Editor’s note: the proposed legislation would allow crossbow hunting during the regular bow season. Crossbows are already allowed in Kansas during the regular firearms season.

A proposal that would legalize crossbows in Kansas during deer hunting season is stirring passionate debate just as it has in several other states where similar measures have been introduced.

The battle lines have been drawn with many bowhunters leading the fight against making crossbows legal. Those opposed say crossbows blur the lines between what is a bow and what is a firearm. Those in favor of legalizing crossbows say “traditional” archery has left the sport decades ago and the crossbow is just another technological advance.

“When you can walk in the woods with the string already locked in the shooting position and the bolt already on the weapon, at that point in time it’s a point-and-shoot weapon no different than a rifle in my opinion,” Shawn Harding, the former president of the Kansas Bowhunters Association told the Topeka-Capital Journal. Harding plans to testify against the bill.

Not all agree.

“If you don’t want to allow technological advances, why don’t you make bowhunting where you have to carve the bow yourself, then go down and get some river cane and fashion arrows out of it?” Paul Maglionico, owner of Straight Path Archery in Topeka told the newspaper.

“It’s nothing like a rifle,” he said. “A lot of people think you could shoot an animal at 200 or 300 yards (with a crossbow). You can’t do it. The range is about the same as a regular bow.”

The crossbow bill is getting some support because of the overpopulation of deer in the state. A similar bill passed the House a few weeks back with the help of Rep. Anthony Brown who switched his vote to a “yes” after he had a collision with a deer the night before the vote.

Several bowhunting organizations across the U.S. have passed measures that define a bow as a device in which the string is hand-drawn and hand-held. That was done to exclude crossbows that use a crank to draw the string and a lock that holds the string in place until fired with a trigger.

The Senate bill is scheduled to come before the Senate Natural Resources Committee on Thursday.

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3 thoughts on “Proposal to Legalize Crossbow Hunting in Kansas During Deer Season Divides Hunters

  1. This article doesn’t mention if this is a archery only season, gun, etc but I’m assuming it must be archery season that crossbow hunters want to use their crossbows during an archery only season.  Face it cross bow users………there isn’t much to using a crossbow when the arrow is locked back and ready to fire as compared to having to time a draw and hold back on a critter for the right shot as when using a regular bow.    Of course things have changed quite a bit over the past 20 plus years with traditional style bows as well because 20 plus years ago a person couldn’t hold a bow back as long as they do nowadays plus shots are easy today at 30 yards compared to how hard they used to be at 30 yards 20 plus years ago.   A person used to have to practice alot and know their exact range within 5 yards or so to make a 30 yard shot now they simply have to use one pin set at 30 yards and aim a bit high at 40 or a bit low at 10/20 and use just one pin.   I get a kick out of all the stories I hear of guys shooting deer with their bows at 50 – 75 yards…….wouldn’t have been the case 20 plus years ago.    Most of these guys are shooting them as the deer have their heads in a pile of food/bait and they have rangefinded the exact distance because there is plenty of time to do that.

    The real issue today in hunting is baiting and using any food/mineral attractant that isn’t spread via scent.  That is the most serious issue out there today and it should be banned everywhere by all hunting groups/organizations and states.   Those folks that are using those methods to kill deer are not really hunting………they are simply feeding and shooting and spreading diseases.    Ask yourself next time you go out and put your little bait pile out in front of your stand if you are hunting or if you are feeding/shooting.  

    I think the states that allow baiting should call it Shooting Season like it really is for many states and “hunters”…….there are always exceptions.

    1. The legislation would make crossbow hunting legal during the regular bow season. I’ve added a note to clarify this – thanks for the heads up!

      1. Thanks.   I figured that was the case.    The above comments are just my opinion of course and I realize there may be plenty of other opinions.

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