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Hidden among the many proposed hunting regulation changes for the future in British Columbia is a proposal to effectively BAN the use of scopes on crossbows. Here is how it reads:

Scopes on Bows during Bow Only Seasons

Regulation Number: 2020-0-05

Status: Proposed

Region: Province-Wide

Regulation Type: General Open Season, Limited Entry Hunting

Species: All

Closing Date: January 17, 2020 at midnight

Decision Statement: Pending

Current Regulations:

There are currently no regulations that prohibit the use of a scope on archery equipment during bow only seasons.
Proposed Regulations:

Prohibit the use of scopes on bows during bow-only seasons


This proposed regulation was requested by the Provincial Hunting and Trapping Advisory Team. For more information on the process that led to the request refer to the “Additional Information” section at the bottom of this page.

Crossbow technology has advanced in recent years and their operation has become easier; some users consider a modern crossbow to be more similar to a firearm than a bow. There is mixed support for crossbows during bow only seasons; many jurisdictions have prohibited crossbows during bow only seasons. In B.C., crossbows are still permitted. As a compromise between permitting and prohibiting crossbows during bow only seasons, it is proposed to reduce the effectiveness of modern versions of these weapons by prohibiting scopes.

Bow only seasons are intended to be short range (i.e. around 40 yards) hunting opportunities, and often allow hunting for classes of species (i.e. any buck or antlerless deer) that are not open through general open seasons when firearms are permitted. Historically, this opportunity was in place simply because the success rates of bow hunters was much lower than that of hunters with firearms. Advancements in crossbow technology has increased the range of crossbows closer to 100 yards, which was not considered when instituting short-range hunting seasons in the past. Prohibiting scopes on bows is thought to bring crossbows back into the short-range weapon category.

Under this proposed regulation the use of scopes on bows would only be prohibited during bow only seasons; scopes on bows would continue to be permitted during general open seasons.

Additional Information:

A sub-committee of the Provincial Hunting and Trapping Advisory Team (PHTAT) with representatives from the B.C. Wildlife Federation, Guide Outfitters Association of B.C., B.C. Trappers Association, Wild Sheep Society, Wildlife Stewardship Council, and United Bowhunters of B.C., conducted a review of various hunting practices (methods, tools, and tactics), evaluated those practices against a set of criteria that reflect the principles of fair chase, and recommended management actions for specific hunting practices. These recommendations were accepted by PHTAT and were forwarded to the Province for consideration.

Factors that influenced or informed the Management Action Recommendation included:

Does the hunting method, tool, or tactic:

Negate wildlife’s ability to avoid detection?
Negate wildlife’s ability to escape once it has detected a threat?
Lead to an inhumane treatment of wildlife?
Lead to increased wounding loss/jeopardize a hunter’s ability to retrieve the wildlife?
Jeopardize public acceptance of hunting?
Result in higher harvest rates/reduced opportunity in the future?

Estimated difficulty in enacting a regulation.
Regulatory enforceability.

The Management Action options available for each hunting practice included:

Encourage/discourage the hunting practice through education and/or training
Regulate the hunting practice through legislative prohibitions
Monitor the hunting practice over the coming years to see if it becomes an issue in B.C.
Defer; not of concern and no specific management action or monitoring is required.

I acquired a crossbow due to multiple shoulder injuries that prevent me from using a compound or recurve any longer.
Both my eyes have had repeated surgeries and damage to the extent that I can no longer use iron sights. Period.

This proposal would effectively remove me from the archery seasons. I am far from alone in this situation.

Upon returned from my latest successful crossbow hunt 2 days ago, I learned of this nonsensical proposal.
Yesterday, I had a good long chat with my Lawyer over this matter.
He advises that should this be implemented, a very strong case for discrimination against seniors and / or handicapped individuals exists, and that he is more than willing to take this on. I will be directly writing the Chair of each of the organizations involved in producing this proposal, advising them that their organization will be named in a legal challenge should this proposal move forward. The same will also be sent to the wildlife ministry of BC.

In addition, I will be mounting a public awareness campaign over the next few days.

This is NOT a conservation matter. Period.
It does smack of spite and elitism, and I am simply not going to sit idly by while my hunting access is being directly attacked in this manner.

If the object is to increase wounding / loss rates for crossbow use they could not have dreamed up a better scheme...

BC Hunters / residents can voice their concerns / displeasure with this nonsense by logging in to their BC Hunter Account and then proceeding to the following link:


I STRONGLY suggest that any who can get their comments on this BS is ASAP!


8 Posts
I’m in Alberta but I will say this. The only this that the bc government should be looking at in regards to wildlife protection is your ungulate numbers. Your predetation is out of control. I know everyone is sick of hearing it, but the only reason there is wildlife conservation is because of hunters. Banning crossbow scopes is a waste of money. Taxpayers money. How about a real bounty on wolves for you west coasters.

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