Contributors to this thread:
The Airbow in Virginia
I'm happy to share the good news that the "airbow" bill that was originally introduced was amended to a much more reasonable bill that is now on the way to becoming law. The bill that is becoming law allows the use of the "airbow" during archery seasons only with a doctor's note stating that that person is extremely handicapped and cannot operate a bow or crossbow. The bill also allows the "airbow" to be used by anybody during the muzzleloader season (or firearm season), which makes sense because the "airbow" is a muzzle loading gun.
That's the short story.
Here is the long story:
The original HB1393 and SB859 were going to allow the use of the "airbow" into the archery season for everyone. The SB (Senate Bill) went all the way through the Senate without a single dissenting vote. This was when the bowhunters of Virginia took notice. I think most of us thought it was a joke up until then. The HB (House Bill) passed the first subcommittee with only one dissenting vote so then it went on the whole House Agriculture Committee.
The days before the House Agriculture Committee meeting were a busy time for us. The Virginia Bowhunters Association (VBA) pressed hard. The VBA developed a position statement opposing the use of the "airbow" during archery season. That statement was distributed to all of the House members with a letter from the VBA. That statement was also spread on some big Facebook groups, which created a lot of awareness by the public. Then the archery manufacturers in Virginia (Parker, T.R.U. Ball, etc) got involved because they were concerned about how it would hurt Virginia's archery businesses.
At about this time the House members were being educated on what an "airbow" was. Up until this point they had been lied to. There were two prominent lies. One lie was that other states had allowed the "airbow" during archery season, including our neighboring state Maryland. The other lie was that the "airbow" is great for kids that can't pull a bow or crossbow.
The VBA spoke to the House Agriculture Committee and revealed these lies but still lost the vote 12-6. But, we had clearly made some progress. The bill was heading to the House floor next, where it would be voted on by all 100 Delegates.
The VBA stepped up the education and showed that the "airbow" isn't a bow of any kind. It says right in the Owner's Manual that it is a "high powered airgun that shoots arrows". The "airbow" isn't legal archery equipment for big game in any state. And, we pointed out that Virginia never does anything first, which is true:) We also broke down the lie that the "airbow" is good for kids by showing a warning in the Owner's Manual stating that it shouldn't be used by anyone less than 21 years of age.
There was another problem and that was the language in the bill itself. The bill referred to the "airbow" but that term is trademarked. This is what we think caused the patrons to amend the bill to a more generic name, and it became known as the "arrowgun". With this new name and our education of the 100 Delegates the bill lost a lot of momentum. The Delegates were learning that it wasn't a bow, as its name implied. It was questionable whether it would pass at all. So the bill's patrons amended the bill to allow it to be used by extremely handicapped people during archery season and for anybody else during muzzleloader (and firearm) season. This amended bill was approved by the VBA (not that the bill's patrons cared) and the bill is heading for passage into law.
Here was part of our education. These are the first three warnings of the "airbow's" Owner's Manual.
What we, the VBA, learned is that we need to be more politically aware and active. Every serious bowhunter should belong to a club and their state's bowhunting association. This organization of ours gave us an important political tool. We were able to stand up in front of the lawmakers and tell them that we represented 60,000 bowhunters in Virginia. The VBA member ship is way less than that but nonetheless the VBA was respected by the lawmakers because of our single purpose.
Join your state bowhunting organization to help keep this from happening in your state.
PM me if you have any specific questions that you don't want to ask here. Or, PM me if this happens in your state. I'll help in any way possible.
Well done. Iowa and Colorado Bow Hunting Associations have paid lobbyist and a legislative liason to keep an eye on these things as they get introduced. The Crossgun guys will definitely move to another state to begin the domino effect.
You say Virginia is never first to do something. What about allowing felons to vote? LOL!
Kudos to VBA on there hard work. Ed
Appreciate the hard work the VBA did. You were rewarded for your hard work.
A more combined effort of all bowhunting organizations would have been more beneficial and powerful in sending the message to not only the VA Legislature, but other state legislatures as well. Sadly, airbag efforts will not end in VA. That is just where the first shot was fired (no pun intended).
Congrats again on your hard work and success !!!
I’m for the Airbow , I Hunt in Southampton County, where you can not Muzzleloade Hunt!!!!! It’s a shame how many big deer I have seen and got away because I can’t use a Muzzleloader.
I feel using the Airbow or any weapon is a land owners right, if I wanted to use a crossbow I would be the worst hunter in the state a few years ago.
Im willing to bet 50% of the VBA members use a Muzzleloader.
I’m saying if you don’t like a weapon being used then just don’t use it on your land. If the land owner next door uses it then that’s there choice.
I can’t wait to hear what everyone says when a nice buck is harvested with an Airbow.
I love the rationale used to defeat the bill. Kudos. It's nice to read of an archery victory.
Congrats on your efforts!!!! . I don't want to ruin the party, but if i recall correctly, the crossbow here in PA, started off with a doctors note needed to get a permit to use one... before I knew it, everybody had a shoulder injury.. Only a matter of time...
Killbuck, exactly what I was gonna say.
Rick: Did you know that Southampton county VA is the only county in the US that allows big game hunting with a firearm and yet finds the muzzleloader to be "unsafe"? Have you approached the county board members and asked why?
You're right about it being a landowner's right about using any weapon on their land. But you are wrong about harvesting the state's animals with any weapon on their land. The animals belong to the state and therefore the state regulates their harvest. This is regulated by different weapons and different seasons. It's been this way for a LONG time.
The good news for you is that you might be allowed to use the airbow/arrowgun during muzzleloader season in Southampton. I'm not a lawyer but the airbow/arrowgun is legal to use during muzzleloader season so I would think that you could use it to shoot all of those big bucks that you saw but couldn't shoot because they were previously out of bow range. You should be happy about this. You're welcome.
Well Mr Elkstabber, Do some research on Muzzleloader hunting in Southampton County. Then you would find the questions being brought up to the board of directors. Muzzleloaders have way less accidents then any guns to be correct.
If they are so unsafe why is every country use them except one?
I’m not promoting or going to buy an air bow, I’m just making a statement that it is a land owners right to say what weapon can be used on there property if the State of Virginia says it’s legal. Cause you don’t feel a certain weapon should be used then just do not allow it on the property you pay taxes or lease. Not on everyone elses property in the state.
I have been hunting in Southampton County for 41 years so I no what I’m talking about.
So if the Airbow is legal in the State of Virginia then it’s ok with me the same as a Rifle, Muzzleloader, and Shotgun. If I don’t like it then I would not let it be allowed on my property. Not tell everyone else don’t use it on there property.
I think the problem is everyone is afraid someone is going to kill a big deer excep them. Chime in Bowsiters
Oh yeah one more thing,
I willing to bet the Airbow will not be allowed in Southampton County. Unless you can use it while running dogs . Stay tuned. They freaked out about Sunday Hunting
Chime in Bowsiters
I am familiar enough with the area to know there is a rather imperial bias toward dog hunting and that it will likely take a state wide ban on the practice to facilitate significant changes.
I grew up hunting along the Blackwater and LOVE the ground south of the James but I do not see them changing so long as dog chasing is allowed. That stated, I do not know the "inside baseball" of Southampton politics.
Rick: I asked if you had approached the county board. You never answered the question. I know the answers. I live about a mile from Southampton county and know the players.
I'm not sure what made you so confrontational on this topic. The VBA took a position against the airbow/arrowgun during archery season and you don't like it? Are you a VBA member? Did you make your opinion known to the VBA's board members?
I stated that you could use an airbow/arrowgun during muzzleloader season because that is the law as I understand it. Southampton county could possibly ban it but I doubt they'll care enough. This is good news for you.
Owl understands it.
- but a 6" axle to axle xgun with a scope shooting a "bolt" 350 fps is a bow.......
-what is the difference between a 80% letoff machined metal thing with release trigger and sight, and an xgun with scope and trigger?
-we detonated thermo nuclear weapons in combat before we had fiberglass backed recurve and longbows
-We put men on the moon several years before the advent of the compound bow
a "bow" is a design essentially unchanged for 100,000 years. In the 1930s a boy scout was required to harvest his own materials and build his own self bow and natural material for arrows in order to EARN an archery merit badge
Just food for thought. And yes, I do hunt with an osage selfbow, from opening day archery through every legal season to the end. Because? I can.
The first bow only seasons were in Sauk and Columbia County WI (My place of birth and home for 21 years), my grandfather, Great Grandfather, and Great Great grandfather had already been farming there for over 90 years at the time)) in 1936. The first person to harvest a deer in the first archery season used a self bow. Aldo Leopold made and used his own selfbows for bowhunting Saxton Pope and Art Young killed the first ever bow killed grizzly bear with a selfbow....AT 90 YARDS!! Fiberglass backed and belly bows was introduced by Bear archery not to make a better bow, but to ease mass production and profits. Nels Grumley promptly quit over the abomination
Credible reports of 14,000 frenchman being killed in less than two hours at one battle in the 1400s by english bowmen armed with yew selfbows
I use to be a member of the VBA for a number of years. An I have shot a many 3D courses too.
I’m not angry what I’m saying hunting is hunting. But don’t tell a person what weapon they should be hunting with if it’s legal in Virginia according to the VGIF. If you like to use a bow, shotgun, Muzzleloader or any legal weapon on your property then that’s your property, but don’t be suggesting what some else should be using on there’s.
If it’s legal then it’s legal in the whole state not where you say PERIOD!!!!!!!!
So you are proposing a tomahawk cruise missile should be a legal weapon during "archery season" if you use it on your own property?
How in the world is this "good news" and a "win"? The arrow gun has no business in any archery-only hunting season. This is not something to celebrate. We were sold the crossbow so that handicapped, youth, and elderly could participate. Now we are told that is not good enough and the arrow gun is needed because not all can handle a crossbow. Does anyone see the similarities?
No I’m not saying a Tom hawk cruise middle should be used.
Reread my posts slow then you will catch on. If you still can’t then don’t worry about it. Everyone does not understand English. LoL
ALL shoulder fired tools/weapons should be in the "gun season", this should include all the crossthingamajigs .... glad this "thing" isnt allowed for the everyday hunter in ARCHERY seasons ... but, they still got their foot in the door ...
Agree with JTV. An Airbow and crossbow do the exact same thing. Aim and shoot.
Except the air bow shoots an arrow with compressed air and the crossbow shoots it with mechanical energy stored in limbs. A bit different I’d say.
I guess you missed the SHOULDER FIRED part 'eh ... like a firearm ...
The crossbow was legalized during archery season in VA in about 2012 or so. So fighting the airbow/arrowgun on the "shoulder fired" definition wasn't going to work for us to be successful. We had to fight it on the "gun" definition. It is, quite literally, a muzzle loading airgun. So that was how we fought it. The VBA's position was that it should be a legal weapon during the muzzleloader season. Part of politics is compromising so this was our compromise. It's a muzzle loading airgun. We fought it with honesty.
Parker (crossbows) is based in VA and they were an ally of ours in keeping the airbow/arrowgun out.
"parker crossbows were an ally of ours" lol..............................
"parker crossbows".... lol ya if that isn't the pot calling the kettle black.
Yes, Parker was an ally of ours in the fight to keep the airbow/arrowgun out of Virginia's archery season. I hope I don't have to explain this.
Regardless, Thank you Curt for your work in this small victory. The political process is slow and ugly, and fighting someones $$$ with logic is no guarantee of successful outcomes. It will take continued vigilance and education, by many folks.
Is an Airbow more effective than a Crossbow?
Is an Airbow more effective than a Crossbow? Probably not. No more shooting your fingers off. But you don't have to cock the airgun prior to each shot although you may need to drag a large cylinder of compressed air behind you if you anticipate a lot of shooting.
Is an airbow/arrowgun more effective or accurate than a crossbow?
I don't know right now. But I'm certain that as the airbow/arrowgun evolves it will most certainly become more accurate. All you have to do is consider how bows and muzzleloaders have evolved in the last couple of decades. Clearly the airbow/arrowgun will evolve similarly and when it does it will rival the muzzleloading rifles. Keep in mind that an airbow/arrowgun is best described as a muzzleloading airgun.
same laws being adopted in Washington State Dr note required for bow season otherwise its in with modern ...if Im reading it correct MikeC
“I’m just making a statement that it is a land owners right to say what weapon can be used on there property if the State of Virginia says it’s legal. ”
Yep, and in this case the state has said Not Legal in an Archery Season. Rightly so.
(Good work by the VBA!)
Does it come with wheels and a tow hitch? Looks like a freaking cannon.
Saw this info about proposed airbow legislation in Mississippi: As Barney would say, "Nip it in the bud Andy!" Thankfully, this legislation did not grow legs this year in the MS Legislature. But, there is always next year that it will raise its ugly head again.
"HB1383 Air bow; authorize use during certain open seasons for individuals who are exempt from the hunting license requirement by reason of disability. 01/30 (H) Died In Committee Hood"
Is an airbow/arrowgun more effective or accurate than a crossbow? You read the warnings right?? possibly lethal out to 800 yds (like a gun). The whole system is pressurized allows for multiple shots(like a gun). Has a barrel (like a gun), no limbs It has absolutely no purpose in any archery season, anywhere..
Agreed...It's a foot in the door. Also agree..."handicap-only use" was the way the cross gun was rammed into the Pa bow season. My only question is what's the next weapon (that hasn't even been invented as of yet), that will be jammed down our throats? You DO realize that it won't end with the airbow, right?
really, is there anyone who can look at this air rifle and say it looks like a bow?? get real
Nobody to blame but the hunting community who buys into the new technology. This has been going on for decades. Not the fault of the manufacturers, they are getting paid by hunters to make killing animals easier, without much hunting and skill involved.
sschindler: I agree with you. But, when it is called an "airbow" and a "severely handicapped man" walks up to the podium and says that he needs an "airbow" to hunt during archery season then the bill gets passed. The bill passed Virginia's Senate unanimously 40-0 in favor of the "airbow" for everyone during archery season. This is how bills become laws. this is why we hunters need to be carefully watching our lawmakers. At the very least, become a member of your state's bowhunting association and make sure that someone in your organization is watching out for dumb bills like this. We hunters need to step up our game.
Curt, the Roanoke times said this morning that the bill passed for handicapped individuals only and has renamed it an "arrowgun". It was confusing to me as to who could hunt with this thing. First it said if you were disabled you could hunt with it during the archery season, then later it says that all deer hunters could use it during the muzzle-loading and firearms seasons....as for me it is a black-eye for traditional bowhunters in Va.
Wildlife in this county, belongs to the public. This is Often referred as the "North American Model" of wildlife management.. In this model, the states are tasked with the management of the wildlife, they set seasons and bag limits not the land owners. In some European counties, the estate owners may vary well own the wildlife on there estates, not the public. They can set bag limits and limit the type of weapon being used.
So the "its my land, so I should be able to use any weapon I want" argument does not hold up in the "North American Model" of wildlife management. It is not up to the land owner to make such decisions.
I applaud the VBA for fighting the airbow fight.
Stick, that is exactly right. Handicapped hunters with an official form (that they have to carry on them) can use it during archery season. They can only use it if they can't use a conventional bow or crossbow. The form has to be signed by a medical doctor and by the director of the DGIF. Also, anybody can use it during the muzzleloader season (and firearms season), which makes sense because it is a muzzleloading airgun.
When the bill had passed the Senate it came through unopposed. The VBA simply had to compromise if we were going to be successful in keeping it out of archery season. We would have been viewed as unreasonable (because they had a "handicapped" guy speaking in favor of it) if the VBA opposed its use by handicapped people during archery season. The VBA supported the use of it during the muzzleloader and firearms seasons. There was simply no way we could have opposed that since we're a bowhunting group, and not a muzzleloading group.
Keep in mind also, that along with the best efforts by the VBA we got help from Parker Bows, based in VA.