Debate: Is New York's Proposed Crossbow Law Too Strict?

As crossbows continue to grow in popularity, states around the country are trying to figure out how to regulate them. Proponents argue that crossbows open up more hunting opportunities for people who cannot draw a compound bow or don't have the time to master archery. Opponents argue that using a crossbow during the archery season is too easy and deer populations will suffer.

New York is doing its best to find a compromise in this debate, and last week the state opened up a crossbow proposal for public comment. Here are the nuts and bolts of the law:

- Hunters can use crossbows during the regular big game seasons in muzzleloader and shotgun zones.

- Hunters cannot use crossbows during the archery season or in any archery-only game management units.

- Disabled hunters cannot use a crossbow during the archery season.

- Disabled hunters can use a modified longbow (a regular bow with a mechanical device that holds and releases the string).

- All hunters must pass a crossbow safety course before hunting with a crossbow.

A handful of states have already passed much more lenient legislation that allows hunters to use crossbows for big game in both archery and gun seasons. Even more states allow disabled hunters to use crossbows during the archery season.

What do you think … is New York's proposed crossbow regulation too strict, or is it the perfect compromise? Comment below.