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It shouldn't matter either way. If you can already use a hand-held laser rangefinder the technology isn't the issue. And if it helps you make an ethical killing shot with a bow, why not? It just eliminates the step of taking a range reading first, then raising the bow and shooting. If the issue is a laser dot projected onto the deer to give an aiming point (along with the range in yards), it still wouldn't make the bow automatically shoot - so why not also? The problem seems to be that knowing the exact distance at the instant of arrow release is "unfair", or that having an electronic aiming point somehow helps guide the arrow - also "unfair". Neither of these laser applications can make a poor shot a good shot or somebody that already shoots beyond their effective range change their behavior (one way or the other) IMO. Take Maryland as an example of irrational archery hunting rules: It appears to be illegal to use a bow-mounted laser rangefinder. The wording in the hunting regulations is: It is unlawful to "Use laser sights when attached to any firearm or bow used for hunting game birds or mammals. Laser sights are those that project a beam of light from a hunting device onto the target. Range finding devices not attached to a hunting device are not considered laser sights." Since rangefinders project a beam of light that is invisible to humans, it's unclear what the advantage is to projecting this beam of light from the weapon rather than from your hand. To me it seems like they really want to outlaw tactical type laser sights (with a visual laser that projects a red dot on the actual target). However, the wording makes all laser sights illegal to attach to a hunting weapon.
And since this year the state allows crossbows during the whole archery season, they now say "Draw locking devices are legal on all vertical bows except when hunting waterfowl". So you can't mount a laser rangefinder on your bow, but you can install a device that holds it at near/full draw - making it similar to a crossbow. No need to worry about drawing anymore - just don't try to get away with knowing the exact range when you shoot your Frankenstein bow.
Makes my head spin!
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