Crossbows approved for MO deer, turkey archery season - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Crossbows approved for MO deer, turkey archery season

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

Missouri hunters will have more freedom when it comes to choosing what weapon to use for the deer and turkey archery season next year.

That is because the Missouri Department of Conservation voted to allow the use of crossbows as a legal method.

The regulation changes are expected to go into effect in March of 2016.

Before the vote of approval, only hunters with a medical exemption were allowed to use them.

With the approval, though, it means anyone, no matter their age or medical record, could use a crossbow during the archery deer and turkey seasons and during the fall firearms turkey season.

According to Ben Stratton, a conservation agent, this change would give greater opportunity for more people to hunt.

Missouri Department of Conservation Agent Andrew Mothershead agrees.

He said it's all about increasing participation.

"New opportunities, additional opportunities, especially for hunters in the younger and older generations, maybe some with some physical limitations that can't pull back and hold traditional archery equipment, to allow them to get out there and participate in the archery season," Mothershead said.

The Conservation Department does not expect the change to increase the total harvest by much, though.

Missouri hunters will not need any other training to be able to use a crossbow.

Other states like Arkansas already have this regulation in place.

In Illinois, only hunters over the age of 62 can use a crossbow.

Hunters in Kentucky can use a crossbow during rifle season.

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