DEC Crossbow Hunting Regulations

Crossbows are flying off the shelf here at Bass Pro.  Make sure that you are aware of the regulations, so you can hunt safely and correctly. Straight from the NYS DEC regulation guide here is something you should read:

GENERAL CROSSBOW REGULATIONS

Age Requirement:  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.

Crossbows may not be used for hunting in Suffolk, Nassau, or Westchester counties.

REQUIRED CROSSBOW HUNTING QUALIFICATION & SAFETY TRAINING

There are 3 options to choose from in order to complete the required crossbow qualification & safety training.  All must accompany a NYS hunting license and in some cases a muzzleloading privilege.

Option 1:  Review the DEC online crossbow qualification training and complete the Crossbow Certificate of Qualification.*

Option 2:  Review the DEC crossbow qualification training and complete the Crossbow Certificate of Qualification* found in the 2014-2015 Hunting & Trapping Regulations Guide.

Option 3:  Complete a Hunter Education or Combination Education course to receive a Hunter Education Certificate of Qualification. * Certificates must be dated on or after April 1, 2014 to meet crossbow qualification and safety training.

*NOTE:  The Crossbow Certificate of Qualification from 2012-2013 is no longer valid.

CROSSBOW SPECIFICATIONSBarnett Quad 400 Crossbow Package

A legal crossbow consists of a bow and string, either compound or recurve, that launches a minimum 14 inch bolt or arrow, not including point, mounted upon a stock with a trigger that holds the string and limbs under tension until released.

The trigger unit of such crossbow must have a working safety.

Minimum limb width:  17 inches (outer tip of limbs, excluding wheels and cams, uncocked)

Minimum peak draw weight:  100 pounds

Maximum peak draw weight:  200 pounds

Minimum overall length:  24 inches from butt-stock to front of limbs

CROSSBOW REGULATIONS PER HUNTING SEASON

Big Game

License requirement:

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.

Bowhunting privilege is not required for use of a crossbow at any time.

Crossbows may be used during the following 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.

Cross bows 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.,October 15-October 24; this includes the 7-day early muzzleloader season in the Northern Zone);

Only Bow/Muzz tags, DMP's or DMAPs may be used during these times.

Crossbows may not be used under the following conditions:

To take deer or bear in the following areas of the state:

Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) 4J in Albany County

WMU 8C in Monroe County

In the counties of Suffolk, Nassau or Westchester

Junior big game hunters (age 14-15) may not use a crossbow to take a deer during the Youth Deer Hunt weekend (October 11-13, 2014). 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.

SMALL GAME

License Requirements: A hunting license is needed to use a crossbow to hunt small game species.  A turkey permit is also required to hunt turkeys.  All crossbow specifications remain in effect.

Crossbows may be used to take the following small game species during their respective open seasons.

Wild Turkey

Any other small game or upland game birds.

Unprotected wildlife (e.g.red squirrels and woodchucks) at anytime.

Crossbows may not be used under the following conditions.

To take waterfowl or other migratory game birds.

While hunting with a dog for any small game (except for coyotes in the Northern Zone).

FISH

Crossbows may not be used to take carp or any other fish species.

We hope this helps you plan your hunting in a safe correct matter.

Robin Piedmonte - Events Coordinator

 

 

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Archery Season is Here and We Have a Bow for You!

At Bass Pro Shops we are all about getting you outside.  We have such a nice variety of bows to pick from that it was hard for me to highlight just a few.  As many of you know,  your bow is unique to you.  You have to feel comfortable with the draw and ease of use.   Bow hunting creates a different challenge than hunting with a firearm.  This type of hunting is more silent and peaceful.  You also need to be closer to your game.  Anyone of our associates in our Archery Department are happy to spend as much time as you need to find the right bow for you.  Here are a few you might want to take a look at.

The Bear Archery Apprentice.   This bow is great for a young archer.  13 different draw lengths, draw weights adjust 15-60 pounds.  Nice and light at 2.9pounds.  This will accomodate a young archer longer than other youth bows.

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The Bear Motive 6 Compound Bow is light, quiet, and extremely fast.  Very smooth draw cycle.

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The easy to use Redhead Kronik XT Compound Bow  is also lightweight and strong.  This bow package also includes a 3 pin sight, hostage capture style arrow rest, and a 5 arrow quiver.

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Last but not least is the Redhead Toxik XT Compound BowThis bow has a smooth draw and is extremely accurate.  Lightweight at 3.8 pounds this bow is also great value for the money and high quality.

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Believe me that a quick look here just does not do these bows justice.  You have to look at these quality products to see just how great they are.  So stop on by, and take a good long look at what we have.  Ask a lot of questions this is not just a great investment, but a wonderful time spent outside enjoying nature at its best.

 

Robin Piedmonte - Events Coordinator 

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Youth Archery on the Rise

Today's youth archery population has sky rocketed due to new movie releases and video games involving the sport. Along with the rising demand follows a rising market available for youngsters to enjoy. There are options at very affordable prices, as well as bows that can be used from age 8 and grow with the individual until adulthood.

A good starting point for a young beginning archer would be the Bear Goblin. This product comes with a friendly price, and is a good way to simply get a young one involved. With a draw weight of 15-18 pounds, this bow would best fit children from ages 5 to 10.

The next choice for the young and growing archer would be the Bear Brave 3. This bow has a draw weight up to 20 pounds, which will fit children in the 8 to 12 age class. This bow is in the compound class, with cams on each end and "let off," making the draw weight peak about half way back then get easier to hold. This bow comes with a Whisker Biscuit rest that prevents the arrow from falling off during the draw back. The package includes a forearm guard, a two piece quiver, and two arrows.

For the youth archer that wants to make the next step and get a product that can be used for years to come, the Diamond Razor Edge will give them that option. This bow has an easily adjustable draw length from 19-29" and a draw weight option from 15-30 pounds or from 30-60 pounds. The package includes an Octane Hostage arrow rest, a 3 pin sight, peep, and two piece quiver. With the average adult draw length being about 28", it will take a lot of growing before this bow will be outgrown.

With so many good options to get young people away from the video games and outside enjoying archery, a trip to the youth archery section at Bass Pro Shops can't wait! Come in and see one of the archery technicians with any questions, and look on our website for information on an upcoming youth archery class here at Bass Pro Shops Memphis.

- Jimmy Washam

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3-D Archery Shooting

McKenzie ElkWhere can I go to shoot elk, caribou, deer, bear, boar, and even African game species all in one day?  How about trying a 3-D archery tournament in your area?  I’m sure there’s one somewhere close by and all you need is a bow, some target arrows and a little bit of gas.

I got into target archery in the early nineties when I lived up in Pennsylvania and was looking for something to do on the weekends during the summer.  I hadn’t yet discovered my love of fly fishing but I had quite a bit of archery equipment and a lot of time on my hands.  My wife was gracious enough to give me Sunday afternoons to get out with a bunch of buddies I convinced to join me in the field.  We did it for hunting season practice in the beginning but I ultimately discovered that I liked to shoot targets more than I liked shooting animals.

Just about any bow setup will work including longbows, recurves, hunting compounds and specialized target equipment.  Regardless of what you shoot, there’s a division set up for you.  Even youth and women can participate without worrying about competing against men with higher draw weights and flatter shooting bows.  Your scores are only compared to those within the same division and because the equipment is standardized to create a level playing field, skill determines score, not the amount of money spent on gadgets and gizmos.

McKenzie BlesbokCheck out organizations like the IBO (International Bowhunting Organization) and the ASA (Archery Shooters Association) for a local club and their upcoming shoot schedule.  Whether or not you get serious about shooting for score, for practice, or just for fun, local clubs and these national organizations can lay out some very realistic target sets that will challenge your shooting and range estimating abilities.  Maybe like me you’ll really get into shooting exotic animals without actually drawing blood.  Either way, shooting a 3-D course is a great way to spend the afternoon, bond with friends or family, and hone your shooting skills.

Stop in to the Archery Shop and the guys will help you get everything tuned to perfection so you can shoot your best.

Brian "Beastman" Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando

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Traditional Archery

At a quick glance, today's archery market may seem like something from outer space. With compound bows advancing each year with new technology, the traditional recurve and long bow have somewhat been overlooked. Traditional archery is a subject that can be very fun for an individual or even the entire family.

Youth recurves such as the PSE Razorback are a great way for young archers to build skills and enjoy shooting. This bow has a light, comfortable draw weight and a threaded riser for a sight and rest that can make it easier for kids to shoot. This bow can also be set up to bow fish. With takedown limbs, the bow can be broken down and stored very easily. Arrows, a recurve stringer, and a forearm guard like the Team Realtree EZ armguard are all a kid needs to get started with this bow.

For adults that want to enjoy traditional shooting at a good price, the Martin Jaguar  is a great bow to get started with. This bow features a camo riser with black limbs and threads for the option of bow fishing as well. Available in draw weights of 40 or 50lbs, this bow is perfect for someone just wanting to shoot for fun or the more serious shooter with desire to hunt with a recurve.

For the more experienced traditional archer wanting to do it "the hard way," the Hunter recurve by Martin Archery makes for a smooth shooting bow with very little stack and hand shock. Taking a trophy buck with this bow and a cedar arrow is on the top of any avid bowhunter's dreams.

If archery interests you, or even if you have been shooting for years, and you have never enjoyed instinctively shooting with traditional equipment, then give it a try. It's a great way to endure an exciting challenge and have fun with friends and family.

-Jimmy Washam

            

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Small-frame shooters

By Brenda Valentine

The shooting and hunting industry has experienced a steady influx of women and youngsters, which has created more demand for small bows. After all, proper fit, which ensures comfort and success, is critical.

 

In the past few years, archery manufacturers have worked to meet demand for bows with shorter draw lengths and lighter draw weights. These bows fall between children's toys and the linebacker-sized bows that were standard for decades. The result was smaller, state-of-the-art bows.

 

I recently field-tested bows from several manufacturers and realized that the market for small bows is substantial. The choices are endless for children's starter bows, scaled-down women's bows and even bows with draw-lengths shorter than 28 inches.

 

Needs Checklist

When seeking the perfect bow with a short draw length, assess your needs. I need a bow with a 25-inch draw length and at least 50 pounds of draw weight. I also want a bow that weighs 3 to 5 pounds, with an axle-to-axle length of 31 to 34 inches. I am more interested in dependability, forgiveness and efficiency than raw speed or high let-off. However, chronographing is a standard part of my evaluations to ensure my bow produces adequate kinetic energy. Cost, recoil, balance, quietness, grip design, brace height, factory warranty and overall quality are also factors.

 

For my tests, I set up each bow with a peep sight, Limb Savers, a Whisker Biscuit arrow rest, a two-piece mounted arrow quiver, a three-pin fiber-optic sight and a Gator Jaw release aid. I used 375-grain, 26-inch Carbon Express arrow shafts with Ultra Nocks. My arrows were fletched with three 4-inch feathers and tipped with a 100-grain broadhead. Each bow was paper-tuned, set at 50 pounds and chronographed with a Radarchron.

 

The Contestants, Please

Parker Compound Bows might be a new kid on the block, but the company has done its homework. The Challenger was Parker's first small bow with a mass weight of 21/2 pounds, a draw length of 22 to 27 inches and a draw weight of 20 to 50 pounds. It retails for about $300, and was such a hit that Parker designed a top-of-the-line model called the Ultra-Lite 31.

The Ultra-Lite 31 is tough enough for all conditions, yet it shoots well. It produces respectable arrow speed, which testifies to its design efficiency. This one-cam, solid-limb bow has a draw range of 23 to 30 inches and includes a lifetime warranty.

 

Renegade Archery, another newcomer, offers three bows with draw lengths shorter than 25 inches. The LS-II, Renegade's youth/ladies bow, includes the precision craftsmanship standard in larger bows. I tested the Tominator-II, which has a 7-inch brace height, making it comfortable and forgiving. The bow, which costs $439, features Realtree Hardwoods camouflage, an intricately machined riser and a rich-looking walnut grip.

 

Hoyt USA, one of the oldest, most respected names in archery, is known for two things: high-quality products and innovation, which is evident in the bridge-truss design of Hoyt's Total Engineering Concept riser.

 

I shot the Hoyt HavocTec with three-quarter split limbs and double Versa-Cams. The bow weighs about 3 pounds, comes in draw lengths down to 24 inches, has a 71/2-inch brace height and measures 31 inches axle-to-axle. This bow is quiet and produces little recoil.

North American Archery Group in Gainesville, Fla., produces Jennings products, which have become a household name. I prefer Jennings' Buckmaster G2, a top-of-the-line bow with many bells and whistles. The modular, weighted one-cam allows 8 inches of draw length adjustments, and the split carbon limbs are set in beefed-up limb pockets with a Sims riser and limb dampeners. It features a forgiving 71/2-inch brace height and 31-inch axle length. The bow retails for about $500.

 

Clearwater Storm might sound like a new company, but owners Burly Hall and David Powers, have spent their lives looking down a bow-string.

 

I tested the Storm Super Lite, which is available with a 23-inch draw in the two-cam model and a 24-inch draw length in the one-cam style. The 34-inch axle length double-cam was speedy and pleasing to shoot, but the bow's hatchet cams are best suited for an experienced shooter. The $469 price is appropriate.

 

Mathews has become an archery icon. The longer-riser/short-parallel-limb design has become almost as copied as Mathews' one-cam technology. I tested the Mathews Q2, which has draw-length specific cams in many sizes. Mathews bows are available in archery pro-shops.

Browning Archery needs no introduction. The company has been building short-draw bows for decades and leads the youth-bow pack with the Micro Midas. This bow is extremely adjustable and suited for growing youngsters. It weighs 21/2 pounds and costs about $200. I've used this bow in many hunting situations, and it has always proven itself.

Conclusion

 

These are just some of the short-draw bows on the market. Never before have smaller archers had so many bows to choose from. The problem is no longer, "Where can I get a bow to fit me?" but rather, "Which one do I shoot first?"

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RedHead Kronik Compound Bow Package

By Tracy Breen

Kronic Bow
Author Tracy Breen aligns the Kronic's Tru-Glo 3-pin fiber-optic sight with his target.

I test a variety of bows each year. This year I tested about eight different bows for a variety of magazine and website articles. Some were short, some were long; some were super fast and others were super quiet. All of them cost a lot of money. My opinion on the quality of a bow is based on a few factors. Is the bow quiet? Is it fast? How well does it shoot? How pricey is the bow? Some bows cost a lot of money and are worth every penny. Other bows cost a lot of money and don't have half the features of similar bows that are almost half the price. The new Kronik bow from RedHead has several exciting features and costs much less than many of the high-end bows on the market today.

LIGHT AS A FEATHER

One of the first things I noticed about the Kronik was how lightweight it is. It only weighs 3.4 pounds, which is a lot lighter than the bows I shot in my youth. Bows have come a long way in recent years. Since the bow weighs less than 4 pounds, it is a great bow for the Western hunter who is trying to carry as little weight as possible. Even with a sight, rest, and other gizmos and gadgets attached, the Kronik will probably still only tip the scales at 5 or 6 pounds.

NICE AND SHORT

Bows have gotten much shorter in recent years. Bows used to be 35 inches or longer, but diehard treestand hunters started seeing the value in having a short bow. Extra short bows have more speed than ever before but are often around 30 inches in length. The Kronik falls into that category. At only 30-5/8" long, the Kronik is easy to maneuver in the tree. With the popularity of ground blinds on the rise, an extra short bow also comes in handy when hunting from a chair inside a blind.

FORGIVING

Many bowhunters have shied away from short bows because they believe short bows aren't as forgiving or as accurate as long bows. The Kronik has a generous brace height of 7-1/8", making it a forgiving bow that will shoot tight groups and get the job done in the field, regardless if hunters are hunting 20 yards away from a runway in the Midwest or taking 50 yard shots at caribou on the open tundra.

SUPER FAST

The Kronik can also fling an arrow as fast as many bows in the higher price bracket. The Kronik delivers 304 FPS IBO. With speed like that, most hunters should be able to use a single pin out to 30 yards. The Kronik is able to deliver extreme speeds thanks to the aggressive smooth-shooting single cam. Like all single-cam bows, the Kronik shoots fast but is extremely easy to tune and work on, which makes timing issues a thing of the past.

EXTRA FEATURES

There are several little features on this bow that caught my eye. It has an adjustable draw length of 25-30 inches and can be adjusted without the use of a bow press. With an extreme range of adjustability, the bow can fit a wide variety of hunters. A father can shoot the bow for a few years and then pass the bow on to the next generation and they can use it. The Kronik can easily accommodate adult and teenage hunters. Given the fact that a bow press isn't required to adjust the draw length, almost anyone can easily adjust the Kronik with a little patience, a little practice and a few tools.

Kronic Limb with Rubber Device
Kronik limb with anti-vibration device

 

Another small feature hunters will enjoy about the Kronik is the two-piece polycarbonate grip that helps reduce hand torque, which can rob an archer of accuracy. Like most expensive bows, the Kronik comes with parallel limbs which helps cancel out vibration, creating a super smooth shooting bow and a tough machined aluminum riser that will withstand the abuse that hunters often put their bows through while in the field.

The Kronik comes with 80% let off but can be adjusted to 65% let off. Either way, the bow is easy to draw and shoot. If you hunt in extremely cold conditions, going with 80% let off makes the bow extra easy to get to full draw, especially when you have cold muscles and a healthy case of buck fever!

COMES WITH LOTS OF ACCESSORIES

The Kronik comes equipped with a number of accessories. The bow comes completely set up with a sight, rest, quiver and wrist strap. The accessories are top notch and high quality, just like the bow. The Sight is a Tru-Glo 3-pin fiber optic sight that is built for the hunter who wants to be able to see his pins at first light and during the last few minutes of prime time hunting just before dark.

Kronic Arrow Rest
Hostage capture-style arrow rest

The Hostage capture-style rest is perfect for bowhunters who are just getting into the sport and veteran hunters. It is easy to use and cradles the arrow while coming to full draw, ensuring that the arrow never leaves the rest, even if a hunter is shaking like a leaf.

To top it off, the bow comes with a nice, lightweight, one-piece four-arrow quiver that is perfect for hunting. If hunters were to buy the accessories separately, it would add hundreds of dollars to the total cost of the bow. Since the Kronik is sold as a package, hunters save lots of hard-earned money.

Most bowhunters worry about bow noise and vibration. The Kronik comes with a few anti-vibration rubber devices on the strings and the limbs that reduce noise and vibration. I also added a few gadgets to further reduce noise and vibration. I screwed in a Doinker Chubby Stabilizer while testing the bow and put on a String Tamer. These two inexpensive devices helped eliminate the little noise and vibration that the Kronik has. I also shot the bow without add-on items and noticed right out of the box the bow is extremely smooth.

When testing the bow, I used a few different types of arrows including the RedHead brand Carbon Max2 arrows. These super tough carbon arrows feature an outer weave of carbon for extreme strength and front of center technology, which delivers superior down range accuracy. The arrows come fletched with 4-inch Duravanes so hunters just need to cut them to length and have the inserts glued in and they are ready to shoot.

The Kronik is a great bow by itself, but when the extra accessories are added, it's an excellent bow for a great price. When you consider the fact that the bow comes with everything set up, it increases the value even more. If you are just getting started in bowhunting, the last thing you want to do is worry about setting up a bow or finding someone to do it for you. The Kronik is ready to go right out of the box.



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