May 20, 2019

Maine: Governor Mills Signs Crossbow Use Expansion Bill

Contact Joe Mullin, New England States Coordinator

On May 14, Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus Member Governor Janet Mills (ME) signed LD 27, “An Act to Allow the Use of a Crossbow for a Limited Duration During the Archery Season on Deer and the Fall Season on Wild Turkey,” into law.

This legislation was sponsored by several Maine Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus members, including Caucus Co-Chair Representative Catherine Nadeau.

LD 27 offers expanded crossbow use to Maine’s sportsmen and women during the 2020, 2021, and 2022 hunting seasons. Starting next year, hunters in the Pine Tree State will be able to use their crossbows during the open archery season for deer and during the Fall season for wild turkey.

Crossbows have been shown to appeal to hunters who may lapse in consistent participation, thereby encouraging more regular license sales, which will serve to bolster conservation funding for the state through the American System of Conservation Funding.

Earlier this year, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) submitted testimony to the Joint Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife in support of LD 27. CSF encourages the expansion of crossbow use in Maine, as greater opportunities will likely result in enhanced hunter recruitment, retention, and reactivation, which would generate additional conservation funding for the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

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?

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