Introduced on February 1, Illinois House Bill 1771 (IL H 1771) would allow hunters to use a crossbow to harvest any game animal during the appropriate archery season. Currently, only hunters with a disability, and those ages 62 and older or 18 years and younger may use crossbows during archery season. Crossbows are currently allowed during archery season, beginning the Monday after the second firearm deer season.
IL H 1771, sponsored by Illinois Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus member Representative Jerry Costello and cosponsored by National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC) Executive Council President Representative Brandon Phelps, would allow any hunter to use a crossbow to harvest an animal during the appropriate archery season.
“Expanding hunting opportunities for sportsmen and women in Illinois is crucial to the future,” said Rep. Costello. “Allowing the full-inclusion of crossbows in our state will help the recruitment, retention, and reactivation of hunters from all walks of life who may prefer to use a crossbow.”
If IL H 1771 is passed, Illinois would become the 26th state to allow the full-inclusion of crossbows during archery season. Connecticut, Kansas, and Mississippi most recently allowed for the full-inclusion of crossbows. Oregon is the only state that does not allow the use of crossbows in any form of hunting.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?