with rabid phanatism and any hopes of a rational outcome is useless.

I am still going to do my darndest to make the meeting in October to speak in behalf of crossbows. I'll have my letters sent to the Commissioners in plenty of time for the meeting.

Barring any negative reports from the Game Commission folks about the impact to the resource (anything negative is unlikely), I'll support whatever route you folks decide to take from there.

I still have faith in the sportmen/woman of PA that what I have seen these past few weeks is only a radical fringe group and doesn't reflect on PA hunters as a whole.
 

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The PA site I have been posting on has taken on a (IMO) decided anti-crossbow stance recently! To me it is VERY apparent that the little local anti-crossbow club is very well entrenched there and I believe they are influencing this sites position.
One anti posted a State Rep went on a hunt provided by crossbow manufactures. This same poster also stated he could not prove it! I replied it was irresponsible of him to make that type of accusation without proof and MY POST WAS DELETED and his unfounded claim still stands.

There was also a link to the new PA Crossbow site that was deleted by the Mods because of debate! So the anti's win again and successfully had the link removed by spreading their manure in the Crossbow Forum!

Then there were posts to contact your legislature to address a Crossbow Bill that the MOD's successfully had moved out of the Crossbow Forum because it was their opinion the legislature should not be involved in the decision making and then heavily monitored these posts. A few members were baned and a few were suspended all to my knowledge were Pro-Crossbow people.

It is VERY hard to get the facts out there when these attacks are allowed by the site/Mods. It's been proven the anti's have NO FACTS to go on & their platform is solely based on emotion & elitism....but if you cannot get the word out................

I think we have done a commendable job over there trying to present facts & issues taking the high road only to be attacked at every turn in our own Crossbow Forum! It's just about out of our hands on that site.....Actually its been TAKEN out of our hands!!!
 
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