Crossbows will be allowed in St. Lawrence County to be used to take big game and small game for the 2014-15 seasons.
Regulations are still being finalized, and are expected to be set soon, under auspices of a new law out of Albany this year.
Some rules affect regular bow hunting, too.
Some of the rules that appear likely to be in the final regulations, according to the DEC, are:
• Setback distances for the discharge of a bow and crossbow have been reduced to 150 feet and 250 feet, respectively
• Hunters must be at least 14 years old to use a crossbow, and must have a Crossbow Certificate of Qualification
• It must not be cocked if it’s in a motor vehicle
• It must have a trigger safety mechanism
• Minimum peak draw weight is 100 lbs.; maximum peak draw weight is 200 lbs.
For small game, a small game license is required, and turkeys are allowed if the hunter has a turkey permit. Wild turkey and any other small game or upland game birds can be taken in season.
Crossbows may not be used on waterfowl or other migratory game birds. They are not to be used in the Northern Zone while hunting with dogs unless hunting for coyotes.
Crossbows may not be used on fish.
The DEC expects final regulations to be issued shortly. The latest info on crossbow hunting in New York is at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/68802.html.