From New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation
-- Provisions in the New York Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) that allow the use of crossbows for big game hunting, as well as eliminate a permit requirement for hunters with physical disabilities to use special archery equipment during any big game or small game hunting season, expired Dec. 31, 2012.
Legislation allowing the use of crossbows during certain big game hunting seasons in September 2010 took effect on Feb. 1, 2011. This allowed licensed hunters to use a crossbow during the 2011 and 2012 big game hunting seasons.
The immediate effect of the law expiring is that big game hunters will not be able to use a crossbow during the January 2013 deer hunting season in Suffolk County, or during a special January 2013 deer hunting season established in the designated Deer Management Focus Area in Tompkins County.
For hunters with physical disabilities who are allowed to use special archery equipment during any big game or small game season that activity will still is lawful, but they may need to apply again for a Modified Archer Permit from DEC’s Special Licenses Unit in Albany. The expiring legislation had required only a physician’s affirmation of need, instead of a special permit.
For information about current crossbow hunting rules in New York and what opportunities will or have expired, see www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/68802.html.
For information about hunter preferences regarding crossbow use, see Appendix 5 of DEC’s Management Plan for White-tailed Deer in New York State 2012-2016 at www.dec.ny.gov/docs/wildlife_pdf/deerplan2012.pdf .