Expanded Crossbow Use in Minnesota: A New Dawn for Archery Seasons

Expanded Crossbow Use in Minnesota: A New Dawn for Archery Seasons

Expanded Crossbow Use – Minnesota’s recent legislative move has been met with widespread approval. The state has passed legislation that broadens the scope of crossbow usage during its archery hunting seasons. From 2023 onwards, all hunters in possession of a valid archery deer license will have the privilege to hunt deer with a crossbow throughout the entire season. This monumental shift is a result of a comprehensive amendment to Minnesota’s hunting regulations, ratified during the 2023 legislative session.

A Look Back at Previous Regulations

Before this change, crossbow usage was restricted to a specific group of hunters. This group comprised those who had obtained a special permit, individuals aged 60 and above, and hunters engaged in the firearms seasons for deer and turkeys. Additionally, all hunters had the liberty to use crossbows during the fall wild turkey and bear seasons. The fresh legislation signifies a considerable alteration in these regulations, paving the way for enhanced hunting opportunities across Minnesota.

Licensing and Legal Requirements

Eager hunters can acquire their deer licenses starting August 1. If you’re keen on embracing Expanded Crossbow Use for hunting, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the legal stipulations. The 2022 hunting regulations, specifically on pages 58 and 59, detail these requirements.

Spring turkey hunting has also seen changes. Those with a spring archery wild turkey license can now employ a crossbow for hunting and possessing wild turkeys throughout the spring turkey season. Detailed regulations for wild turkey hunting will be accessible on the DNR turkey hunting webpage by early 2024.

The Debate Surrounding Crossbow Use

While a significant portion of the hunting community celebrates this newfound flexibility, there’s a section that remains skeptical. Critics argue that crossbows shouldn’t be classified as genuine archery equipment. Consequently, they believe crossbows shouldn’t find a place in archery-only hunting seasons. Regardless of these contrasting views, the new legislation is in effect, marking a pivotal chapter in Minnesota’s hunting narrative.

For fishing aficionados, there’s more good news. The legislation also sanctions the use of crossbows for capturing rough fish during the bowfishing season.

The Impact on the Hunting Community

The Expanded Crossbow Use in Minnesota is more than just a change in regulations. It’s a testament to the evolving nature of hunting and the continuous efforts to make the sport more inclusive and accessible. With more hunters now able to use crossbows, there’s an anticipated surge in interest in crossbow-related products, training, and events. For those looking to capitalize on this change, exploring top-tier crossbows for hunting is a great start.


Minnesota’s decision to expand crossbow use during its archery seasons signifies a progressive step in recognizing the versatility and efficiency of crossbows. It not only offers hunters more choices but also ignites discussions about the future of hunting. As the lines between traditional and modern hunting methods blur, it’s essential for hunters to stay informed, practice responsibly, and embrace the myriad opportunities that come their way.

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