For the first time ever, crossbows are fair game for West Virginia deer hunters.
West Virginia Division of Natural Resource officers said last year, the state saw a total of 300,000 deer hunters. Roughly 80,000 of them were bow hunters. They expect those numbers to increase this season, partly because of crossbow legality.
“Crossbows have really stepped it up as for the number of people who have been able to participate,” said WVDNR Sgt. Jerry Payne. “It gives access to more people to use it – to actually participate during archery season. Maybe people that aren’t strong enough, smaller-framed people that have trouble holding the bow back or somebody with weakness in their arms for whatever reason. They can participate in archery season now using the crossbow.”
A Cabela’s store manager said they’ve seen an uptick in the number of customers buying crossbows since deer hunting season began.
Hunters were allowed to start using crossbows on the first day of deer hunting season, Sept. 26, and will be allowed to use them through December.
Hunters in all but four counties are allowed to use crossbows. The restricted counties are: Logan, McDowell, Wyoming and Mingo.