Legislation sponsored by State Senator Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) to give more flexibility to parents looking to get their kids interested in shooting sports have been signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner.
House Bill 3674 states that anyone who has a youth hunting license may use a crossbow during the first half of the regular archery deer season. This idea came from one of Sen. Rose’s constituents, who wanted to take his daughters deer hunting during archery season, but said they aren’t physically big enough to pull the bow (state law has a minimum of a 40-pound draw weight). The bill took effect upon being signed into law.
“Why can’t a father take his daughter hunting just because she physically can’t pull the bow?” the constituent asked Rose.
“I am a firm believer that the best pieces of legislation come from constituents, and this is a perfect example,” Rose said. “Now, we are going to provide more recreational opportunities for kids and their parents to enjoy the outdoors. It is also a situation where we are helping to equalize the field for all of our state’s citizens.”
Rose notes that the state had previously allowed crossbows for senior citizens and persons with disabilities, but the 40-pound weight requirement left many kids, of both sexes, unable to go out with an adult because they couldn’t pull the weight requirement.
Also signed into law was House Bill 3234, which takes effect January 1. It raises the age cap for youth hunting licenses from 16 to 18. Youth hunting licenses allow youths to hunt with a licensed adult 21 years or older.
“Hunting under the supervision of a parent or guardian can be a very rewarding experience, and teaches life lessons and skills, particularly about safety,” Rose said. “I was happy to help my constituent who suggested this change and who can now spend more quality time with his daughters. I hope more families will take advantage of this change as well.”