AUSTIN, Texas - In preparation for implementation of new legislation, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission has adopted rules allowing hunters to use crossbows during the upcoming special archery-only hunting season and authorizing persons with documented physical disabilities to use laser sighting devices.
Currently, crossbows cannot be used during an archery-only season except by persons with an upper-limb disability. Recent legislative action gave authority to the Commission to allow any person, regardless of physical ability, to use a crossbow during the archery-only season, provided the person has acquired an archery stamp and a valid Texas hunting license, except in Grayson County. Crossbows may be used in Grayson County during the special archery-only open season (Oct. 3-Nov. 6) only by hunters with an upper-limb disability who possess a physician's statement attesting to the permanent loss of the use of fingers, hand or arm in a manner that renders a person incapable of using a longbow, compound bow or recurved bow. Any person, regardless of physical ability, may use a crossbow during the general season in Grayson County (Nov. 7-Jan. 3).
The Commission also authorized use of laser sighting devices by persons with a physical disability that renders the person incapable of using traditional firearm sights to hunt game animals and game birds. The provision is limited to lawful hunting hours in open seasons, provided the person possesses a physician's or optometrist's statement certifying the extent of the disability. The person must also be assisted by a person who does not have a physical disability, has a hunting license and is at least 13 years of age.
The new crossbow and laser sighting rules are both the result of bills passed by state lawmakers in the 81st Texas Legislature earlier this year. The new rules take effect Sept. 1, 2009.
Anyone planning to take advantage of the new crossbow opportunity during the special archery-only hunting season this October should review the rules and definitions for crossbow hunting in Texas. These are listed under Means and Methods in the Outdoor Annual booklet available at hunting license sales locations and on the TPWD