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New airbows not legal for hunting in Oregon

I was thumbing through a magazine and came across an advertisement for something called an "airbow." It seems to be an air gun that shoots an arrow. Is that a legal weapon in the state of Oregon?

— James, Medford

An airgun that is used to shoot arrows via compressed air is not legal for hunting in Oregon, but it can be used to target shoot where target shooting is legal, says Michelle Dennehy, Wildlife Division spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

That puts them in the same category as crossbows, which are illegal as a hunting weapon.

Compared to other states, Oregon has relatively strict rules for hunting methods, weapons and even decoys. For instance, Oregon bans the attachment of electronic devices, such as scopes, to bows. And only recently has Oregon allowed lighted arrow nocks, but only if their sole function is to increase the visibility of a shot arrow.

It's always been an Oregon thing to keep hunting relatively simple and less encumbered by technology, all in the name of "fair chase."

More than a decade ago, for instance, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission banned the use of motorized decoys, including so-called "roboducks," and banned the use of holograms as decoys even before any such decoys were invented.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. To see a collection of columns, go to mailtribune.com/youasked. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.