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Well, here we are again. Spring has arrived, at least for most of you. (It is still a topic of debate here in Ohio, as I write this article.) Geese are sitting on nests, leaves are on the trees and the fish are biting, all good signs of warmer weather to come.

After a huge crossbow expansion in 2009, it appears that 2010 is on a similar track.Maryland and Delaware appear to be adding crossbows for everyone during the entire archery season. For the past several years, those 65 and over could use the crossbow during the archery season in Maryland. While these states are not big in hunting numbers, they will apply huge pressure as the crossbow expansion works its way up the east coast. New York and the New England states see the wave headed their way and should jump on board over the next couple of years. There is more and more interest in the northeast every year.

There is talk of further crossbow expansion in the Great Lakes states. Michigan is looking at allowing full inclusion in the northern half of the Lower Peninsula. This area had been 50 and over only, last year. That change may take effect as soon as this fall. Wisconsin had a question on the Conservation Congress ballot about lowering the crossbow season from 65 and over to 55 and over. The question passed in most counties, even though there was organized opposition against it from the Wisconsin Bowhunters. We will have to wait and see if a legislator will write that change into the hunting regulations. If so, that change is most likely to happen next year, not this fall. Still, it is a step in the right direction. Minnesota also has been reviewing its crossbow regulations and there is strong talk of allowing those 55 and over to use them. This also needs legislation for the change to take place. There is no legislation at this time, so most likely that would be a 2011 change as well. Indiana has also asked its hunters what they thought about allowing crossbows in the archery season. They should be releasing that information late in May. Word is they are looking at full inclusion or a 60 and over season. Time will tell there also. Regardless if the changes take place this year or next, you can’t deny the wave is growing in that region as well!

Down south, MS has some positive crossbow news. They are trying to categorize crossbows as archery for all their public hunting land. This amounts to about 600,000 acres of public hunting land. Hopefully, this change will make a move to full inclusion next year that much easier. Oklahoma has a Crossbow Bill that is on the verge of passing, and we should know the answer by the time this article goes to press. They already have a 60 and over season, but the new Bill would allow full inclusion of crossbows in the archery season. More good news!

If this trend keeps up, I may just get to go crossbow hunting with my Dad in my home state of Kansas sometime in the next few years. After Dad’s hunting trip to Mississippi last winter, he has the urge to try it there in western Kansas. I know he can find some big whitetails and mule deer not far from his house. Come to think of it, the third generation of Wood boys is not too far from being of hunting age either. Hmmm….

Posted in: Out of the Woods

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