June 24, 2011 Contact: Susan Russell (732) 219-9033/



Public Comment due June 30

FAIR HAVEN - In a little-noted move, the New Jersey Fish and Game Council (FGC) has proposed lifting the prohibition

on crossbows for shooting migratory birds. The League of Humane Voters of NJ is crying foul.

“Blunt-tipped arrows, fired from a crossbow at 250-350 feet per second, literally smash a hollow-boned bird,” said Susan

Russell, wildlife policy specialist for LOHV-NJ. “Crippling and killing our wild birds by blunt force, for fun, is an

unconscionable indifference to animal welfare. The regulation should be withdrawn.”

It is legal to shoot sitting ducks,” said Ms. Russell, the lobbyist and campaign director for New Jersey’s Wild Bird Law

and statute banning steel-jaw traps. “The proposed regulation is silent on the use of arrows against ducks resting on water

and land. Razor-tipped broad head arrows tear the birds to shreds. Both the blunt and the broad head will go right through

the birds.

For cruelty reasons, the United Kingdom and Germany do not allow bow hunting for any species. Western Australia and

New South Wales have banned duck shooting.

“Our community has reached a stage of enlightenment where it can no longer accept the institutionalized killing of native

birds for recreation,” wrote Dr. Carmen Lawrence, the former premier of Western Australia.

According to the Division of Fish and Wildlife, the FGC voted for the change as a “way to get new bow hunters into the

sport and reverse the trend of people leaving it.” With crossbows, the Division is looking to recruit the aging, children,

women and the disabled.

The Archery Trade Association is partners with the Division of Fish and Wildlife. On page 24 of the association’s “Issue

Brief,” or direction for state action: “(Item No. 23): Crossbows: incorporating crossbows may increase hunter recruitment

and retention.”

“This is top-down, from the national trade lobby,” stated Ms. Russell. “Hunters are a shrinking minority and nearly halved

in New Jersey. Over 99.4 percent of our state’s residents don’t hunt.”

The National Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, funded by the NRA, ATA, ATK Federal Premium and Safari Club

International among others, works for ‘sportsmen and the outdoor industry’ to reverse hunter decline through de-regulation,

expanded hunter access and new weapons. The Caucus is controlling New Jersey legislation and regulations. The Caucus is

controlling New Jersey wildlife.

Speaking of delivering returns on investment, the combination of South Jersey Democrat and Senate President Steve

Sweeney – who received donations from the National Rifle Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation - and

Governor Christie, who panders to the dwindling animal shooting lobby, is deadly for New Jersey wildlife. When we reach

the point of killing birds with crossbows, we hope that people of good conscience will say ‘enough.’”


League of Humane Voters of New Jersey PO Box 17 Manalapan NJ 07726

For voters who care about animals and want the strongest laws possible to protect them.


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Deer hnting alert

deer hunting alert




No to Crossbows for Killing and Wounding New Jersey Birdlife
By Susan E. Russell
Contact: Tel: 732.219.9033/email:

For swans, ducks, geese, gulls and solitary herons, it is the season of
peace, a respite from the guns of winter. Unafraid, sords of mallards
rest on our beaches, the hens and their little ones a life-affirming
delight for children and parents alike.
Unless we citizens act by June 30, next winter will bring unusually
cruel punishment for our feathered friends. The New Jersey Fish and
Game Council has proposed removing the longstanding prohibition on
crossbows, once feared by armored cavalry during the Crusades, so that
shooters may use the archaic weapon against 16-ounce “game” birds. 
The proposed regulation is inhumane and should be withdrawn.
Blunt-tipped arrows for shooting birds “in flight” carry “tremendous
hitting power.” A hunter boasted of “throughing [sic] a squirrel ten
feet.”[1] Blunt arrows cause “tremendous damage” to the bird. Blunts
are outfitted with unsporting paraphernalia: special bird points
entangle the bird as she flies into a wire harness attached to the end
of the arrow. It is legal to shoot birds resting on water and land. For
shooting sitting ducks, razor-tipped broadhead arrows presumably may be
used (the regulation is silent).
 “How hardening to the heart it must be to do this thing,” wrote
novelist Iris Murdoch of bird shooting, “to change an innocent soaring
being into a bundle of struggling rags and pain.” Crippling rates are
high with guns, and higher with bows.
Hunter-caused crippling losses, or unretrieved kills, range from 20 to
40 percent of all ducks hit by gunfire. (Norton and Thomas 2006).[2]
This major mortality factor, write the authors, has been largely
ignored by waterfowl policy makers and managers.
Archery hunting is “commonly perceived” to result in higher wounding
losses than guns, and increased travel distances before deer, a larger
species, succumb to injury (Kilpatrick and Walter 1999).[3]
Crossbow killing and crippling of birds is gratuitously cruel.
According to the Division of Fish and Wildlife, the Fish and Game
Council voted for the change, including the current waterfowl proposal,
as a “way to get new bow hunters into the sport and reverse the trend
of people leaving it.”[4] The Division’s target clients: people who can
not handle a longbow-- the aging, children, women, the disabled. 
The National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses is an industry sponsored
lobbying organization that works for expanded methods of kill, however
inhumane. Among its sponsors is the Archery Trade Association, a
Division of Fish and Wildlife partner. On page 24 of the association’s
“Issue Brief,” or direction for state action: “(Item No. 23):
Crossbows:  incorporating crossbows may increase hunter recruitment and
In 1842, the United States Supreme Court ruled that wildlife is to be
held in trust for all citizens – not Washington, D.C. trade
Those suitably appalled by the gruesome and distinctly unsporting
prospect of crossbows against unarmored birds stand little chance in
appeals to the Game Council. Public ownership remains thwarted by a
rapidly shrinking minority. Six of the Council’s eleven members are
nominated by the New Jersey State Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs; the
Council nominates its own regulator, the director of the Division of
Fish and Wildlife. 
Do not look to New Jersey Audubon. The association is partnered with
the Division, and “teamed” with ammunition, gun, and archery interests
looking to retain clients. 
Our State legislators, however, can influence the Council. The 99.4
percent of New Jerseyeans who view birdlife as more than gun fodder can
restore a semblance of democracy by insisting that our legislators
contact the Game Council and the Commissioner of the Department of
Environmental Protection to withdraw the crossbow against birds
regulation from the 2011-2012 Fish and Game Code. 
To contact your legislator today, go to Kindly ask that he or she
immediately (deadline: June 30) ask the Council and DEP to withdraw the
proposed crossbow regulation for birds as egregiously cruel to New
Jersey’s birdlife, held in trust for all citizens.
To oppose crossbows for birdlife, contact:
Dave Chanda, Director
New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife
PO Box 420
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0420
Bob Martin, Commissioner
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
401 E. State Street
PO Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402
[1], Message Board, “What do you hunt with bows?”
http:/ (2011).
[2] Michael R. Norton and Vernon G. Thomas, “Economic Analyses of
‘Crippling Losses’ of North American Waterfowl and Their Policy
Implications for Management. Environmental Conservation”, 21: 347-353
[3] Texas Wildlife Department, “Deer Management within Suburban Areas,”
April 2006.
[4] “New Jersey will allow hunters to arm themselves with crossbows,”
Press of Atlantic City, 6 August 2009.

Susan Russell is wildlife policy specialist for the LEAGUE OF HUMANE
VOTERS OF NEW JERSEY, the Animal Protection League of New Jersey, and
the Bear Education and Resource Group. She was the lobbyist of record
for New Jersey’s Wild Bird Law and statute banning steel-jaw leghold

Contact:  Tel: 732.219.9033/email: