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Airbows In Arizona?

Arizona Airbows – Yay or Nay?

Just recently the Arizona Game and Fish Department set to reexamining rules, wording and definitions across a broad spectrum of topics but one that caught our eye was the proposed amendment to the department’s crossbow permit rule, see below.

R12-4-216. Crossbow Permit

The objective of the rule is to establish eligibility requirements, conditions, and restrictions for the crossbow permit. The permit allows a person, who cannot draw and hold a bow, to use a crossbow during an archery-only hunt. The Commission proposes to amend the rule to allow a Crossbow Permit holder to use a pre-charged pneumatic weapon, as defined under R12-4-301, using bolts or arrows for the take of wildlife. This change is proposed as a result of customer comments received by the Department. (http://s3.amazonaws.com/azgfd-portal…le-3-NPRM1.pdf)

Now, “pre-charged pneumatic weapons,” aka “airguns” or “airbows” in this case, have been around since Lewis and Clark set out to explore the West, so this is not new technology. What is new are the advancements that allow “airbows” to fire bolts at incredibly high velocities with very little effort and pinpoint accuracy on the part of the shooter. Understanding that a hunter must qualify for a permit to hunt with a crossbow in Arizona certainly limits the pool of folks who are even eligible to carry an “airbow” but there is a buzz surrounding this decision nonetheless.

Naturally, questions and opinions spring up around this topic like either spring flowers or toadstools, depending on your viewpoint. Do these weapons belong in the “archery” category? Do they represent the next evolution of hunting technology aiding in the clean harvest of game or do they cross the border from “fair chase” into unfair advantage? Do they get folks who would otherwise “hang it up,” participating and contributing to conservation via license fees and Pittman-Robertson money? We could continue ad nauseum but it’s time for your voice to be heard.

What say you? Let the debate begin…!


About Todd Helms

Todd Helms

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13 comments

  1. Not “no” but “HELL NO!” I can’t believe anyone would even give serious consideration to allowing such an abomination to be a legal weapon during ARCHERY season — handicapped or not. The M1 tank I commanded in Iraq fired a metallic-fletched “dart” out of its main gun to destroy enemy armor. Maybe we should petition Arizona to allow those for deer hunting too…. Idiots!

    • I was an avid archer my entire life even after losing a leg but crutches are very unforgiving and a few years ago I slipped on ice and tore 3 of the four rotater cuff tendons. Even after surgery I can’t hold and draw a bow. I can put 150 pound crossbows up to my chest and cock them. If you ever tried to carry a crossbow slung over your back with crutches you would see just how cumbersome they are. There are compound bows that shoot as fast as an airbow and I’ve split five arrows with my Mathews and know they are just as accurate. Airbow have the same range limits.I would still shoot a compound if I could but as of yet thats not happening. Airbow aren’t as convenient as compounds but does allow some people to get out and hunt that otherwise wouldn’t be able to.

  2. I think if the hunter is truly handicapped with a letter from his/her doctor confirming the inability to draw a bow it would be fine.

  3. No issues if used by the truly physically challenged and unable to draw a conventional bow. The number of individuals would be quite small.

    • Who am I to tell a handicap person what they can or connot use. I believe an air bow would qualify as a reasonable accomadation for a handicap person.

  4. I say use of air bows is just fine. Those of us that have been around a while remember a similar reaction as those who consider them an “abomination” by what we now call traditional bow users when compound bows were introduced. The same happened as conventional crossbows became more popular. CWD may be having a serious impact on game numbers, but crossbows aren’t. Their use will likely have little effect on the amount of game harvested as it isn’t likely that hordes of people will go out and buy one.

  5. They should not allow them. The archery season is a primative type weapon hunt. The air bows are shooting well out over 200 yards. If they cant huntbwith a bow or a crossbow then they can hunt during the rifle hunt. The air bowbis shooting what people should be ahooting rifles at.

  6. If Arizona (or any other state for that matter) decides to allow Airbows then perhaps they can copy how Colorado handles hunting with crossbows………. they can ONLY be used during the rifle seasons.

  7. This is what rifles are for., An “AIR BOW” is not a friggin bow. a bor has a string that is pulled manually by the shooter and then released. AB’s are nothing more than a blow gun on steroids. They do NOT belong in an archery season. If someone has to use a blow gun, then than can just use a rifle. REPEAT AFTER ME: AN AIR BOW IS NOT A BOW, IT IS A BLOW GUN!

  8. Great arguments from both sides. I have been an avid archery hunter for 30 years. In a case of truly disabled hunters I do not see an issue. Here is my belief. Archery equipment has seen amazing technology changes throughout history. Indians never had laser range finders so they should be illegal? So for those of you saying a stick and string is the ONLY way to hunt then you are failing to be honest about archery and current equipment. I look at this from a perspective of “does this still require an arrow to hit an animal and kill it?” Does an airbow allow an unfair or unique advantage over crossbows that have cocking assists or even a hunters aid(which is legal in AZ)? Does this still humanly/ethically accomplish the task? I beleive so although I hope that analysis is conducted.

  9. Though the manufacturer calls this an air bow any fool can see there is no bow. It doesn’t exist. This is an arrow gun. You can stuff an arrow don the barrel of any gun and get the same result. It is an arrow gun..

  10. Just ordered my airbow, cant wait to get out and shoot it. Thanks to ARIZONA for allowing us banged up VETERANS an opportunity to hunt

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