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Author Topic: BC Proposal to BAN Scopes on Crossbows  (Read 925 times)


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BC Proposal to BAN Scopes on Crossbows
« on: December 16, 2019, 11:41:43 AM »

Hidden among the many proposed hunting regulation changes for the future in British Columbia is a proposal to effectively BAN the use of scopes on crossbows. Here is how it reads:

Scopes on Bows during Bow Only Seasons

Regulation Number: 2020-0-05

Status: Proposed

Region: Province-Wide

Regulation Type: General Open Season, Limited Entry Hunting

Species: All

Closing Date: January 17, 2020 at midnight

Decision Statement: Pending

Current Regulations:

There are currently no regulations that prohibit the use of a scope on archery equipment during bow only seasons.
Proposed Regulations:

Prohibit the use of scopes on bows during bow-only seasons


This proposed regulation was requested by the Provincial Hunting and Trapping Advisory Team. For more information on the process that led to the request refer to the “Additional Information” section at the bottom of this page.

Crossbow technology has advanced in recent years and their operation has become easier; some users consider a modern crossbow to be more similar to a firearm than a bow. There is mixed support for crossbows during bow only seasons; many jurisdictions have prohibited crossbows during bow only seasons. In B.C., crossbows are still permitted. As a compromise between permitting and prohibiting crossbows during bow only seasons, it is proposed to reduce the effectiveness of modern versions of these weapons by prohibiting scopes.

Bow only seasons are intended to be short range (i.e. around 40 yards) hunting opportunities, and often allow hunting for classes of species (i.e. any buck or antlerless deer) that are not open through general open seasons when firearms are permitted. Historically, this opportunity was in place simply because the success rates of bow hunters was much lower than that of hunters with firearms. Advancements in crossbow technology has increased the range of crossbows closer to 100 yards, which was not considered when instituting short-range hunting seasons in the past. Prohibiting scopes on bows is thought to bring crossbows back into the short-range weapon category.

Under this proposed regulation the use of scopes on bows would only be prohibited during bow only seasons; scopes on bows would continue to be permitted during general open seasons.

Additional Information:

A sub-committee of the Provincial Hunting and Trapping Advisory Team (PHTAT) with representatives from the B.C. Wildlife Federation, Guide Outfitters Association of B.C., B.C. Trappers Association, Wild Sheep Society, Wildlife Stewardship Council, and United Bowhunters of B.C., conducted a review of various hunting practices (methods, tools, and tactics), evaluated those practices against a set of criteria that reflect the principles of fair chase, and recommended management actions for specific hunting practices. These recommendations were accepted by PHTAT and were forwarded to the Province for consideration.

Factors that influenced or informed the Management Action Recommendation included:

Does the hunting method, tool, or tactic:

Negate wildlife’s ability to avoid detection?
Negate wildlife’s ability to escape once it has detected a threat?
Lead to an inhumane treatment of wildlife?
Lead to increased wounding loss/jeopardize a hunter’s ability to retrieve the wildlife?
Jeopardize public acceptance of hunting?
Result in higher harvest rates/reduced opportunity in the future?

Estimated difficulty in enacting a regulation.
Regulatory enforceability.

The Management Action options available for each hunting practice included:

Encourage/discourage the hunting practice through education and/or training
Regulate the hunting practice through legislative prohibitions
Monitor the hunting practice over the coming years to see if it becomes an issue in B.C.
Defer; not of concern and no specific management action or monitoring is required.

I acquired a crossbow due to multiple shoulder injuries that prevent me from using a compound or recurve any longer.
Both my eyes have had repeated surgeries and damage to the extent that I can no longer use iron sights. Period.

This proposal would effectively remove me from the archery seasons. I am far from alone in this situation.

Upon returned from my latest successful crossbow hunt 2 days ago, I learned of this nonsensical proposal.
Yesterday, I had a good long chat with my Lawyer over this matter.
He advises that should this be implemented, a very strong case for discrimination against seniors and / or handicapped individuals exists, and that he is more than willing to take this on. I will be directly writing the Chair of each of the organizations involved in producing this proposal, advising them that their organization will be named in a legal challenge should this proposal move forward. The same will also be sent to the wildlife ministry of BC.

In addition, I will be mounting a public awareness campaign over the next few days.

This is NOT a conservation matter. Period.
It does smack of spite and elitism, and I am simply not going to sit idly by while my hunting access is being directly attacked in this manner.

If the object is to increase wounding / loss rates for crossbow use they could not have dreamed up a better scheme...

BC Hunters / residents can voice their concerns / displeasure with this nonsense by logging in to their BC Hunter Account and then proceeding to the following link:

I STRONGLY suggest that any who can get their comments on this BS is ASAP!



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Re: BC Proposal to BAN Scopes on Crossbows
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2019, 04:02:19 PM »

I'm surprised that crossbows are allowed during Bow Only seasons.
Sounds more like a fairness issue and that crossbows have significant advantages over regular bows.


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Re: BC Proposal to BAN Scopes on Crossbows
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2019, 04:47:11 PM »

I'm surprised that crossbows are allowed during Bow Only seasons.
Sounds more like a fairness issue and that crossbows have significant advantages over regular bows.

Just going to show what you understand (not) regarding modern compound bows.



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Re: BC Proposal to BAN Scopes on Crossbows
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2019, 08:05:33 PM »

An interesting and comprehensive study from Wisconsin.

"The preponderance of the evidence from these multiple lines of inquiry suggests that all-inclusive crossbow use is not currently a biological concern for deer herd management or a pressing
social issue for most hunters.

Another area of interest is the distance at which deer can be harvested by crossbows compared with compound bows. On the motivations survey, the maximum range at which hunters reported they would take a shot at a deer differed between guns and stringed weapons; but no significant difference was found in the reported maximum ranges for crossbow and compound bow users.

Finally, we surveyed state agencies in 19 states about the establishment of crossbows as a legal weapon in their state, who their crossbow users were, and any effects on the state’s deer herd the addition of crossbows may have had. Most states that allow crossbow use allow it statewide during the entire archery season. States that did not allow crossbow use for all bow hunters, restricted their use because of concerns for perceived crowding, over-harvest (primarily of mule deer), appropriate weapon classification, and/or opposition by archery organizations. No state interviewed that allowed crossbow use has shortened its season or restricted crossbow use from the original law.

The addition of crossbows in these states showed little impact on established seasons/traditions or hunters’ willingness to bag deer,and crossbows did not cause any change in total deer harvest or any measurable biological impact on the state’s deer herd.

As society changes and as the use of technology continues to evolve, it is the department’s responsibility to ensure the deer herd is managed properly and to provide deer hunters the flexibility to establish their own deer hunting traditions.In other words, the department is responsible for adapting to changing social and technological changes, but the agency should neither be the drivers of these changes nor the resistance to them.

WELL worth the read Folks! Puts to bed a hell of a lot of the assumptions out there!
Indeed, I would WELCOME such a study right here in BC!!



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Re: BC Proposal to BAN Scopes on Crossbows
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2020, 02:29:07 PM »

The strongest statement yet from the BCWF:

The BCWF does NOT support the proposed ban on scoped technology on bows during any hunting season.
I wrote the following short essay explaining my reasoning.

Chuck Zuckerman

Is the Crossbow Scopes Regulation Proposal a scientifically based -recommendation or a public relations faux pas?
If the optics on a crossbow are viewed as a temptation for a hunter to shoot further than they are capable of, then this proposal should be accepted; however, if optics are viewed as a tool to more effectively harvest game in an ethical and humane manner then the proposal must fail.

If you believe that the accuracy of your shot greatly improves with a cross hair scope on a bow as opposed to using a distance pin system you would be against this regulation proposal to banish scopes from bows.
Further, if achieving greater accuracy was the intention of the proposal, then incorporating a range finder in to the scope would make more sense than clumsily holding a range finder in one hand while you positioned your bow for the desired accurate humane shot, again not banishing scopes from bows.

What needs to be considered is that the method of harvest is secondary to the ethical use of the harvesting tool. Once the tool user has a sufficient skill level the association of similar harvesting tools during a season is of no concern.
The opportunity to hunt a week before the beginning of the general hunting season is available to anyone who wishes to purchase a bow or crossbow and become proficient with it.

The season provides a unique opportunity to encourage, recruit, and retain hunters because it is prior to the beginning of school, as well being the only convenient time available for some participants.
Our youth is the future and further opportunities must be made available to them.

More restrictions also affect the economics of hunting.
Sporting goods providers generally, and archery suppliers and local businesses specifically will lose the revenue generated by this early season hunt.

Additionally gathering harvesting and observation data would be diminished because there would be observers available for reporting.
The emphasis should be the teaching of ethics not legislating morality.

The CORE program of the BC Provincial Government, delivered by the BCWF, devotes the entire Chapter 2 Ethics of the CORE manual to that subject.

The Chapter paraphrased reads:
Ethics are standards of behaviour which are generally considered to be morally correct.
Personal ethics are unwritten laws that govern your behaviour when you are alone or with others.
Your personal code of ethics is based on your respect for other people and their property, for all living things, their environment and your own image of yourself.

Hunters have a Code of Ethics and they are judged in society by the values and deeds of each member and those of the hunting group as a whole.

Without the Code of Ethics developed by hunters over the years, today’s society would not tolerate hunting for long in spite of its long and significant role in human history.

Hunting ethics support behaviour that emphasizes the quality of the hunting experience and the way the hunt is conducted.
A hunter’s pursuit of game should always be governed by the “fair chase” principle.

“Fair Chase is the ethical, sportsmanlike, and lawful pursuit and taking of any free-ranging wild, native North American big game animal in a manner that does not give the hunter an improper advantage over such animals. Free-ranging is any native North American big game animal that is unrestricted within its biological home range, has adequate protective cover, and reasonable opportunity to elude the hunter.” The Boone & Crockett Club

Achieving these ethical guidelines will demonstrate your respect for wildlife:
1. Before you go hunting be certain your harvesting instrument is accurately sighted in and is suitable for the species you plan to hunt.
2. Practice using the harvesting tool and learn to safely and effectively use it. Learn the distance at which you can be most confident in harvesting game quickly and humanely.
3. Don’t shoot until you have a clear shot at a vital part of the animal.
4. Make sure you have properly identified the species and get as close as possible to the target.
5. Make certain it is completely safe to take the shot.
6. Determine that you can recover the animal considering its location, the time of day, and the time that may be needed 
for retrieval?
7. Make every effort to find the animal. The law requires you to remove all edible portions of your harvested prey.
8. If you miss a shot, carefully examine the place where the animal was to ensure that it was not hit.
9. Wait for 10-15 minutes before pursuing the animal.

The attached chart shows that every State allows crossbows with scopes, except for Oregon. Fifteen of fifty states have age restrictions for crossbow use, however all states allow the disabled to use crossbows throughout their hunting seasons.
It could be argued that the use of crossbows is safer than the use of firearms because their effective range is usually less than 50 yards. Their use beyond seventy yards can be problematic.

Limiting available technology rather than emphasizing its ethical use would be similar to restricting the taking of rifle shot to a maximum of two hundred yards because it is assumed most people could not shoot that far accurately.
I do not support restricting the ethical use of technology.

Chuck Zuckerman