AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine's deer hunters would be able to harvest the animals with crossbows if a proposal from a state legislator is approved.

Republican Rep. Tim Theriault of China has submitted a bill that would allow the use of crossbows during the annual deer hunt. The bill specifies that crossbows could be used during the archery portion of the deer hunt, which typically happens in September and October.

Theriault's bill is headed for the state legislative Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. It's co-sponsored by several state lawmakers who represent mostly rural areas where hunting is popular.

Maine's deer hunt takes place in several phases during the late summer and fall every year. The archery portion of the season is normally scheduled earlier in the year than the firearms portion.