- # Alabama
- # Alaska
- # Arizona
- # Arkansas
- # California
- # Colorado
- # Connecticut
- # Delaware
- # Florida
- # Georgia
- # Hawaii
- # Idaho
- # Illinois
- # Indiana
- # Iowa
- # Kansas
- # Kentucky
- # Louisiana
- # Maine
- # Maryland
- # Massachusetts
- # Michigan
- # Minnesota
- # Mississippi
- # Missouri
- # Montana
- # Nebraska
- # Nevada
- # New Hampshire
- # New Jersey
- # New Mexico
- # New York
- # North Carolina
- # North Dakota
- # Ohio
- # Oklahoma
- # Oregon
- # Pennsylvania
- # Rhode Island
- # South Carolina
- # South Dakota
- # Tennessee
- # Texas
- # Utah
- # Vermont
- # Virginia
- # Washington
- # West Virginia
- # Wisconsin
- # Wyoming
- Crossbows are not permitted in bow-only zones, but they are legal in areas where firearms and bows are allowed.
- Crossbows can be used during the archery season by disabled hunters who possess an approved Methods and Means Exemption Form.
- Starting from 2023, Alaskans can take a crossbow education course, and hunters using crossbows will be required to pass the course.
- To hunt big game in Alaska with a crossbow, the draw weight must be at least 100 pounds.
- As of July 1, 2018, all hunters using a crossbow to hunt in Alaska must successfully complete the crossbow certification course. This course places an emphasis on the safety aspects specific to crossbows, including a shooting proficiency test that involves shooting at four, three-dimensional animal targets, making five out of eight shots in the vitals at various distances less than 30 yards.
- The Alaskan Department of Fish and Game’s Hunter Information and Training (HIT) Program has trained 50 instructors to teach the course, with more expected to join.
Alaskan Department of Fish and Game website. Phone: 907-465-4190
- Crossbows are legal for all individuals during the entire deer hunting season.
- Magnified scopes are now allowed on crossbows only.
- A permit must be obtained to use crossbows during deer season.
- Only hunters above the age of 16 are permitted to hunt with crossbows. Minors under this age must be accompanied by an adult.
- The crossbow must have a minimum draw weight of 85 pounds at normal draw length to be permitted for hunting.
- Broadheads need to have a cutting diameter of ⅞ inches, and the arrow must be at least 14 inches long.
- Crossbow hunting is only permissible during the day, except for possum and raccoon seasons.
- Electronic calls are not allowed.
- Sights that emit light beams toward the target are not allowed.
- For disabled hunter permits, official certification from a medical professional is required. Also, disabled people can enjoy hunting from designated areas where only they are allowed to enjoy the hunt.
- If anyone sets bait for deer or any game, that area is considered baited for 10 days afterward. Hunting is not allowed in those areas until from the date the bait was set to the 10th day after that.
- Hunting equipment must be maintained in good working order at all times.
- For safety precautions, never carry any weapons while climbing up or down a tree.
- Hunting, trapping, capturing, injuring, or killing any wild game on another person’s land without the landowner’s written permission or someone in control of such property is prohibited. This includes crossbow hunting with a permit.
- There are 18 public archery parks in Alabama for practice shooting.
More details can be found at: www.outdooralabama.com. Phone: 334-242-3469
Arkansas allows the use of crossbows during archery seasons. Here are some of the main regulations:
- Crossbows must have a minimum draw weight of 125 pounds and include a mechanical safety.
- It is not permitted to use poison on arrow tips when hunting with a crossbow.
- Hunting Elk with a crossbow is not legal.
- The use of magnifying sights and/or scopes is in lawful compliance with Arkansas regulations.
- Arrowheads must be at least 7/8 inches wide.
- The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission encourages crossbow hunters to hunt any feral hogs found on Wildlife Management Areas. The hunting weapon must be appropriate for the current specified season, which is open hunting and during daylight hours.
- During special permit times, hunters must have a legal permit to hunt feral hogs and may not use traps, bait, or dogs during the hunt.
- During open firearm season, archery hunters must always follow bag limit regulations for firearms season.
For more detailed information, you can contact the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission at 501-223-6300 or visit their website.
- Crossbows are legal to hunt all game species during both the muzzleloaders and general hunting seasons. Exceptions are made for disabled hunters, who can use crossbows in archery seasons for big game species, provided they have obtained a disability permit from the AZ Game & Fish.
- A general hunting license is required to use a crossbow, which could be either temporary or permanent. If you are temporarily physically disabled, your permit does not expire.
- Crossbows must have at least 125 pounds of draw weight. The arrows must be at least 16 inches long with 7/8 inch diameter broadheads.
- Crossbows can be used for hunting most big and small games, except for bison. Anyone over 18 years can use crossbows for hunting.
- The cost of a general hunting license in Arizona is $37 for residents. Non-resident hunters must pay $160, and they are required to purchase a combo Hunt/Fish License to hunt with a crossbow.
- Regulations are subject to change, so it’s always advisable to check for updates and abide by local laws when hunting in Arizona.
For more information, you can contact AZ Game & Fish at 602-942-3000 or visit their website.
In California, crossbows are considered legal for all hunters during gun seasons. However, they are not treated as archery weapons but rather as firearms, and they can be purchased without a license.
- The crossbow used must have a draw weight of at least 125 pounds and include mechanical safety features.
- Arrowheads used on the crossbow should be at least 7/8 inches wide.
- It is illegal to transport a crossbow in a car or any motorized vehicle with the arrow seated on the flight rail.
- Crossbows cannot be used to take down game mammals and game birds during archery season, unless specific conditions are met (see below).
- Shooting at an animal or person from a moving vehicle is prohibited.
- Proper safety procedures must always be followed when using a crossbow.
As an exception, individuals with physical disabilities or certain diseases may use a crossbow during archery season. This is due to the fact that crossbows require less physical strength to operate than traditional bows. To do so, these individuals must obtain a special permit from the California Fish and Game Commission. They are required to provide detailed personal and medical information, including name, address, date of birth, driver’s license or DMV number, telephone number, physician’s name, signature and contact details, state medical license number, and a description of the disability or disease. A statement of the expected end date is required if the disability or disease is temporary.
This permit must be kept in the person’s immediate possession while hunting, and individuals with disabilities must also provide written verification of their disability to the Department.
For more information, contact the California Department of Fish and Wildlife at 916-445-0411 or visit their website.
- Crossbows may be used to hunt big game in Colorado during the general firearms season. They may also be used to hunt small game and fowl.
- Handicapped hunters only are legally allowed to use crossbows during archery season.
- All crossbow hunters must carry legal licenses or permits.
- Big game consists of elk, white-tailed deer, moose, bear, and reindeer. Small game includes rabbits and squirrels. Game birds consist of pheasant, dove, quail, geese, and duck. Predators include cougars and coyotes.
- Hunting unprotected species such as varmints and vermin has no specified regulations in Colorado; however, these are subject to change at any time per animal censuses.
- Crossbow hunters must have a tag, which may be acquired with hunting permits and licenses, for each and every harvested animal.
- In some cases, hunters may be required to have formal crossbow training before they may receive hunting permits.
- The minimum for bolt length is 16 inches.
- Broadheads are to have at least 2 steel cutting edges and must be a minimum of 7/8 inches.
- All cutting edges must be in the same plane for the complete length of the cutting surface.
- The minimum draw weight is 125 pounds.
- The minimum draw length is 14 inches from the knocking point of the draw string to the front of the bow.
- All are required to have positive mechanical safety devices.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife Headquarters 6060 Broadway Denver, CO 80216 303-297-1192 (Mon-Fri 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. MST, except state holidays) or visit their website.
Crossbow regulations in Connecticut have been designed to promote safety and ethical hunting practices. As of the fall seasons in 2013, the use of crossbows was legalized for all archery hunters in Connecticut. This means that crossbows can be used to hunt during the archery season, provided that the hunter has completed a Conservation Education/Firearms Safety Program and has a valid permit. There are a few specific requirements regarding the crossbow and its use:
- The crossbow must have a draw weight of at least 125 pounds and a permanent, fixed gun-type stock.
- The arrows used must be at least 18 inches long, not including the broadheads.
- The broadheads must be at least 7/8 inches wide and have at least two blades.
- The crossbow must have a functional mechanical safety device.
- Folding stocks are not permitted, but adjustable stocks are acceptable.
- Telescopic sights can be mounted on the crossbow.
- The use of any kind of poison, drug, or tranquilizer on crossbow bolts is strictly prohibited.
- Carrying firearms while hunting with a crossbow is considered illegal.
- Unlike in some other states, Firearms and Archery Turkey Hunters in Connecticut are not required to wear fluorescent orange clothing.
For more information, you can visit the official website of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection here, or you can call them at 860-424-3011.
- Crossbows are legal during all deer seasons.
- Crossbows may be equipped with a scope.
- It is unlawful to transport a crossbow on or within any vehicle while the crossbow is in the cocked position.
- Deer may be hunted with crossbows provided hunter orange is displayed when it is also lawful to hunt deer with a gun.
- Crossbows may be used by disabled hunters with legal permits during archery season.
- During Monday through Saturday of November and during the entirety of December and January, a crossbow may be used instead of a gun.
- A crossbow can be utilized by hunters during handgun, muzzleloader, and shotgun season, if they are wearing at least 400 square inches of the required hunter orange material which should be displayed on the back, chest, and head.
- The draw weight of the crossbow may not be less than 125 pounds and no more than 200.
- Broadheads are to have an outside diameter of no less than 7/8 of an inch and at least 2 cutting edges in the same plane of the length of the cutting surface. Mechanical broadheads are also legal in the state of Delaware.
- Crossbow hunters are lawfully allowed to take both turkey and deer with sharpened broadheads within the state-specified size.
- No hunter is allowed to harvest over two antlered deer during any license year between the dates of July 1 and June 30 of the next calendar year.
- Crossbow hunters may not harvest any deer without first purchasing the required combination Quality Buck Deer tag and Hunter’s Choice Deer tag. Persons who are exempt from purchasing a hunting license are allowed one Hunter’s Choice deer free of charge.
More information can be found at fw.delaware.gov. For additional inquiries, please contact the relevant authorities at 302-739-9911.
In Florida, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission introduced a rule in 2011 that extended the crossbow season in different zones by an additional month. The additional days ranged from 30 days in zones A, B, and C to 33 days in zone D. This change made the crossbow season coincide with the archery season, but only on private land.
As of 2023, the following regulations apply to crossbow usage in Florida:
- Crossbows are lawful to use during all deer seasons.
- Broadheads must be a minimum of 7/8 of an inch and consist of at least 2 sharpened edges.
- Crossbows must have been manufactured after 1980 and be equipped with a mechanical safety.
- It is legal to equip a crossbow with a scope in Florida.
- It is not legal to transport a crossbow in a vehicle when it’s in the cocked position.
- Deer can be hunted with crossbows as long as hunters wear orange when the law allows them to use a gun for deer hunting.
- Feral hogs may be harvested with a crossbow during most hunting seasons on Florida Wildlife Management Areas. However, hunters should check with the authorities prior to hunting wild hogs. With landowner permission, wild hogs may be hunted on private property year-round using a crossbow.
For more detailed information, refer to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Telephone: 850-488-3831
In Georgia, crossbows have been legalized for use in all hunting seasons since 2003. This includes hunting deer during primitive weapons, firearms, and archery seasons. The same applies to bear hunting during bear season, turkey hunting during turkey season, and hunting small game during the small game season.
Additional important regulations to note include:
- Crossbow hunting is recognized as a segment of the state archery deer season and is also permitted as a part of all general and gun seasons.
- Crossbow hunters are required to obtain and possess a primitive weapons license.
- Any residents and non-residents born on or after January 1, 1961, who wish to obtain a hunting license in Georgia, must successfully complete a hunter education course prior to obtaining it. The course can be from any state wildlife agency, including Canada.
- However, this requirement does not apply to those purchasing a GORP Plus, Three-Day Hunting and Fishing, or Apprentice Hunting License.
- Additionally, the hunter education course is not mandatory for individuals hunting on their own land or that of a blood relative.
- It is legal to hunt feral hogs in Georgia using crossbows.
- Crossbows equipped with scopes are also legal in Georgia.
- Broadhead arrows must be used when hunting feral hogs, bear, or deer with a crossbow.
Website: www.gohuntgeorgia.com. Phone: 770-918-6416.
Crossbow regulations in Hawaii are known for their strictness, making it one of the states with the most restrictive crossbow hunting regulations in the United States. Below are the main guidelines:
- Crossbows can only be legally used by individuals who have a special permit due to a disability.
- To qualify for this permit, a physician must certify that the individual is disabled to the point of being unable to use other weapons.
- Feral hogs can be hunted with crossbows, but this also requires a special permit.
- The crossbows used must meet certain specifications: they must have a draw weight of at least 125 pounds and have 7/8 inch broadheads with at least two blades.
- It’s strictly prohibited to use any drug or poison on the arrow tip.
- It’s illegal to transport or carry a loaded crossbow while in a vehicle.
- Crossbow hunting is not allowed one and a half hours before sunrise and one and a half hour after sunset.
For more information or to apply for a special permit, contact the relevant department at 808-587-0400.
Crossbow hunting in Iowa is subject to a specific set of regulations:
- Crossbows are legal for all hunters during the primitive weapons season.
- Crossbows are legal for handicapped hunters with a permit.
- Resident hunters 70 years old and older may purchase one statewide antlerless-deer only license to hunt deer with a crossbow.
- A valid hunting license is required to hunt.
- For seasons other than the primitive weapon hunting season, a permit must be obtained for disabled hunters.
- The broadheads used must have at least three blades.
- There are no specific regulations on draw weight and the width of broadheads to be used.
- Crossbow hunting is restricted to persons aged 16 and over.
- Attempting or taking down deer or turkey with a one-handed shot using a crossbow is prohibited.
- The crossbow must be equipped with a safety mechanism.
For more information, visit the Iowa Department of Natural Resources website or call 515-281-5918.
Idaho permits the use of crossbows during any-weapon hunting seasons, given that the hunter has a proper hunting license and tag. Crossbows are also legal for handicapped persons, who are allowed to use them during archery seasons with a valid archery permit, hunting license, and proper tag.
- Crossbow hunting is legal within general, any weapons season only with a proper tag and hunting license. Only disabled hunters carrying an archery permit, hunting license, and tag are allowed to use crossbows during archery season.
- Crossbow harvesting of big games requires a tag to be purchased for each individual animal. These tags are generally limited per individual hunter.
- Small game crossbow harvesting is restricted by possession and bag limits.
- Mechanical broadheads are not legal to use in the state of Idaho. It is not lawful to hunt with any bow which is capable of shooting more than one arrow at a time.
- Bolts and/or arrows must be no less than 0.875 of an inch wide and have a primary cutting edge that is at least 0.015 of an inch thick. The bolt and/or arrow must precede nock and shaft. No explosives or chemicals of any kind may be used in conjunction with bolts or arrows. Bolts with barbed broadheads may not form angles under 90 degrees with the ferrule and shaft. Bolt or arrow and broadhead must be a combined weight of 300 grains or more.
- Electronic or illuminated sights are not permitted. This includes electronic devices attached to the crossbow such as GoPro cameras. However, a non-magnifying red dot scope can be used by a disabled hunter.
For more information, you can visit the official website of Idaho Fish and Game: www.fishandgame.idaho.gov or contact them at 208-334-3700.
- Crossbows are legal for all hunters during the entire archery season.
- As of 2017, crossbows are allowed in Illinois during the archery deer hunting season, typically after the second firearm deer season.
- A valid archery hunting license is required for crossbow hunting.
- The crossbow must have a draw weight between 125 and 200 pounds.
- The crossbow must measure at least 24 inches in length from the stock butt to the back of one of the limbs.
- Hunting migratory birds with crossbows is prohibited.
- Legal arrows should be 14 inches long excluding the broadhead, and the broadheads must have a diameter of 7/8 inches.
- Special permits are required for hunters who are disabled or over 62 years old to hunt with a crossbow.
- Crossbows are allowed during the firearm deer season, which begins the Monday following the second firearm deer season and continues until the close of the archery deer season.
- Using electronic tracking systems is not allowed.
- Firearms cannot be kept while hunting with crossbows.
For more information, you can visit the official website or contact them at 217-782-6384.
In Indiana, crossbows have been legal for the entire archery season since December 31, 2011. A minimum draw weight of 125 pounds and a mechanical safety are mandatory for all crossbows used in this state.
Additional regulations for crossbow hunting in Indiana are as follows:
- Crossbows can be used not only during the archery season but also during the deer reduction zone season.
- All crossbow hunters are required to have a valid crossbow license. This license cannot be issued to persons who are 13 years old and younger.
- To obtain this license, all applicants need to first complete the Department of Natural Resources (DNR)’s hunter education classes.
- Crossbows can legally be used any time 30 minutes after sunset and 30 minutes before sunrise.
- The use of electronic deer calls is prohibited.
- The use of scopes on crossbow and laser sights is legal.
- Bait such as salt and mineral blocks can be used. A place is considered a baited area for 10 days following the bait removal.
- A deer is considered as antlered in Indiana when it grows one antler, and the tine is no less than 3 inches.
- Dogs can be used to track the deer but cannot be used before placing the shot on the deer.
For more information, you can visit the official website or contact them at 317-232-4200.
- Crossbows are legal for all hunters during archery deer seasons.
- Since March 2013, the use of crossbows for hunting in Kansas has been officially approved by the Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission.
- Prior to this change, hunting with a crossbow was only legal under certain conditions such as having a disability permit, being 15 years or younger, or being 55 years or older.
- It’s important to note that no mechanical devices designed to control flight trajectory can be attached to an arrow when hunting in Kansas. The use of an arrow chemical dispenser to immobilize or kill game through chemical means is also prohibited. Hunting is only permitted using broadheads; field points may be carried, but they must not be shot at an animal.
Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism Website: Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism. Phone: 620-672-5911.
Crossbow hunting in Kentucky is legal for all hunters during designated periods known as rifle, muzzleloader, and specific portions of the archery seasons. Dates for these seasons are subject to annual change, so it’s essential to confirm the current dates with the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Department. Furthermore, it’s lawful for disabled hunters with permits to use crossbows during the bow-only deer season. Key rules and regulations include:
- Compliance with all zone guidelines, hunting requirements, and restrictions applicable to the specific season (firearms, muzzleloader, or archery) during which the crossbow is being used.
- There is no legal draw weight for crossbows, but they must feature a functional safety.
- Mechanical broadheads are legal, but they must be at least 7/8 of an inch wide with blades extended, and it is unlawful for them to be barbed.
- Arrows/bolts can be made of carbon, metal, or wood.
- It’s illegal to use broadheads equipped with explosives or those that have been chemically treated.
- Kentucky’s harvest restrictions and bag limits apply to all hunters. For example, a hunter may not take more than one deer with antlers on private lands, excluding button bucks. There are, however, opportunities to harvest bonus antlered deer from specific public hunting areas as determined annually by the respective governing agency.
For more detailed information, you can refer to the official website of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources here or call them at 800-858-1549.
- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has the authority to establish a bow and arrow only season, as well as a bow and arrow and crossbow season during special deer hunting seasons.
- Crossbows are recognized as archery equipment and are permitted for use in all hunting seasons with the exception of migratory bird hunting.
- An archery permit is a requirement for all hunters.
- In order to be authorized to use a crossbow for hunting, the hunter must be at least 16 years old but not older than 59 years.
- The usage of mechanical broadheads with crossbows is allowed.
- Hunting with a crossbow is officially allowed 30 minutes after sunset until 30 minutes before sunrise.
- In wildlife management areas, harvesting of both buck and doe with a crossbow is allowed, however, it is limited to the archery season only.
Website: www.wlf.state.la.us. Phone: 225-765-2350.
In Massachusetts, the use of crossbows is strictly regulated. They can be used only by certain permanently handicapped persons and only with a permit. The state has set specific guidelines and requirements for obtaining a crossbow permit:
- Applicants must have a permanent disability and must desire to hunt using a crossbow.
- They will need a hunting/sporting license and a MassFishHunt profile.
- Written certification from a physician is required, where the physician explains how the permanent disability affects the applicant’s ability to operate a conventional bow.
- The application for the crossbow permit can be downloaded and once completed by the applicant and their physician, it must be mailed to the MassWildlife Field Headquarters.
- After submitting the application, please allow 10 days before checking the status.
- The crossbow status will be valid for the lifetime of the applicant, but once you get the permit, you can never use a conventional bow and arrow to hunt in Massachusetts again.
- The application is subject to a review by a medical review board, which is at the expense of the applicant.
For more information, you can visit the official website or contact them at 508-389-6300.
- Crossbows are now permitted for hunting any game species during any open season where a vertical bow may be used, excluding waterfowl and certain furbearers. This includes the entire deer bow season in all counties.
- The minimum draw weight for crossbows is set at 75 pounds.
- Using telescopic sights in conjunction with crossbows is allowed.
- Crossbows must be equipped with a functional safety feature.
- Crossbows can be used to harvest various animals including woodchucks, nutria, all game fowl (excluding waterfowl), and all game mammals (excluding weasels, beavers, muskrats, minks, and river otters).
- Crossbows are only authorized for hunting bear and/or deer when the draw weight is no less than 75 pounds.
- Loaded crossbows are prohibited from being leaned against or within any vehicles, unless they are cocked with no bolt/arrow in the firing position.
- Arrows used in harvesting bear or deer should feature sharpened broadheads with metal points and should measure at least 7/8 of an inch.
- Crossbows can be lawfully used for deer hunting during the muzzleloader and deer firearms season, provided this is in compliance with muzzleloader and firearms season regulations.
- Arrows that are chemically treated or equipped with explosives are not allowed.
- To lawfully hunt deer within the bow season, a bow stamp must be purchased along with a valid hunting license.
- Senior Lifetime Consolidated Licensed hunters are not required to purchase a bow stamp.
For more information, visit Maryland Department of Natural Resources. You can also reach them at 1-877-620-8367 (in state) or 410-260-8367 (out of state).
Maine allows the use of crossbows for hunting under several conditions and regulations:
- A person 65 years of age or older may hunt a wild bird or a wild animal with a crossbow during any open season on that wild bird or wild animal.
- Crossbows can be used during bear hunting season and open firearm deer season.
- To legally hunt with a crossbow, one must be 16 years or older. The requirements include obtaining a big game hunting license or an archery license, and completing an archery hunting education class in addition to a crossbow hunting course.
- Once the criteria are met, one can apply for a crossbow hunting license. People with severe disabilities can apply for a special license allowing them to use a crossbow for hunting even during archery season.
- For children and youth aged 10 to 16, only a junior hunting license is required, and there is no need to obtain an additional crossbow hunting license.
- Using a scope or sight on a hunting crossbow in Maine is legal.
- When hunting with a crossbow in Maine, wearing Hunter Orange is mandatory at all times. Also, anyone who is 70 years or older is allowed to use a crossbow to hunt any wild animal and wild bird.
However, there are several restrictions to be aware of:
- Pistol-type crossbows are strictly prohibited for hunting.
- The minimum required draw weight for a hunting crossbow is 100 lbs.
- The maximum draw weight cannot exceed 200 lbs.
- Minimum cutting diameter of the broad-head (including opened expandable broad-heads) must be 7/8″.
- The arrows cannot be tipped in poison, chemicals, nor can any explosives be attached to them.
For more information, you can contact the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife on 207-287-8000, or visit their website at www.maine.gov
Here are the main provisions regarding crossbow legalization in Michigan:
- Since August 17, 2010, crossbow regulations have been expanded for hunters across the state.
- The minimum age for crossbow use has been lowered from 12 to 10 years of age statewide.
- The use of crossbows has been expanded to all legal hunters during all archery and firearms seasons statewide, except in the Upper Peninsula, where crossbow use will remain prohibited during the late archery and muzzleloader seasons, unless the hunter is disabled. In the Upper Peninsula, crossbows may only be used by anyone 50 years of age or older during the Oct. 1-Nov. 14 bow hunting deer season statewide.
- Hunters using crossbows are still required to obtain a free crossbow stamp. The stamp, which is free, will help the DNR monitor and survey crossbow hunters.
- As of 2023-2025, hunters are still prohibited from using crossbows during the late archery season in the Upper Peninsula. This includes hunters in the former Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Zone where late-season crossbow use was previously allowed.
Website: Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Phone: 517-373-1263.
- A person aged 60 or over may use a crossbow to hunt deer, bear, turkey, or rough fish during the respective regular archery seasons.
- Crossbows are legal for handicapped hunters by permit.
- Crossbows are also legal for anyone during firearms season and Turkey and Bear seasons.
- Deer hunting with a crossbow is viewed as a special experience in Minnesota, and hunters may use various types of bows, including crossbows, compound bows, recurve bows, and traditional long bows.
- The archery season opens more than a month before the statewide firearms season and continues long after the firearms season has closed. This offers hunters plenty of opportunities to hunt when pressure is low.
- Archery deer hunting is allowed throughout Minnesota from the middle of September to the end of December. Therefore, deer zones have little significance for archery hunters.
- Hunters must specify the deer permit area in which they plan to hunt when they purchase a deer hunting license. However, they may use that license to hunt anywhere in the state using the method their deer hunting license allows.
- The most common form of deer hunting in Minnesota is to sit in an elevated stand or ground blind and wait for a deer to come. Some hunters “still hunt,” which means they walk slowly, quietly and unrythmically and often stop in hopes of seeing a deer.
For more information, visit Minnesota Department of Natural Resources or call 888-646-6367 or 651-296-6157.
- Since 2016, crossbows are a lawful hunting method during the archery hunt for deer and turkey and legal during the fall firearms turkey season.
- Crossbows are legal for any individual, irrespective of age or disability, to use for hunting during all firearms and archery seasons.
- The use of electronic calls is permitted for hunting crows and furbearers, provided they are not used alongside artificial light or night vision equipment.
- Mechanical broadheads are legal, and hunting is allowed during the period 30 minutes before sunrise and 30 minutes after sunset.
- Hunters may not use any chemical, explosive elements, or poison on top of the arrow or bolt for hunting.
- The use of a handheld string releasing mechanism is allowed.
- Mounting crossbow scopes and illuminated sights on top of the crossbow is permitted.
- The use of IR, thermal imagery equipment, night vision, or infrared devices for hunting wildlife animals is generally prohibited. However, these optical tools are allowed for hunting coyotes from February 1st to March 31st.
- Using a crossbow for hunting across public roadways is not permitted.
- One cannot enter private land with a crossbow without the landowner’s permission.
Please note that these regulations are subject to change, and it is advised to check the specific regulations in your county before hunting.
For more information, visit Missouri Department of Conservation or call 573-751-4115.
- Since July 1, 2013, crossbows have been legalized for use throughout the Archery Season.
- Crossbow users are reminded to wear hunter orange during all gun seasons.
- A separate crossbow permit is no longer required.
- The crossbow can only be used for hunting during the January deer archery season.
- Prior to the 2013 change, crossbow hunting was only legal in select locations, and for individuals with a disability permit, or for those who were 15 years or younger, or 55 years or older.
- No mechanical devices designed to control flight trajectory can be attached to an arrow when hunting in Mississipp.
- It is not allowed to use an arrow chemical dispenser to immobilize or kill game through chemical means.
- Hunting can only be done using broadheads. Field points may be carried but should not be used to shoot an animal.
For more information, visit the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks or call 601-432-2400.
Crossbow regulations in Montana can be summarized as follows:
- Crossbows are considered legal but only during gun seasons.
- There are no special provisions for handicapped hunters, but in 2021, Senate Bill 111 proposed allowing the use of crossbows during archery season for people with certain disabilities, including those with visual impairments and mobility challenges.
- The crossbow must use broadheads that are at least 7/8 inches wide and arrows that are at least 20 inches long.
- There are no regulations regarding the draw length and weight of the crossbow.
- It’s prohibited to attach any explosives or poison to the arrow tip.
- The total weight of the broadhead and arrow shaft should not exceed 300 grains.
- The total length of the arrow, from the nock to the tip, must be at least 20 inches long.
- Using a hunting camera or action camera for filming is allowed, but no electronically powered devices can be used to locate game animals/birds.
- Lighted nocks can be used with arrows.
- It’s not allowed to place bait for hunting.
- Hunting dogs cannot be used for hunting, but they can be used to locate or recover wounded game, provided they are kept on a leash.
For additional information or to clarify these regulations, you can contact Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks at 406-444-2535 or visit their website at www.fwp.mt.gov.
- Crossbows became legal in North Carolina on August 1, 2010, and they can be used whenever bow and arrow hunting is allowed.
- The crossbows must have a minimum draw weight of 150-pounds.
- The legalization of crossbows as a hunting method in North Carolina led to an increase in crossbow sales.
- The requirements for legally purchasing a crossbow in North Carolina involve obtaining a pistol permit from the sheriff’s office in the buyer’s county of residence, or holding a valid concealed handgun permit. These requirements have remained unchanged despite the legalization of crossbows for hunting.
- The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission does not regulate the sale or purchase of firearms and crossbows.
For more information, visit the Official Website or call 919-707-0050.
In North Dakota, crossbow hunting is a popular sport, with many people enjoying the opportunity to take down games using this unique method. The regulations governing crossbow hunting are generally straightforward but have some specific requirements:
- Crossbows are legal for handicapped hunters by permit. There are two types of permissions for disabled persons: Temporary Disability Permit and Permanent Disability Permit.
- Crossbows are allowed during the deer gun season. The crossbow must have a peak draw weight of 75 pounds and not more than 200 pounds, be equipped with a working safety to prevent accidental firing, have a stock at least 14 inches long, and use bolts at least 14 inches in length.
- The same requirements apply for the Muzzleloader Season, but no magnification (1X) scopes are legal to use on crossbows during this season.
- Anyone born after Dec 31 of 1961, is required to take a state or provincial hunter education course before applying for a hunting license.
- Broadheads should be at least 7/8 inches wide and can either be fixed or mechanical. Chemically treated or explosive tipped arrows are not legal in North Dakota.
North Dakota is known for its low hunter density and plentiful opportunities for public hunting. Many trophy bucks are also present in the state, making it an excellent destination for bowhunters and rifle hunters alike. Although crossbow hunting is not as popular as rifle or shotgun hunting in North Dakota, it’s still legal and permitted. There are many public hunting opportunities available throughout the state, suitable for all hunting preferences.
For more information, you can visit the official website or contact them at 701-328-6300.
Nebraska has permitted crossbow hunting since 1985 and has seen a steady rise in its popularity. The state boasts abundant populations of deer, offering excellent opportunities for hunters, who are generally welcomed by landowners. Crossbow hunting is perceived as more humane than traditional rifle hunting and allows other wildlife to remain undisturbed.
Below are some of the critical regulations for crossbow hunting in Nebraska:
- Crossbows are allowed during the archery seasons.
- The crossbow used must have a draw weight of at least 125 pounds and use broadheads with a width of at least 7/16 inches.
- Bowhunter education is required for hunters aged 12 to 29 years, and they must carry their education certificate as proof while in the field.
- Electronic devices that amplify light, scopes, and laser range finders are not allowed in crossbow hunting.
- Hunters must not possess or control a crossbow or bow and arrow while using a spotlight or other artificial light from a vehicle.
- Two-way radios or phones cannot be used to transmit information about the location of game animals or game birds while hunting.
- Using any poison, chemical, or explosive on top of the arrow tip is illegal.
- Hunting is not permitted within 200 yards of bait.
Crossbows are considered legal archery equipment for big game hunting, including deer, antelope, elk, turkey, and bighorn sheep.
For further details or inquiries, contact the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission at 402-471-0641.
Crossbow legalization rules in New Hampshire are as follows:
- Crossbows can be legally used to hunt deer during the deer firearms season.
- Handicapped hunters can legally use crossbows if they obtain an appropriate disability license, which costs $10 and is valid for a lifetime.
- To obtain a crossbow hunting license, which costs $46, one must complete a hunter education course.
- Crossbows cannot be used during the archery season unless the hunter has a disability license. In this case, only crossbows are allowed, and the use of a longbow, compound, or recurve bow is prohibited.
- To legally hunt deer, a deer crossbow permit is required. The permit costs approximately $5.
- To qualify for hunting in New Hampshire, a crossbow needs to have a minimum draw weight of 125 pounds and a stock with a minimum length of 25 inches.
People who are 68 years old or older are allowed to hunt with a crossbow and can get a perpetual crossbow permit to take any species that is permitted to be taken by bow and arrow.
For further information, you can contact the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department at 603-271-2461 or 603-271-2462.
Crossbows in New Jersey are legally allowed for use in any bow and arrow hunting season, as well as other hunting seasons for all species where the use of a bow and arrow is permitted.
- Crossbows must have a minimum draw weight of 75 pounds and a minimum stock length of 25 inches.
- Crossbows are not lawful for bow fishing, and it’s advised to check the Freshwater Fish Code for specifics in this area.
- Individuals who haven’t purchased a New Jersey bow and arrow hunting license since the implementation of the electronic licensing system or haven’t ever purchased one must present a hunter’s education archery completion certificate to receive a bow and arrow hunting permit. A nonresident NJ bow and arrow license or a resident bow and arrow license from any state is also sufficient.
- Broadheads, used for harvesting turkey, deer, coyote, or woodchuck, must be made of well-sharpened metal and no less than ¾ of an inch wide. Arrows fitted with heads other than those specified can be carried legally during seasons which overlap the bow and arrow deer season or during the small game season. This does not apply to taking game birds in flight. Only target points, blunts, and judo points are legal for game birds in flight. Turkeys and Canadian geese not in flight may be harvested with standard fletched arrows and edged heads.
For more information, refer to the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife or call 609-292-2965.
- Crossbow use is allowed by Certified Mobility Impaired Hunters during all hunts. Crossbows may now be used in “Any Legal Sporting Arm” or “Muzzleloader” hunts unless otherwise restricted.
- In New Mexico, it is lawful to use crossbows to harvest bear, cougar, elk, deer, javelin, pronghorn, Barbary sheep, oryx, Persian ibex, bighorn sheep, and turkey. Crossbows are also legal for use in muzzleloader or any legal sporting arm seasons unless they have been otherwise restricted.
- Certified disabled, permit-carrying hunters may lawfully use crossbows during all hunts.
- Hunters under the age of 18 years must successfully complete a hunter education program before applying for or purchasing a firearms hunting license and/or hunting. It is not required that they complete a bowhunter education program; however, it is strongly recommended.
- It is not legal for any hunter to equip crossbows with sights which project light or magnify targets, not even when used by disabled hunters for archery-only seasons.
- There are no current required draw weights for crossbows in New Mexico.
- Bolts must feature broadheads, mechanical or fixed, with cutting edges of steel. It is unlawful to use bolts which have been equipped with explosives or treated with any chemicals.
- It is mandatory that all harvesting be reported for deer, sheep, ibex, elk, oryx, javelin, pronghorn, antelope, and turkey. This may be completed on the telephone or via the internet.
More information can be found on the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish website or by calling 505-476-8000.
In the state of Nevada, crossbows can be utilized for hunting big game during any “Legal Weapon” hunting season, but are prohibited during archery-only and muzzleloader-only seasons. Here are some of the key regulations pertaining to crossbow usage in Nevada:
- Crossbows must have a minimum draw weight of 125 pounds.
- The draw length should be at least 14 inches from the front of the bow to the nocking point.
- The crossbow should have a minimum stock of 18 inches.
- Arrows used must be at least 16 inches long and weigh a minimum of 300 grains.
- Arrows should be equipped with a broadhead, either fixed or mechanical, with a width of at least 7/8 inches.
- Crossbows must have a positive mechanical safety feature.
- Crossbows can be equipped with any arrow or carbon arrow with a lighted nock, and sights or scopes, as long as the optical device does not project a direct light beam towards the target.
Nevada offers a diverse range of animals to hunt using a crossbow, including antelope, bear, bighorn sheep, elk, mountain goat, mountain lion, and mule deer.
Hunting in Nevada is popular due to its extensive public lands, varied habitats, and year-round hunting possibilities. Depending on the type of game being pursued, hunters can select from a variety of different licenses and tags, some of which permit rifle hunting during certain times of the year. Some popular hunting locations in Nevada include:
- Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest
- South Fork State Recreation Area
- Wild Horse State Recreation Area
- Desert National Wildlife Refuge
- Ash Meadows National Wildlife
For further information, you can refer to the official website or contact the Nevada Department of Wildlife at 775-688-1500.
Here are the key points on crossbow regulations in the state of New York:
- Crossbows are legal during a portion of the archery season.
- Crossbows may be used by licensees who are 12 or older to hunt deer and licensees 14 or older to hunt bear, unprotected wildlife, and most small game species.
- Without landowner permission, crossbows may not be discharged within 250 feet of any home, school building or playground, public structure, farm structure in use, or occupied factory or church.
- A crossbow may not be possessed in or on a motor vehicle unless it is un-cocked.
- While on lands inhabited by deer or bear, and in or on a motor vehicle using artificial lights, a crossbow may not be possessed unless it is unstrung or taken down or securely fastened in a case or locked in the trunk of the vehicle.
- Crossbows may not be used for hunting in Suffolk, Nassau, or Westchester counties.
- Crossbow hunting qualification & safety training is required. There are three options to choose from to complete this training.
- Legal crossbow specifications: a bow and string, either compound or recurve, that launches a minimum 14-inch bolt or arrow, not including point, mounted upon a stock with a trigger that holds the string and limbs under tension until released. The trigger unit of such crossbow must have a working safety. The minimum limb width is 17 inches (outer tip of limbs, excluding wheels and cams, uncocked). The minimum peak draw weight is 100 pounds, with a maximum of 200 pounds. The minimum overall length is 24 inches from butt-stock to front of limbs.
- Crossbows may be used during various seasons and for hunting various game, with certain restrictions.
- A hunting license is needed to use a crossbow to hunt small game species. A turkey permit is also required to hunt turkeys.
- Crossbows may not be used to take carp or any other fish species.
For further information, you can visit the official website or contact the department directly at 518-402-8924 or 518-402-8985.
Here are the main points about the legalization of crossbows in Ohio:
- Crossbows are legal during archery season.
- Crossbows are legal to use by any hunter, regardless of disability or lack thereof.
- Ohio regulates what type of crossbow can be used for certain types of game. Crossbows may not be used to hunt any migratory game birds.
- A crossbow may be cocked with a device but must have a working safety and a stock more than 25 inches long. It is illegal to have attached to a crossbow any mechanical, electrical, or electronic device capable of projecting a beam of light.
- During the entire deer-hunting season (including archery season, antlerless deer muzzleloader season, gun season, youth gun season, and muzzleloader season), a crossbow is considered acceptable archery equipment for the taking of deer, as long as the crossbow has a draw weight of at least 75 lbs and fires an arrow with a tip that has at least two exposed or unexposed cutting edges and a minimum width of 3/4-inch.
- In the fall and spring turkey seasons, crossbows are considered legal archery equipment for the taking of turkey, with the same specifications as for deer hunting.
- When hunting small game, crossbows are considered legal archery equipment. Any draw weight crossbow is acceptable, as is any type of arrow tip except poisoned arrows and explosive arrows. The only exception is the Mourning Dove, for which crossbows are not allowed.
For further information, you can visit the official website Ohio Department of Natural Resources or contact the department directly at 614-265-6300.
In Oklahoma, the use of crossbows is regulated as follows:
- Crossbows and conventional bows with draw lock devices are legal for hunting whenever conventional bows are allowed.
- Crossbows must have a minimum draw weight of 100 pounds and be equipped with safety devices. Bolts used must be a minimum of 14 inches in length. The use of leverage gaining devices on crossbows is permitted.
- Arrows and/or bolts must be fitted with hunting type points not less than 7/8 inches wide, including mechanical broadheads meeting this width requirement when fully open.
- It’s illegal to carry or use any firearm in conjunction with archery equipment during any archery season, unless provided otherwise by state law. However, hunters are allowed to carry both archery equipment and a muzzleloader during the muzzleloader season, or both archery equipment and legal firearms during any modern gun season, as long as they have the appropriate licenses and follow other regulations to participate in those seasons.
- The use of laser sights is illegal, unless the user is certified 100% disabled or legally blind. The same applies to thermal tracking devices, and light enhancement devices (including nightscopes) from sunset to sunrise.
For further information, you can visit the official website or contact the department directly at 405-521-3851.
- Crossbows are currently illegal in Oregon.
- The restriction on crossbow use in Oregon is intended to maintain “traditional” hunting practices and protect game animals from becoming over-hunted.
- In Oregon, hunting is only legal with recurve, compound, and longbows.
- While some veteran hunters favor allowing crossbows for hunting, citing modern advancements in technology and the benefits for disabled hunters, there are also concerns that crossbows could lead to an increase in deer harvesting rate, which could negatively impact the population of game animals.
- Despite these debates, the legality of crossbows for hunting ultimately comes down to state regulations.
For further information, you can visit the official website or contact the department directly at 503-947-6000.
- The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners has approved the expanded lawful use of crossbows for both the archery deer and bear seasons.
- Pennsylvania allows the use of crossbows during deer archery season as well as bear archery season.
- An archery stamp and a general hunting license are required to use crossbows.
- For a crossbow for hunting to be permitted, it must have a draw weight of at least 125 pounds.
- The bolts equipped must have at least two cutting edges and have a width of at least 7/8 inches.
- While hunting deer with a bow, you are only allowed to take broadside or quartering away shots.
- Draw lock devices can be used.
- You can use illuminated nocks for arrows and bolts.
- A cocked crossbow must be handled with safety measures.
- If you are a genuinely licensed bowhunter in WMUs 2B, 5C, or 5D, you can also harvest antlered and antlerless deer during the extended late archery season.
- The use of magnified scopes was approved on April 21, 2009.
For further information, you can visit the official website or contact the department directly at 717-787-4250.
- Crossbows are no longer classified as firearms, but as archery equipment.
- Crossbows can be used by all archery hunters during the Archery deer season, provided they have completed the Bow Hunter education course or qualify for an Archery deer permit.
- Hunting wild turkey or any wild bird with a crossbow is prohibited.
- Special permits for hunting with a crossbow, including those for disabled hunters, are no longer required. However, Adaptive Aids for archery hunting still require a special permit.
- Crossbows must have a draw weight of at least 125 pounds and use broadheads at least 7/8 inches wide.
- It’s legal to use a crossbow during the muzzleloader season after completing bow hunting education classes.
- Hunting small game is allowed with a crossbow, but birds cannot be hunted with it.
- Hunting seasons extend from October to the end of January, providing numerous opportunities for hunting deer.
For further information, you can visit the official website or contact the department directly at 401-222-6800.
In South Carolina, the crossbow is officially recognized as archery equipment, which includes a bow and arrow, a long bow, a recurve bow, a compound bow, and a crossbow.
- The crossbow is a legal archery weapon that can be used for hunting purposes whenever and wherever the use of any bow is allowed. This essentially means all seasons are open for crossbow hunting.
- Depending on the type of game you are planning to hunt with your crossbow, different sets of permits may be required. For most larger game such as deer, elk, and bear, both a Big Game License as well as a Hunting Permit are required.
- Before you can receive a hunting permit, a hunter education course must be completed successfully. This course can be led by an instructor or can be self-studied through online resources, CDs, or books.
- There are currently no restrictions related to the crossbow draw weight, arrow length/weight, or broadhead cutting diameter in South Carolina.
- The only animals that are not allowed to be hunted with a crossbow are the coyote and armadillo.
For more details on crossbow hunting regulations and permits in South Carolina, visit the official South Carolina Department of Natural Resources website: www.dnr.state.sc.us. For inquiries about the availability of different hunter education courses, call: 800-277-4301. For general inquiries, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources can be reached at: 803-734-3886.
- Crossbows are legal for handicapped hunters during archery season.
- The crossbow must have a minimum draw weight of 125-pounds and a functional mechanical safety device.
- Telescopic sights and lighted sight pins are prohibited, although scopes on crossbows are allowed as per recent changes.
- Draw-lock/crossbow permits are only available for disabled hunters who are unable to draw a traditional bow due to impairment.
- Hunters using a draw-lock/crossbow permit cannot possess a firearm in the field or be in the company of any individual carrying a firearm during seasons restricted to archery unless the person has a legal permit to carry a concealed weapon.
- Mechanical broadheads are legal, except during elk season, and must be made of metal with no less than two cutting edges. The cutting diameter must be no less than 7/8 of an inch, and the length must equal the width. There are specific exceptions for turkey hunts.
- The arrow and broadhead combined must not weigh less than 275 grains when harvesting big game.
- Crossbows are allowed for fishing in South Dakota, except the Nebraska/South Dakota boundary waters. Crossbows may be used for junk fish only.
- Crossbows are now allowed for big game during rifle season only. All types of sights are allowed during rifle season. A disabled permit is still required to use a crossbow during big game archery season.
For more information, visit the South Dakota Fish and Parks website or call 605-223-7665.
The use of crossbows is now permitted during all seasons including the regular archery season. Here are some key points and regulations related to crossbow usage in Tennessee:
- Any hunter who is 10 to 12 years old can hunt with a crossbow if they have a hunter education certificate. Hunters 13 to 15 years old must have a junior hunting license and may only use crossbows during archery-only seasons.
- Crossbows are not allowed during big game hunting season. They are treated the same as compound or recurve bows in all other respects.
- The draw weight and arrow length of the crossbow and arrow are unrestricted, meaning you can use any crossbow and any length of the arrow.
- You can use a crossbow for hunting game at night, but you are not allowed to use any artificial light while hunting which could locate your prey, like a red dot sight or reticle scope.
- Hunting from a vessel can be done from any location so long as the boat is not moving forward.
- The bolt and arrows of the broadheads must be razor sharpened.
- You can hunt from big games like deer and elk to small games like turkey, rabbits, squirrels, etc. with a crossbow.
For a safe and successful crossbow hunting experience, hunters are encouraged to:
- Follow all the hunting regulations specific to your hunt, including hunting crossbow restrictions and game season dates.
- Use a crossbow fitted with a safety catch and trigger guard, and practice shooting it regularly before going out on a hunt.
- Always wear proper clothing and equipment when hunting, including eye protection, hunter orange vest, or jacket if required by law.
- Use crossbow bolts specifically designed for hunting with a crossbow, and practice loading and firing them before your hunt.
- Keep your crossbow in good condition by storing it properly after each use.
For more information, you can contact the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency at 615-781-6500 or visit the official website.
Texas has adopted a full-inclusion policy for crossbows in all archery seasons, with the exception of Grayson County. Recent changes have been introduced to make crossbow hunting a legal sport in Texas, with fewer restrictions for upcoming hunting seasons. Here are some of the main provisions:
- Crossbows can now be freely used during both archery-only and general seasons. No doctor’s statement is required to use a crossbow during these seasons on private property.
- State regulations in Grayson County and some public hunting lands still limit the use of crossbows during the archery season to people with upper body limitations or disabilities.
- No permit is required for hunting antlerless deer during an archery-only season, except on MLD properties. However, if MLD permits have been issued, it is recommended to use them.
- Changes include the elimination of the experimental pronghorn season in the Panhandle while restricting it to buck-only harvest. Permits will be issued to landowners by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department via a quota system.
- HIP certification is mandatory for those engaging in migratory game bird hunting. The Harvest Information Program Certification, issued by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, requires hunters to report the number of game birds harvested in the previous season and whether or not the hunter will be hunting them in the current or upcoming season.
- For upland game birds, the north and south turkey zones have been restructured to maintain consistency across spring and fall hunting seasons. This new alignment will affect 26 counties along Highway 90.
- The prohibition on using dogs to track wounded deer has been lifted in over ten east Texas counties.
- Four additional two-winged dove days will be added in the South zone. Special white-winged dove days in the South zone are scheduled on the two weekends preceding the regular seasonal opener.
For complete and detailed guidelines, you can visit the official website of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Phone: (281) 869-5511, 512-389-4800 or 1-800-792-1112.
- A person who has obtained any weapon permit for a big game hunt may use archery equipment authorized in this section to take the species authorized in the permit, including a crossbow or draw-lok.
- Crossbows are legal for handicap hunters during the archery season by permit.
- Hunters with a permanent physical disability due to disease, injury, or birth defect may legally obtain a crossbow permit for hunting big game. Game that may be harvested includes big game, turkey, bear, cougar, waterfowl, and small game during the any weapons or respective archery season. Eligibility may be determined by a certificate from a physician, demonstration by the applicant, or an obvious impairment.
- All crossbows used to harvest big game, bear, cougar, waterfowl, turkey, or small game need to comply with the requirements of R657-5-11(6). Crossbows used to harvest waterfowl, turkey, or small game must have a draw weight of no less than 60 pounds. The minimum draw weight for big game, bear, and cougar is 125 pounds.
- Crossbows used to harvest carp must feature a reel with a line capable of tethering the bolt to restrict the flight distance.
- Crossbows must have a functional mechanical safety.
- No chemically treated or explosive equipped arrowheads may be used.
- Broadhead points must be no less than 7/8 of an inch wide upon impact. They must feature at least two cutting edges. Mechanical broadheads are required to open upon impact and be no less than 7/8 of an inch wide while in the open position.
- Bolts must be no less than 18 inches long.
- Crossbows must have a stock which is no less than 18 inches in length.
- The draw length must be no less than 18 inches from the front of the crossbow to the rear of the string while in the cocked position.
- Use of range finding devices is prohibited.
- Crossbows must be in an enclosed case while being transported in any vehicle.
For more information, you can visit the official website or contact them at 801-538-4700.
- Crossbows are legal to use during the firearm and archery seasons.
- A crossbow permit is required to use one during the “archery only” season.
- Any individual under the age of 18 must successfully complete a two-sectioned hunter education course before they are legally permitted to obtain a hunting license.
- It is illegal to harvest game on publicly owned lands on Sundays. This regulation is subject to all local ordinances, so it’s important to check with local law enforcement departments or the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries for additional information on these specifics.
- It is legal to harvest game on privately owned lands with the owner’s consent, except when it is within 200 yards of a church, place of worship, or any building thereof.
- Mechanical broadheads are legal in the state of Virginia.
- No one is permitted to discharge a crossbow over, from, or across any road, sidewalk, roadway, or alleyway.
- There is no current minimum draw weight in Virginia; however, archery tackle must be capable of casting an arrow featuring a broadhead no less than 125 yards.
- Broadheads must be at least 7/8 of an inch wide or shall expand to this width upon impact.
- The use of explosive arrow heads or those which have been chemically treated is prohibited by law.
For more information, you can contact the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries at 804-367-1000 or visit their website here.
- Crossbow use is permitted during any season when the use of a bow and arrow is allowed, including archery deer, archery turkey, and archery moose seasons. It can also be used throughout the entire archery deer season, including December archery.
- Starting from the 2016-2017 hunting seasons, hunters aged 50 and older can use a crossbow without first obtaining a crossbow disability permit. Crossbows are legal for all hunters for all species except deer. Crossbow deer hunting is legal for handicapped hunters with a permit.
- Bowhunter education is required for all first-time archery deer license buyers, irrespective of their age. This course is also mandatory to hunt moose or turkey with a bow or crossbow.
- Only uncocked crossbows can be transported in motor vehicles. It’s important to review crossbow safety even if you have completed the bowhunter education course.
For more information, you can visit the official website or contact them at 802-828-1000, 802-241-3700.
- Crossbows are legal for all hunters during modern firearm seasons.
- Disabled hunters who qualify may get a special use permit that allows them to use a crossbow during archery or muzzleloader seasons.
- Crossbows must have a minimum draw weight of 125 pounds.
- Hunting with a crossbow during archery-only seasons is prohibited unless the hunter has a disability hunting permit.
- The hunter must successfully complete a hunter education course or class before obtaining a hunting permit.
- The arrow and broadhead combined must weigh a minimum of 350 grains.
- The minimum broadhead cutting diameter is 7/8″2.
- Using expandable broadheads for hunting is illegal.
- There are certain types of crossbows that may not be legal for hunting in Washington. It’s recommended to get in touch with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to confirm the legality of specific crossbow models.
For more detailed and specific information, contact the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website (WDFW) or call 360-902-2200.
Crossbow use is legal during all of the Archery Season in Wisconsin, effective since the 2014 Seasons. Wisconsin has opened up crossbow hunting for all hunters, irrespective of age, and has removed the disability requirement. The crossbow hunting licenses under this law allow a crossbow license holder to hunt the same game animals that can be hunted with an archer hunting license. The crossbow license is included in the resident and nonresident Conservation Patron and Conservation Patron Junior licenses.
- Hunters in Wisconsin can purchase a crossbow license along with other licenses starting in March.
- The crossbow license is included with the Conservation Patron licenses.
- The crossbow season runs concurrently with the archery season.
- Hunters can choose their weapon during the archery season.
- The fee for a resident crossbow license is $24, while the fee for a nonresident crossbow license is $160. The fee for a resident or nonresident duplicate crossbow license is $15 if deer tags are included and $12 if deer tags are not included.
- The fee for a resident crossbow license issued to persons who are under 18 years of age is $20.
- The fee for a crossbow hunting license issued to a person who is 10 or 11 years of age is $5.
- An archer hunting license may be issued to a resident or nonresident person who holds a crossbow hunting license for a reduced fee of $3.00. Similarly, a crossbow hunting license may be issued to a resident or nonresident person who holds an archer hunting license for the $3.00 reduced fee.
- Completion of hunter education is required if born on or before Jan. 1, 1973 in order to purchase an approval authorizing hunting.
For more information, you can visit the official website or contact them at 1-888-936-7463 (Available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.).
Crossbows are legal for all hunters during the full archery season for deer, bear, and turkey in West Virginia, and also during all firearms seasons. The West Virginia Natural Resources Commission voted to legalize crossbow hunting in the state, starting from the first day of the archery season and lasting until the end of the year. No special crossbow hunting license is required, and hunters only need the regular bow hunting license to be good to go.
However, crossbows are not legal in the counties of Logan, Mingo, Wyoming, and McDowell. Additionally, hunting with a crossbow in West Virginia is only legal for those who are permanently disabled to an extent that makes using a regular vertical bow, even with the help of an aid, impossible. In this case, hunters will need to obtain a disability certification from a physician, and then apply for a Class Y crossbow permit.
Here are some key regulations to keep in mind:
- Owning a Class Y crossbow permit authorizes you to use your crossbow for hunting only during archery seasons.
- You must carry your permit with you at all times while hunting.
- Other than the Class Y permit, you will also need to own a valid West Virginia hunting license, which costs $19 for residents and $119 for non-residents.
- The minimum draw weight must be 125 lbs.
- The minimum arrow length should be 18 inches (not including broadhead).
- The broadhead cutting diameter should be a minimum of 3/4″.
- You may not carry a firearm with you when hunting with a crossbow.
- Using electronic deer calling devices is prohibited.
For more information, you can visit the official website or contact them at 304-558-2758.
- The crossbow must have a minimum draw weight of 90 pounds.
- The minimum draw length should be 14 inches.
- Crossbows should shoot a minimum 16-inch bolt.
- Leverage gaining devices are generally prohibited, but certain disabled hunters may obtain a permit to use them from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.
- To harvest trophy or big game with a crossbow during any special archery season, hunters must first purchase an archery hunting permit and the proper hunting license.
- Special archery permits are not needed for harvesting small game or game birds with crossbows, but the required hunting license for that specific species is necessary.
- Hunters seeking to harvest trophy game are required to display fluorescent hunter orange in the form of a shirt, hat, jacket, sweater, or vest so that it is visible to other hunters.
- Crossbows must feature a functioning, positive mechanical safety.
- The cutting edges of the bolts must be no less than 1 inch in width and must be made of sharpened steel.
For more information, please refer to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department website or call 307-777-4600.