— On Aug. 17, the Michigan Natural Resources Commission approved crossbow regulation changes that will increase opportunities for hunters ages 10 and up across the state. The regulations take effect immediately, said the Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources and Environment in a press release.
Changes approved to the crossbow rules and regulations included:
• Lowering the minimum age for crossbow use from 12 to 10 years of age statewide
• Expanding the use of crossbows to all legal hunters during all archery and firearm seasons statewide, except in the Upper Peninsula, where crossbow use will remain prohibited during the late archery and muzzleloader seasons, unless the hunter is disabled
• Allowing the use of modified bows where crossbows are legal
• Including a temporary crossbow permit for hunters with temporary disabilities
• Eliminating a provision that limited the maximum bolt velocity for crossbows
• Eliminating the 3-year sunset provision for the use of the crossbow in the affected section of the Wildlife Conservation Order.
Hunters planning to use crossbows in the upcoming seasons are still required to pick up a free crossbow stamp. That stamp will continue to allow DNRE staff to monitor and survey crossbow hunters and to document how the effect the crossbow regulations have on hunter recruitment, retention and harvest. Results of the DNRE’s mail survey that took place at the close of the 2009 hunting season showed that overall participation in archery deer hunting increased after crossbow regulations were liberalized last year. It’s the fastest growing segment of archeryrelated equipment in some time. Specifically, the survey showed that archery deer hunter numbers increased by 10 percent because of the use of crossbows.
To learn more about crossbows or the laws for crossbow hunting in Michigan log on to www.michigan.gov/dnrhunting.