Hunting Regulations

 

United States

Alabama
Crossbows legal for all persons during the entire deer hunting season. Magnified scopes are now allowed on crossbows only.
www.outdooralabama.com/hunting/
334-242-3469


Alaska
Crossbows are illegal in bow-only areas, but can be used where guns and bows are legal weapons. Legal in archery season for handicapped hunters with an approved Methods and Means Exemption Form.
www.adfg.state.ak.us
907-465-4190


Arizona
Crossbows legal for handicapped hunters on a very restrictive permit basis, or for anyone during general firearms seasons.
www.azgfd.com
602-942-3000


Arkansas
Crossbows legal during archery seasons; must have minimum draw weight of 125 pounds and mechanical safety.
http://www.agfc.com/hunting/pages/default.aspx
501-223-6300


California
Crossbows legal for all hunters during gun seasons. Also, the California Game Commission voted on April 22, 2004 to adopt the following language to their regulations: "Any person with a physical disability which prevents him/her from being able to draw and hold a bow in a firing position, may use a crossbow or device which holds a string and arrow in the firing position to assist in the taking of birds and mammals under the conditions of an archery tag, archery season, or general session. Under these conditions, archers must provide to the Department and retain in his/her immediate possession while taking or attempting to take big game written verification of the disability, including: the person's name and signature, address, date of birth, driver's license or DMV number, physician's name and signature, physician's license number and address and a description of the disability."
www.dfg.ca.gov
916-445-0411


Colorado
Crossbows legal for all hunters during gun seasons and for handicapped hunters during archery season.
www.wildlife.state.co.us
Accomodation Permit
303-297-1192


Connecticut
Crossbows legal for handicapped hunters by permit and for anyone during the January archery season on private property in Deer Management Zones 11 & 12. Draw weight must be a minimum of 125-pounds and a maximum of 220-pounds, have a permanently fixed rifle stock and mechanical safety, minimum finished arrow weight of 450-grains or higher and a minimum arrow length of 18-inches.
www.dep.state.ct.us
860-424-3011


Delaware
Crossbows 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.
www.fw.delaware.gov
302-739-9911


Florida
August 30, 2010. Effective July 2011, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission passed a new rule which will extend zonal crossbow seasons by a month. The new rule adds 30 days to each crossbow season in zones A, B, and C, and adds 33 days in zone D, thereby coinciding with the archery season on private land only.
www.myfwc.com/recreation/hunt_index.aspx
850-488-3831


Georgia
Crossbows legal in all seasons starting 2003.
www.gohuntgeorgia.com
770-918-6416


Hawaii
Crossbows legal by special disabled permit only.
www.hawaii.gov/dlnr
808-587-0400


Idaho
During an any-weapon hunting season you can hunt with a crossbow without any other permit besides your hunting license and proper tag. Crossbows also legal for handicapped persons by permit-to hunt with a crossbow during an archery season, you must also have a valid archery permit as well as a hunting license and a proper tag.
www.fishandgame.idaho.gov
208-334-3700


Illinois
Hunters 62 years of age and older are now permitted to use a crossbow without a special permit. Hunters using a crossbow will need an archery deer permit and proof of age in the form of an official ID. Crossbows used in hunting as authorized by a permit issued under this section shall meet all of the following specifications:
1) Shall have a minimum peak draw weight of 125 pounds and a maximum peak draw weight of 200 pounds.
2) Shall have a minimum overall length (from butt of stock to front of limbs) of 24 inches.
3) Shall have a working safety.
4) Shall be used with bolts or arrows of not less than 14 inches in length (not including point) with a broadhead. Broadheads may have fixed or expandable blades, but they must be barbless and have a minimum 7/8 inch diameter when fully opened. Broadheads with fixed blade must be metal or flint-, chert-, or obsidian-napped. Broadheads with expandable blades must
be metal.
Crossbows also legal for handicapped hunters by permit.
http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Pages/default.aspx
217-782-6384


Indiana
Crossbows legal in entire archery season beginning December 31, 2011. Crossbows must have a minimum draw weight of 125-pounds and a mechanical safety.
www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/2343.htm
317-232-4200


Iowa
Crossbows legal for handicapped hunters with permit. Resident hunters 70 years old and older may purchase one statewide antlerless-deer only license to hunt deer with a crossbow.
www.iowadnr.com
515-281-5918


Kansas
Crossbows legal for all hunters during archery deer seasons.
Read more here: http://blogs.kansas.com/outdoors/#storylink=cpy
www.kdwp.state.ks.us
620-672-5911


Kentucky
Crossbows legal for all hunters during rifle and muzzleloader seasons, and portions of archery season (dates change annually). Legal in archery season for handicapped hunters.
www.kdfwr.state.ky.us/
800-858-1549


Louisiana
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Commission now has the ability to establish a bow and arrow only season, and a bow and arrow and crossbow season in special deer hunting seasons.
www.wlf.state.la.us/hunting
225-765-2350


Maine
Effective June 11, 2013, crossbows will be legal during any wild bird, or wild animal, open season (including archery) EXCEPT deer archery or deer muzzle-loading only seasons. Hunters may only hunt deer with a crossbow during the open firearm season.
Also legal for disabled hunters.
http://www.maine.gov/ifw/hunting_trapping/hunting/index.htm
L.D. 1015 An Act To Expand Crossbow Hunting
207-287-8000


Maryland
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife and Heritage Service now allows crossbows to be used to hunt any game species during any open season where a vertical bow may be used (excluding waterfowl and certain furbearers). This would permit the use of a crossbow during the entire deer bow season in all counties. Minimum draw weight is 75-pounds, telescopic sights are permitted and the crossbow must have a working safety.
www.dnr.state.md.us/huntersguide
1-877-620-8367 (in state) or 410-260-8367 (out of state)


Massachusetts
Crossbows may be used by certain permanently handicapped persons by permit only.
http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/regulations/abstracts/hunt_fish_abstracts.pdf
508-389-6300


Michigan
August 17, 2010, Effective immediately, crossbow regulations have expanded for hunters statewide.
The crossbow regulation changes include the following:
-Lowered the minimum age for crossbow use from 12 to 10 years of age statewide.
-Expanded the use of crossbows 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 (Crossbows may only be used in the Upper Peninsula by anyone 50 years of age or older during the Oct. 1-Nov. 14 bow hunting deer season statewide).
Hunters using crossbows will still be required to obtain a free crossbow stamp. The stamp, which is free, will help the DNR monitor and survey crossbow hunters. http://www.michigan.gov/dnr
517-373-1263


Minnesota
Crossbows legal for handicapped hunters by permit. Also legal for anyone during firearms season and Turkey and Bear seasons.
www.dnr.state.mn.us
888-646-6367 or 651-296-6157


Mississippi
Effective July 1, 2013, crossbows are legal in all of Archery Season. Archer's are reminded that they are required to wear hunter orange during all gun seasons. The separate crossbow permit is no longer required.
www.mdwfp.com
601-432-2400


Missouri
Crossbows for handicapped archers by permit and during firearms season.
www.mdc.mo.gov/hunt/
573-751-4115


Montana
Crossbows legal only during gun seasons. No provision for handicapped hunters.
www.fwp.mt.gov
406-444-2535


Nebraska
Crossbows are legal archery equipment for big game (deer, antelope, elk, turkey & bighorn sheep).
www.outdoornebraska.ne.gov
402-471-0641


Nevada
Crossbows may only be used for hunting big game during an "Any Legal Weapon" hunt. Crossbows are not allowed for archery hunts. Crossbows must have a minimum 125-pound draw weight, minimum draw length of 14-inches from front of bow to nocking point, minimum 18-inch stock and a positive mechanical safety. Arrows must be minimum 16-inches and have a broadhead.
www.ndow.org/
775-688-1500


New Hampshire
Crossbows legal for handicapped hunters by permit. Legal for all hunters to take a deer in firearms season. Legal for all hunters on Long Island in Moultonborough with Long Island Deer Permit. Crossbow hunters must purchase a crossbow hunting permit.
www.wildlife.state.nh.us
603-271-2461 or 603-271-2462


New Jersey
Crossbows are legal in any bow and arrow hunting season and other hunting seasons for all species where the use of bow and arrow is allowed. Crossbows must have a minimum draw weight of 75 pounds and a minimum stock length of 25 inches.
www.njfishandwildlife.com
609-292-2965


New Mexico
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.
www.wildlife.state.nm.us
505-476-8000


New York
Please note: the law allowing use of crossbows expired on December 31, 2012. Crossbows may no longer be used for hunting in New York.
http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/68802.html
www.dec.ny.gov
518-402-8924 or 518-402-8985


North Carolina
Effective August 1, 2010, allows the use of crossbows anytime bow and arrows are legal weapons. Crossbows must have a minimum draw weight of 150-pounds.
http://www.ncwildlife.org/hunting/index.htm
919-707-0050


North Dakota
Crossbows legal for handicapped hunters by permit.
Effective September 1, 2011, the following new regulations will go into effect:
1. Crossbows are now legal for hunters during the rifle season.
2. Crossbows are now legal for all hunters during primitive weapons season. Note: Crossbows used during the primitive weapons season may NOT be equipped with optics that have any magnification. Only scopes and red dots with 1x magnification may be used during the primitive weapons season.
www.gf.nd.gov
701-328-6300


Ohio
Crossbows legal during archery season.
www.ohiodnr.com/wildlife/default.htm
614-265-6300


Oklahoma
Crossbows and conventional bows with draw lock devices are a legal means of hunting whenever conventional bows are allowed.
www.wildlifedepartment.com
405-521-3851


Oregon
Crossbows illegal.
www.dfw.state.or.us
503-947-6000


Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners has approved the expanded lawful use of crossbows to include both the archery deer and bear seasons. The Board included a sunset date for the expanded crossbow use requiring a future vote on the measure again before June 30, 2012.
*The use of magnified scopes was approved on April 21, 2009.
www.pgc.state.pa.us
717-787-4250


Rhode Island
The crossbow is no longer classified as a firearm - it is now in the same classification as recurves, compounds and longbows. Crossbows are now Approved for use by all archery hunters during the Archery deer season provided the hunter has successfully completed the Bow Hunter education course or otherwise qualifies for an Archery deer permit.
The use of crossbow for hunting wild turkey or any wild bird is prohibited by law (RIGL 20-14-7).
Special permits are no longer required to hunt with the crossbow including those previously required for disabled hunters; however, use of Adaptive Aids for archery hunting still requires the special permit.
www.dem.ri.gov/pubs/regs/index.htm
401-222-6800


South Carolina
Archery equipment is now defined as " a bow and arrow, a long bow, a recurve bow, a compound bow, or a cross bow.”
www.dnr.state.sc.us
803-734-3886


South Dakota
Crossbows legal for handicapped hunters during archery season. Must have a minimum draw weight of 125-pounds and a functional mechanical safety device. Telescopic sights and lighted sight pins are prohibited.
www.gfp.sd.gov
605-223-7665


Tennessee
The use of crossbows is now permitted during all seasons including the regular archery season.
www.state.tn.us/twra
615-781-6500


Texas
Full-inclusion of crossbows in archery seasons except Grayson County.
www.tpwd.state.tx.us
512-389-4800 or 1-800-792-1112


Utah
Crossbows legal only for handicapped hunters by permit.
www.wildlife.utah.gov/dwr
801-538-4700
Vermont
Crossbows legal only for handicapped hunters by permit.
www.vtfishandwildlife.com
802-241-3700


Virginia
Crossbows are legal during archery season and firearms season. A crossbow permit will be required if the season is "archery only".
http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/hunting/
804-367-1000


Washington
Crossbows legal for qualifying archers with disabilities. Crossbows are also legal in firearms season. Crossbows must have a minimum draw weight of 125-pounds and a working safety. Retractable broadheads are not legal. Using a scope on a crossbow during a
modern firearm season is now allowed.
http://wdfw.wa.gov
360-902-2200


West Virginia
Crossbows legal with a Class Y Crossbow Permit for individuals who have been determined to have a permanent physical impairment which renders them so disabled as to be unable to use a conventional bow and arrow device. An application must be completed and submitted by the hunter and a licensed Physician to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources for consideration.
www.wvdnr.gov
304-558-2758


Wisconsin
Crossbows are not legal to use except by disabled hunters issued a Class A, B, or Crossbow permit; and hunters 65 years of age or older issued a valid archery hunting license.
During any gun deer season, hunters can use a firearm, bow and arrow, or crossbow
as their weapon of choice while hunting under the authority of their gun deer license
and gun deer carcass tags. During the 10-day muzzleloader season, a hunter can use a
muzzleloading firearm, bow and arrow, or a crossbow as their weapon of choice while
hunting under the authority of their gun deer license and gun deer carcass tag.
WI Hunting Regulations
608-266-2621


Wyoming
Crossbows legal during archery seasons; Must have 90-pound minimum draw weight, minimum draw length of 14-inches and shoot a minimum 16-inch bolt.
http://gf.state.wy.us
307-777-4600

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Canada

Visit www.huntingoutfitters.ca for more information for general research on hunting and Outfitters in the Canadian Provinces.

ALBERTA
Crossbows legal for all seasons except archery-only. Legal in archery season for eligible handicapped hunters with a crossbow license. Crossbows must have a minimum draw weight of 100-pounds.
http://www.albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs/gameregs.html#cross-bows
780-944-0313

BRITISH COLUMBIA
Permitted during all archery seasons, considered archery equipment.
http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/fw/wildlife/hunting/regulations/
250-387-9771

MANITOBA
Crossbows may be used during muzzleloader deer seasons and big game rifle seasons. A hunter may not be in possession of a crossbow while hunting during archery or shotgun/muzzloader seasons. A person hunting big game shall not be in possession of a crossbow requiring less than 150-pounds draw weight or an arrow using a broadhead less than 7/8 of an inch in width. Under the authority of a Disabled Crossbow permit, a permanently disabled archer may use a crossbow during an archery season.
www.gov.mb.ca/natres/wildlife/index.html
204-945-6784

NEW BRUNSWICK
Crossbows illegal. It is illegal to possess a crossbow in an area frequented by wildlife.
www.gov.nb.ca/0078/hunting_e.asp
506-453-3826

NEWFOUNDLAND
Crossbows illegal.
www.newfoundlandlabrador.com/ThingsToDo/hunting
709-729-2830

NORTHWEST TERRITORIES
Permitted during all archery seasons, considered archery equipment.
http://www.enr.gov.nt.ca/_live/pages/wpPages/hunting_regulations.aspx
867-873-7500

NOVA SCOTIA
Allows the use of crossbows in all hunting situations where conventional bows may be used, except the special open season for bowhunting deer. The crossbow must have a draw weight of 150lbs (68kg) or greater and bolts with heads more than 2.2 cm in diameter. Crossbow hunters must also wear hunter orange or camouflage orange garments.
www.gov.ns.ca/NATR/hunt/regulations/
902-424-6723

NUNAVUT
Bow hunting to permitted in Nunavut subject to the same regulations as hunting with a firearm. Draw weight must be at least 20 kg at 700 mm draw. Arrows must have a broadhead point width of at least 25 mm at the widest point or a barbless three-bladed bodkin head and must not contain any explosive.
http://env.gov.nu.ca/programareas/wildlife/publications
867-975-7700

ONTARIO
Crossbows are permitted during all archery seasons, considered archery equipment. Minimum 119-pound draw weight and 12-inch draw length for moose and bear, 100-pound draw weight and 12-inch draw length for deer.
www.mnr.gov.on.ca
800-667-1940 or 705-755-2000

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
Legal for hunting all game species, except migratory birds, during all archery seasons considered archery equipment. A Firearm Safety Certificate is required.
www.tourismpei.com/pei-hunting
902-368-4683

QUEBEC
Crossbows legal for handicapped hunters by special authorizations during bow season.

In 2008, most bow hunting seasons were replaced with crossbow and bow hunting seasons. Please consult the table of hunting seasons to find out these new terms and conditions. This new development does not apply to moose hunting in zones 13, 15, 16, 17 and 22 which have retained exclusive bow hunting seasons, except for certain wildlife sanctuaries, zecs and outfitter establishments with exclusive rights of these zones which had already replaced their bow hunting seasons with crossbow and bow hunting seasons.

Except in zones 17, 22, 23 and 24, hunting with a crossbow is always permitted during a firearm, a shotgun or a muzzle-loading firearm hunting period. In order to hunt with a crossbow, a resident must be the holder of a hunter's certificate bearing code A or B. Despite the information appearing on the back of the hunter's certificate, since 2007 code F no longer allows the holder to hunt with a crossbow.
http://www.mrnf.gouv.qc.ca/english/publications/online/wildlife/hunting-regulations/arms/crossbows.asp
418-627-8600

SASKATCHEWAN
Crossbows legal only during muzzleloader and rifle seasons, except in the Regina, Moosejaw, Saskatoon, Buckland and Prince Albert wildlife management zones where crossbows are permitted during all open seasons. Crossbows must have a minimum drwa weight of 150-pounds and broadheads must have a cutting diameter of 7/8 of an inch.
http://www.environment.gov.sk.ca/Default.aspx
306-975-4087

YUKON TERRITORIES
Crossbows illegal.
www.environmentyukon.gov.yk.ca/
867-667-5652

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