Rauner signs bill allowing use of crossbows during archery seaso - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Rauner signs bill allowing use of crossbows during archery seasons

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WSIL -- Governor Bruce Rauner signed a law, amending the Illinois Wildlife Code to repeal restrictions on crossbows during archery hunting seasons.

Larry Milligan has used a crossbow to hunt for around 10 years after a shoulder injury forced him to switch from a compound bow. He sees no problem with opening crossbows up to everyone.

"I think it's ok. I don't see any problem with it," said Milligan. "The only thing I say, is they're big and bulky and you have to be extra careful with them."  

In the past, crossbows have been restricted to those 62 or older, with certain disabilities, or only used after the second firearm deer season.

Now, anyone with a hunting license and archery tags can use a crossbow during the normal deer and turkey archery seasons starting October 1st.

While it may persuade some hunters to switch to a crossbow, Milligan says he still prefers his compound bow.

"They're not as bulky. Trying to load them," explained Milligan. "You've got to be extra careful. Even unloading them, the arrow. With a compound, you can just take the arrow out of it. With a crossbow, you have to unload them. You have to be really careful."  

Crossbows often have scopes and a trigger like a gun, but they're still limited on range like a compound bow and are typically easier for people to draw and cock.

Lawmakers hope the new measure will introduce more kids and more women into hunting.

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