Maine Sees Promising Future for Crossbow Use

By Joe Mullin, New England States Coordinator

Recently, HB 28, An Act to Allow the Use of Crossbows During the Archery Season on Deer, was reconsidered by Maine’s Joint Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

Although the bill had previously received an unfavorable report, upon receiving additional information, several Committee members altered their position and the bill was unanimously reported as ought to pass as amended.

The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) provided written support in favor of HB 28, in which it offered an analytical review of hunting participation trends in the state and ways to support hunter recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3). As noted, “HB 28 would authorize the use of crossbows for harvesting deer during the regular archery season. Annual hunting license sales have been declining in Maine for the past decade. Crossbows provide an additional facet of hunting which have been shown to appeal to hunters that are not regular participants in the sport, and thereby encourage more regular license sales which will serve to bolster conservation funding for the state through the American System of Conservation Funding.

CSF is dedicated to advocating for the protection and advancement of hunting, angling, recreational shooting and trapping. Allowing the use of crossbows during the regular archery season on deer will fundamentally increase opportunities for Maine’s sportsmen and women. 

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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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