Missouri became the 26th state to recognize crossbows as an archery method. The Missouri Department of Conservation expanded crossbow use to all archery hunters for the first time this fall. This makes crossbows legal for use during archery season and the fall firearms turkey season.
Benny Pryor, the regional supervisor for the Missouri Department of Conservation, said crossbows were allowed for different purposes in the past, but this new expansion will create more opportunities in hunting.
“I would suppose we’ll see some increased participation with folks utilizing crossbows. I don’t anticipate that we’ll see a significant harvest increase but we’ll have to work through the season and see how that goes,” Pryor said.
Pryor said the expansion will give crossbow users more chances to use them and recruit new users.
“It will allow those folks who had a crossbow interest to utilize that during archery season and to recruit and provide more opportunity for folks that are interested in archery hunting,” Pryor said.
Joe Jerek, the news services coordinator for the Missouri Department of Conservation, said the department has looked into this issue for several years. He said the high number of crossbow users Missouri led to this expansion.
Jerek said crossbows help young people or those with physical limitations hunt since crossbows don’t require as much physical strength to use as conventional bows. He said the new expansion will help make crossbows more usable and accessible.
“Prior to this year, you essentially needed a doctor’s order to use a crossbow,” Jerek said.