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SPN Editorial: Compound bow hunting = crossbow hunting
Commentary by Mac Olsen
for South Peace News
Compound bow hunters will likely disagree with me vehemently, but I don’t see any reason why crossbows shouldn’t be classified the same as compound bows for the archery-only season in Alberta.
To me, it’s very discriminatory the crossbow is classified as a rifle and is valid only for the general season. Since when does an arrow in a crossbow equate to a bullet in a rifle?
Sure, they both have a trigger to fire their lethal projectile, but they are very different projectiles. The two are as different as night and day.
Admittedly, I am a rifle hunter, but if crossbow hunting were to be reclassified for the archery-only season, then I would take an interest in it and participate.
For practice several times, I drew a compound bow and found I could barely pull the string back to the full position. In effect, I concluded that I would need Arnold Schwarzenegger’s upper body strength to draw the bow to get the shot off, and I don’t have it.
On the other hand, a crossbow would be more practical for me, because the mechanics of the crossbow pull the string into position. Then the arrow can be easily inserted.
Another reason to put the crossbow in with the archery-only season is, you have to get the animal in at close range to make the shot – just as you do with the compound bow. Moreover, both types of bow hunters must have the same accuracy to make the shot.
Thus, although the compound bow hunter and crossbow hunter use differently designed bows, the outcome is the same in their use of their arrows.
The reason it’s an issue for me is because of visiting the Huntfest show in the Edmonton Exposition Centre Aug. 5-7. There were many dealers and manufacturers there, including the ones with compound bows and crossbows.
I talked to one of the dealers about my view regarding crossbows and they agreed with me. They also told me they were trying to lobby the Alberta Government to get the archery-only season reclassified to include crossbows. I highly commend them for their efforts and hope they succeed.
Gun control legislation is also an issue for me, including the much hated long-gun registry. Like many other gun owners, I believe the long-gun registry has been a big waste of money and a bureaucratic nightmare.
Just like Bill C-68 as a whole, it only punishes the legitimate, responsible firearms owners and doesn’t keep firearms out of the hands of criminals. Also, just how much compliance has resulted with long-gun owners registering their firearms? Some owners, no doubt, have registered only some and others none.
Can the federal government ever account for all the long guns in the country? It’s very unlikely.
The National Firearms Association and the Canadian Shooting Sports organization had booths at Huntfest. They were promoting membership in their respective organizations and how they, too, believe the long-gun registry poses an unnecessary burden and infringes on the rights of legitimate, responsible owners.
Fortunately, now that Prime Minister Stephen Harper has the majority government he needs to abolish the long-gun registry, he owes it to all long-gun owners to do precisely what he promised. Legislation is supposed to be introduced in the fall – and hopefully it passes.
So, as another hunting season comes and goes, hopefully the imbalances between compound bows and crossbows, as well as the onerous long-gun registry, will be eliminated.