Title 6 of NYCRR, Part 2, entitled "More Than One Species," and Title 6, Part 170, entitled "Miscellaneous Licenses", are amended as follows:
Adopt a new section 6 NYCRR 2.3 to read as follows:
2.3 Hunting with a crossbow.
(1) "Crossbow Certificate of Qualification" means a certificate, as provided by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC or department), signed by the hunter that will be using a crossbow, certifying that he or she has satisfied the department's legal requirements for crossbow training.
(2) "Late muzzleloading season" means a special season in which the muzzleloader is the only firearm permitted and which immediately follows the regular open season for deer or bear, as defined in sections 1.22 and 1.31, respectively, of Part 1 of this Title.
(3) "Unloaded crossbow" means a crossbow with the bolt removed, regardless whether the crossbow is cocked or uncocked.
(4) "Crossbow that is taken down" means a crossbow that has the limbs removed from the stock, or securely fastened in a case, or locked in the trunk.
(b) Purpose. The provisions of this section shall apply to the taking of deer and bear by crossbow pursuant to section 11-0901 of the Environmental Conservation Law.
(1) Training. Hunters may use a crossbow to hunt deer or bear only after they have completed training in the safe use of hunting with a crossbow and responsible crossbow hunting practices. Such training shall include, but not be limited to, the types and parts of a crossbow, cocking and uncocking the crossbow, proper holding and use while afield, and effective shooting range.
The department shall post on-line within the department website, and in the New York State Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide, requirements and directions for completing crossbow training. After completion of the training, the hunter must complete and sign a crossbow certificate of qualification provided by the department.
(2) Open season. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (e) of section 1.22 and subdivision (4) (i) of section 1.31 of this title, crossbows may be used in any big game season in which the use of a shotgun and muzzleloader is permitted and all late muzzleloading seasons.
(3) License requirements. Any person who hunts or takes deer or bear with a crossbow in any big game season in which the use of a shotgun and muzzleloader is permitted or late muzzleloading season must possess, on his or her person:
(i) for New York State residents, a valid resident big game license and, if hunting in a late muzzleloading season, they must possess a muzzleloading season privilege; for nonresidents, a valid nonresident combination or muzzleloading license and when hunting for bear, a nonresident bear privilege; and
(ii) a signed crossbow certificate of qualification from completion of crossbow training as provided by the department.
(4) Valid Tags. Regular season deer tags, deer management permits, deer management assistance permits, bow/muzzleloader season either-sex tags, and bow/muzzleloader antlerless tags are valid for use when hunting deer with a crossbow. A resident bear tag and nonresident bear tag are valid for use when hunting bear with a crossbow.
(5) Other requirements. Except as otherwise provided in this section, the provisions of the Environmental Conservation Law relating to deer and bear hunting, including hunting hours,
manner of taking, tagging, reporting, possession, and transporting, shall apply to hunting and taking deer or bear pursuant to this section.
Adopt a new section 6 NYCRR 2.4 to read as follows:
2.4 Authorization to use a longbow equipped with a mechanical device.
(1) "Modified longbow authorization" means department authorization to use a longbow equipped with a mechanical device to take big game or small game pursuant to this section.
(2) "Longbow equipped with a mechanical device" means an otherwise legal longbow, which has been equipped with a mechanical device attached to the handle or riser of the longbow for holding and releasing the bowstring.
(3) "Longbow" means a longbow, recurve bow or compound bow which is designed to be used by holding the bow at arm's length, with arrow on the string, and which is drawn, pulled and released by hand or with the aid of a hand-held trigger device attached to the bowstring.
(4) "Physician Certification" means a signed statement by a physician duly licensed to practice medicine certifying the nature, extent, and term of physical disability that prohibits the hunter from drawing or holding a longbow.
(5) "Bowhunter with a physical disability" means a person who, due to physical disabilities, is incapable of drawing, holding, or releasing a longbow.
(b) A bowhunter with physical disabilities may receive authorization by the department to use a longbow equipped with a mechanical device to take big game or small game. To obtain such modified longbow authorization the bowhunter must:
(1) obtain a modified longbow authorization form that the department shall post on the DEC website and make available in hard copy to anyone who requests one;
(2) complete the modified longbow authorization form, which shall include information from the bowhunter with physical disabilities, including a signed statement from a physician duly licensed to practice medicine. This physician shall certify that the bowhunter is physically incapable of drawing, holding or releasing a longbow because of a physical disability and shall indicate the term of the disability; and
(3) for New York State residents, a valid hunting license to hunt small game, or license to hunt big game with a bowhunting privilege; for nonresidents, a valid nonresident hunting license to hunt small game, or a valid nonresident combination or bowhunting license to hunt big game, and when hunting for bear, a nonresident bear privilege.
(c) Modified longbow authorization forms are subject to the following conditions:
(1) Application must be made on the modified longbow authorization form provided by the department;
(2) The modified longbow authorization form must be in the holder's possession while hunting with a longbow equipped with a mechanical device. The bowhunter shall also be in possession of all other required licenses and permits;
(3) The modified longbow authorization is valid as per the term indicated in the physician's statement;
(4) The department may provide the holder of a previous modified archer permit authorization for use of a modified longbow. This authorization will replace all previous authorization issued for the terms of the certification; and
(5) The holder of the modified longbow authorization form is subject to all other applicable provisions of the Environmental Conservation Law and rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto.
Repeal existing section 6 NYCRR 170.6, "Permit to use a bow equipped with a mechanical device."