Michigan Legislature approves use of air-powered bows for hunters

Republican State Rep. Beau LaFave shows off an air-powered bow to the Michigan Legislature.
Republican State Rep. Beau LaFave shows off an air-powered bow to the Michigan Legislature.(source: Beau LaFave)
Published: Oct. 1, 2020 at 12:06 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Hunters in Michigan could add a new weapon to their collection with legislation heading to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s desk.

The Michigan Legislature approved the use of air-powered bows on Wednesday. All hunters could use the weapons during the firearm deer hunting seasons while hunters with certain disabilities could also use them during the bow hunting seasons.

Republican State Rep. Beau LaFave of Iron Mountain, who sponsored the legislation, said the bows use compressed air to launch arrows. They can be operated safely with one hand, which helps hunters don’t have both hands to safely use a traditional bow or crossbow.

“Technology has advanced and can help hunters with physical limitations more than ever before,” LaFave said.  “Michigan has a multitude of hunting options, but for those with less than two perfectly-functional hands, there is no realistic and legal opportunity to hunt during bow season.”

LaFave is an avid hunter and fisherman even though he was born without part of a leg and only has full use of one arm. He said the addition of air-powered bows would help hunters with birth defects like himself, along with handicapped hunters and military service members who were wounded in combat.

The Michigan Senate passed the bill on Wednesday and the Michigan House approved it in March. It how heads to Whitmer, who can sign it into law or veto the legislation.

“We’re losing hunters year after year,” LaFave said. “This technology will keep more hunters in the field longer, reinvigorate hunters that can’t hunt due to injury or disability, increase exposure to Michigan’s great outdoors, and provide an opportunity for those who can’t operate a crossbow."

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