Legislative Update on the Proposed Expansion of the Crossbow Season

On December 13, 2018 a meeting was held at the Department of Fish and Wildlife in Frankfort to discuss a proposal to expand the Cross Bow Hunting Season starting in the 2019 Hunting Season. The current proposal would expand the season to run from the 3rd week of September through the rest of the entire Archery Season. UBK had expressed opposition the the proposal and the meeting was held in an attempt by KDFWR to establish another compromise. As many of you recall, UBK agreed to a compromise in 2006 related to this same issue. We entered that compromise in good faith and believe it should stand.

Having said that, we are faced with another opportunity to stand firm in our commitment to our stated purpose...Promote, Protect and Preserve Bowhunting in the State of Kentucky. 

At the meeting on the 13th, the Department asked both sides to present ideas and alternate proposals to try to reach a compromise. but no agreement was reached.

As it stands today, the KDWFR plans to file a proposal to expand the crossbow season sometime in January of 2019 which will start a Public Comment Period that will run approximately 30 days. The proposal will then go the the Legislative Research Committee to determine it's final form. During the comment period revisions and alternate proposals can be submitted for consideration before final adoption.

We will provide updates as this unfolds...you can certainly contact your district commissioner and the KDFWR to voice your concerns. As always, be polite and respectful when voicing your opinion.


To all members of UNITED BOWHUNTERS OF KENTUCKY and to any others that share a passion for Bowhunting.

Bowhunters have been accused of being anti cross bow and think we are elitist. Which is far from truth. Most all of use some other weapon from time to time and we have worked with other sportsmen from the start. UBK was started to Preserve, Protect and Promote the great sport of bow hunting. UBK members wanted to be the voice in Frankfort and help our sport grow. I have attended KDFWR commission meetings   for over 30 years myself. We support the KDFWR and fellow sportsmen probably only 2 to the LKS. WE accept the challenge of hunting with a close range weapon. Therefore the KDFWR has granted bowhunters  a generous season to pursue the big game of KY.

BOW SEASON in KENTUCKY could come to an END Friday June the 15th, unless you speak up!

What  has got the KDFWR believing the cross bow should be legal during the ENTIRE bow season is beyond me. Sure, They want more deer killed because the Insurance companies don't want any. A lot of farmers are complaining, but a lot have now started making money off  the hunters, but that is making deer hunting a "Rich Mans" sport.

We need a bow only season in KY. NASP has 2.4 million students involved and 33% say they want too bow hunt. S3DA (Scholastic 3D Archery) has is growing across the nation and Jenny Richardson says, our students want to hunt. Both of these groups shoot bows, NOT cross bows. A bow only season gives them the incentive to join our hunting ranks. They are proven performers.

The KDFWR plan to reduce the elk season due to a drop in harvest numbers. UBK would support that. What concerns me is they eliminated bow season (the  least proficient weapon), and kept a cross bow and firearm season

I challenge you to call ONE Commissioner and two hunting buddies or gals and ask them to do the same. Just three calls to Protect the challenging sport of bowhunting.

Ask your Commissioner to keep a bow only season Kentucky.

KDFWR  1-800-858-1549  Deputy Com., Dr. Karen Waldrop, Steve Beam (head of wildlife)


Gary R. Williams, President


Reasons to Keep a Bow Only Season

*National Archery in the Schools Program:  Very effective at recruiting young people to the sport we all hold so dear.  Would you rather have 17% of 2.4 million student archers taking up bow-hunting or having zero archers contributing zip to the future of hunting, because there is no Bow Only season. The survey shows that 77% of the NASP students are new to archery and potential new hunters. This remains an important premise of NASP. NASP instills archery skills in the kids and they seek to use them. NASP recent survey shows that 33% want to experience bow-hunting. Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife has an incentive for the student using the same equipment they use for NASP to join the sport of hunting with the bow only season that is offered today.  See Roy Grimes article in the P&Y Ethic vol.46, no. 1 & 2017 NASP Survey.

*Scholastic 3D Archery, founded by Jennie Richardson, operates programs nationwide. This program has lots of energy, enthusiasm and sense of urgency. Jack Bowman, president of Bear Archery says, “Introducing youths to archery fundamentals, and teaching them the principles of marksmanship and fair chase is vital to growing archery as a sport.” He believes Scholastic 3-D Archery’s Clear Path Initiative accomplishes all that and more. S3-DA archers can also shoot a variety of equipment, including compounds, Olympic recurves and traditional bows. “After shooting in our program, our students want to hunt,” said Richardson.

*KDFWR defines a bow (301KAR2:172) as a long bow, recurve bow, or compound bow incapable of holding an arrow at full or partial draw without aid from the archer.

*The League of KY Sportsmen, which represents all hunters and fishermen in KY, supports a bow only season. Past by unanimous vote by LKS Board December 1, 2012 and a Resolution proposed and passed by the membership at the LKS convention June 6, 2009. Both ask the KDFWR to always provide a bow only season for big game.

*The bow only season of KY, not only gives the sportsmen and women an incentive to hunt with a bow, but also challenges them to learn more about the wildlife he/she pursues. Most Bowhunters admit that they spend more time  watching and learning the habits of big game while waiting for the game to get in range. At close range (under 50 yds) the game being pursued has a greater chance at eluding the hunter as they try to draw the bow.

*KDFWR has a history of sound conservation practices and that is appreciated.  The department has always provided a season length based on the proficiency of the method of take.  Therefore, the use of the bow and arrow has always had the longest season. Bow hunting is a close range sport, requiring more time afield to be successful. Ever since the bow was recognized for hunting, bowhunters have gained a respect from the hunting and non-hunting public alike for fair chase and “Hunting the Hard Way”.

*The Future of Bowhunting: Will bowhunting remain the close range, challenging sport it is today? The sportsmen of KY believe it should. KDFWR has a great bow season now and it can be better. There are many products that make bowhunting easier, but that is not what bowhunting is about. Bowhunting is a welcome challenge now and with good management by the KDFWR will be more exciting in the future.

April 23, 2018

Kentucky State Bowfishing Records Program

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NASP --National Archery in Schools Program

Click Here..... for information


KDFW Approves Bear Season  for 16 Counties..