Michigan Relaxes Crossbow Hunting Restrictions

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment in Michigan has expanded the regulations regarding crossbow hunting in an attempt to attract hunters. Hunting is a popular sport in the state and the minimum age for crossbow hunting was recently lowered from twelve to ten. The decision was made after a 2009 post-hunting season mail survey revealed that archery deer hunting activities increased after liberalization of other crossbow regulations.

Hunters ages ten or older will now be permitted to use both crossbows and other archery equipment. People who hunt with a crossbow must have a hunting license and a free crossbow stamp. Disabled hunters who already have a crossbow permit are not required to get this stamp. Hunters can obtain the crossbow application form on the state’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment Web site.

There are specific guidelines regarding when and where a crossbow is legal to use for hunting purposes. In the Lower Peninsula area of the state, hunters are now permitted to use crossbows during firearm and archery seasons. In the Upper Peninsula, only disabled hunters may use a crossbow during the late archery or muzzleloader seasons.

Other changes to crossbow regulations include the permission to use modified bows when and where crossbows are legal and elimination of the maximum velocity for crossbows. The Wildlife Conservation Order’s three year sunset provision regarding use of a crossbow was also eliminated. Another change includes the ability for hunters who are temporarily disabled to apply for a temporary crossbow permit.

Some of the regulations have not changed from previous years. Hunters must be dressed in hunter orange when they are hunting deer during the youth firearm, November firearm, and early antlerless deer seasons. During archery deer seasons, bow hunters may not carry a firearm unless they have a concealed pistol license. The goal of the relaxed regulations is to increase hunter participation in the archery form of deer hunting and maintain or increase the number of crossbow hunters each year.

Source: Freep.com. State lessening restrictions on crossbow hunting.

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