The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism voted 5 to 0 last night to pass KAR 115-4-4 which will improve the state’s hunting regulations in a number of ways. Under this rule change, all hunters will be allowed the option of using crossbows during archery season starting in September. Useful technologies such as rangefinders, cameras, and new sighting devices will also be allowed.
Evidence in other states has shown that allowing hunters to use crossbows helps increase hunter participation and preserves our rich hunting heritage at a time when hunter numbers are generally declining across the country. It has been shown that older hunters tend to remain in the hunting ranks many decades longer if they are allowed to use a crossbow, giving them more time to help recruit the next generation of hunters. Also, youngsters who lack the physical strength to adequately draw and shoot vertical archery equipment in order to make clean and ethical kills are able to participate in the archery season at an earlier age.
Other important changes under KAR 115-4-4 will allow hunting with all centerfire rifles and handguns, regardless of caliber, and all shotgun slugs, regardless of gauge. Modern bullet construction eliminates the lack of lethality associated with the solid, non-expanding bullets of old. Allowing smaller centerfire rifles will encourage youngsters and newer hunters to use firearms more appropriate for their circumstances. The goal of all hunters is to recover the game they shoot and they will choose what they consider to be the most effective caliber to achieve that end within their physical limitations – such as their ability to handle the firearm’s recoil.
The NRA applauds the Commissioners for their decision to approve these pro-hunting reforms that will help preserve Kansas’ rich hunting heritage.