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Crossbow Hunting Regulations for Every State in the United States

This page provides the regulations for each U.S. state current crossbow laws. See the regulations for crossbows in your area. This is for reference only. Please refer to the respective Wildlife Management Page for further information, including area-specific regulations and respective general archery seasons.

Alabama

Crossbows legal for all persons during the entire deer hunting season.

www.outdooralabama.com
334-242-3469

Alaska

You may use a crossbow in any hunt that does not restrict weapons. "Certified bow hunters only", "bow and arrow only", or "muzzleloader only" hunts or areas specifically exclude other weapons, including crossbows. Scopes and other optical enhancement devices are not permitted.

http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/
907-267-2347

Arizona

Crossbows are legal during general and muzzleloader seasons, and only by permit for disabled hunters during "Archery Only" seasons.

www.azgfd.com/hunting/regulations/
602-942-3000

Arkansas

Crossbows must have at least a 125-pound pull and a mechanical safety. Deer, turkey and bear hunters are required to use arrowheads at least 7/8-inch wide. Poison may not be used on arrows. Magnifying sights may be used. Crossbows are not allowed for taking elk.

www.agfc.com
501-223-6300

California

California states that "a crossbow is not archery equipment and may not be used during the archery season." Except with a Disabled Archer Permit, crossbows may not be used during any archery season or during the general season when using an archery only tag. www.dfg.ca.gov 916-653-7203 Colorado Crossbows legal for all hunters during gun seasons and for handicapped hunters during archery season.

www.dnr.state.co.us
303-297-1192

Connecticut

Crossbows are legal archery equipment.

www.dep.state.ct.us
860-424-3011

Delaware

2010 - Allows the use of crossbows during all deer seasons. Crossbows used for deer hunting must have a minimum pull weight of 125-pounds, be manufactured after 1980 and have a mechanical safety. 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. Check with state regulations for additional details.

www.dnrec.state.de.us
302-739-5297

Florida

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) passed a new rule that will extend zonal crossbow seasons by a month, thereby running concurrently with archery season, beginning July 2011. Starting with the 2011-2012 hunting season, any hunter with a hunting license, deer permit and crossbow permit will be able to get in the woods a month early on private lands and use a crossbow (or a bow) to take deer of either sex. Check state regulations for additional details. July 28, 2010 - Allows the use of crossbows during all deer seasons. Crossbows used for deer hunting must have a minimum pull weight of 125-pounds, be manufactured after 1980 and have a mechanical safety. 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.

http://myfwc.com
850-488-8573

Georgia

Crossbows legal in all seasons.

www.gohuntgeorgia.com
770-918-6416

Hawaii

Crossbows legal by special disabled permit only.

www.hawaii.gov/dlnr
808-973-9787

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
800-554-8685

Illinois

Crossbows are considered legal equipment for all hunters durring the appropriate archery seasons.

www.dnr.state.il.us
217-782-7305

Indiana

Crossbows can now be used during the entire archery season: A crossbow means a device for propelling an arrow by means of traverse limbs mounted on a stock and a string and having a working safety that may be drawn, held, and released by a mechanical device. It has to have a mechanical safety and at least 125 lbs pull. A deer crossbow license will be required to hunt with a crossbow during the archery season, unless that individual has a valid resident youth hunt/trap, deer license bundle, lifetime comprehensive hunting, or a lifetime comprehensive hunting and fishing license, or is exempt from needing a license. A deer crossbow license is good for either one antlerless deer or one antlered deer. The bag limit for the archery season is 2 antlerless deer, or 1 antlered deer and 1 antlerless deer. Hunters are allowed to harvest only one deer per crossbow license.

www.in.gov/dnr
317-232-4080

Iowa

Crossbows are permitted for disabled hunters with permit. Residents 70 and older may purchase a statewide antler less deer license to hunt with a crossbow.

www.iowadnr.com
515-281-8688

Kansas

Crossbows legal for all hunters during archery deer seasons.

www.kdwp.state.ks.us
316-342-0658

Kentucky

Crossbows may be used in designated weeks, see state regulations. Hunters using crossbows during a firearms deer season must follow all firearm season restrictions, zone guidelines and hunting requirements in effect during firearms seasons. Crossbows are also permitted during muzzle-loader only season. Disabled hunters with a permit may use a crossbow to hunt deer during the bow-only deer season.

http://fw.ky.gov
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
225-765-2350

Maine

0 - 69 years of age: May use a crossbow to hunt any wild bird or wild animal in season except a crossbow may NOT be used to hunt deer during **expanded archery season**, regular “October” archery season, and muzzle loading season; or to hunt turkey during the fall turkey season. 70 years of age and older: May use a crossbow to hunt any wild bird or wild animal in season including deer during the expanded archery season, regular “October” archery season, muzzle loading season on deer, and fall wild turkey season.

www.maine.gov/ifw/hunting_trapping/hunting/crossbow.htm
207-287-8000

Maryland

Crossbows may be used to hunt deer only, with the exception of special crossbow permits for disabled hunters who may pursue all game legal for a vertical bow. All hunters may use crossbows for four weeks of archery season and four weeks of gun season.

www.dnr.state.md.us/
410-260-8540

Massachusetts

Crossbows are permitted for disabled hunters with permit.

www.masswildlife.org
508-792-7270

Michigan

Crossbow Hunting Regulations Expanded for Hunters Statewide. Crossbow regulation changes expanding opportunities for hunters ages 10 and up statewide have been approved by the Michigan Natural Resources Commission and are effective immediately, Department of Natural Resources and Environment officials announced. The crossbow regulation changes include the following:

1) Lowering the minimum age for crossbow use from 12 to 10 years of age statewide

2) Expanding the use of crossbows to all legal hunters during all archery and firearm seasons statewide, except in the Upper Peninsula, where crossbow use will remain prohibited during the late archery and muzzle loader seasons, unless the hunter is disabled.

3) Allowing the use of modified bows where crossbows are legal......for full regulations please go to the Michigan DNR link below.

www.michigan.gov/dnr
517-373-1263

Minnesota

Crossbows are permitted durring archery season for disabled hunters with permit, and hunters over age 60. Crossbows are legal hunting equipment for all hunters durring firearms seasons.

www.dnr.state.mn.us
888-MINNDNR

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.

home.mdwfp.com
601-432-2400

Missouri

As of 2016-2017 season, crossbows are a legal method during the full archery deer and turkey seasons.

www.mdc.mo.gov
573-751-4115

Montana

Crossbows are legal only during gun season. No provision for disabled hunters.

http://fwp.mt.gov/hunting
406-444-2535

Nebraska

In Nebraska, crossbows have been allowed as legal equipment during firearm seasons for decades. Starting in 1985, crossbows were allowed during the archery season for those with a permanent disability that prevented them from drawing a bow. All restrictions on crossbows have been removed, including the disability provision and draw weight. The new regulations allow, starting in 2011, crossbows as legal archery equipment for big game (deer, antelope, elk, turkey, and bighorn sheep).

www.ngpc.state.ne.us/
402-471-0641

Nevada

Crossbows are are legal for all during firearms season.

http://www.ndow.org/
775-688-1500

New Hampshire

Crossbows are legal for all hunters with a crossbow hunting permit during firearms season and for all hunters on Long Island with a Long Island deer permit. Disabled hunters may use a crossbow pursuant to disabled hunter regulations without purchasing a crossbow permit. Crossbows are prohibited during the youth hunting weekend for deer.

www.wildlife.state.nh.us
603-271-3422

New Jersey

On Tuesday, June 16, the New Jersey Fish and Game Council voted on adopting proposed amendments to the 2009 - 2012 Game Code. The Council voted to adopt all the proposed amendments except amendment 29, which proposed boundary changes to Deer Management Zones 19 and 23. The full proposal containing the amendments can be viewed at www.nj.gov/dep/rules/proposals/040609b.pdf on the NJ DEP website. The most significant amendment adopted expands the definition of "bow" by removing the prohibition on all draw locking and draw holding devices and by including crossbows in the definition. This allows the use of crossbows 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/news/2009/gamecode09.htm
609-292-2965

New Mexico

Crossbows are legal sporting arms for cougar, bear, deer, elk, pronghorn, javelina, Barbary sheep, persian ibex, oryx, turkey, and bighorn sheep. Hunters that qualify with a permanent mobility limitation may use crossbows to hunt waterfowl and upland game. Sights on crossbows shall not project light nor magnify.

www.wildlife.state.nm.us
800-862-9310

New York

In April 2014, the annual budget bill for 2014-15 was signed and included language authorizing the use of crossbows for hunting under certain circumstances. See the state website for the provisions of the new law. See state website for complete listing of regulations. 2014 Crossbow Rules Changes Summary

www.dec.ny.gov
518-402-8924

North Carolina

Effective August 1, 2010, allows the use of crossbows anytime bow and arrows are legal weapons. www.ncwildlife.org/fs_index_04_hunting.htm 919-733-7291 North Dakota The following regulations will go into effect September 1, 2011: Crossbows are now legal for hunters during the rifle season.

www.gf.nd.gov
701-328-6300

Ohio

Crossbows are legal archery equipment. Minimum draw weight 75 pounds. The arrow tip needs a minimum of two cutting edges, which may be exposed or unexposed and a minimum 3/4-inch width. Expandable and mechanical broadheads are legal.

http://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov
614-265-6300

Oklahoma

The CCR removes the bill's existing language and replaces it with language that permits the use of crossbows and conventional longbows with a device that permits the bow to be held mechanically at full or partial draw during any open season when conventional longbows may be used legally. The CCR also repeals various sections that prohibit the use of crossbows in hunting. Check the state link for full details.

www.wildlifedepartment.com
405-521-2730

Oregon

Crossbows are illegal for hunting.

www.dfw.state.or.us
503-872-5268

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Game Commissioners gave final approval to a proposal to legalize crossbows for archery hunting statewide beginning with the 2009-2010 seasons. Magnifying scopes are legal. There is a sunset review scheduled for 2012.

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

Crossbows are now allowed in archery seasons.

www.dnr.sc.gov/
803-734-3886

South Dakota

Crossbows legal for disabled hunters during archery season.

www.state.sd.us/
605-773-3485

Tennessee

Crossbows are legal during archery, muzzle loader and firearms season.

www.state.tn.us/twra
615-781-6500

Texas

Where the open season is designated as "archery," only legal archery equipment/crossbow as specified below may be used.

www.tpwd.state.tx.us
512-389-4800

Utah

Crossbows legal only for disabled hunters by permit.

www.wildlife.utah.gov
801-538-4700

Vermont

Crossbows may be used by disabled hunters (with permit) for any game that may be taken by bow and arrow.

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".

www.dgif.virginia.gov/hunting/
804-367-1000

Washington

Crossbows approved for use by qualifying archers with disabilities.

http://wdfw.wa.gov
360-902-2519

West Virginia

Deer may be hunted statewide with a bow or crossbow during the archery and crossbow seasons, except that crossbows are not permitted in Logan, McDowell, Mingo and Wyoming counties, except by the holders of Class Y/Y Y permits. A bow or a crossbow may be substituted for a firearm during any deer firearms season except that a bow cannot be substituted in the muzzleloader season.

www.wvdnr.gov
304-558-2758

Wisconsin

Legal in all of Archery Season - effective 2014 Seasons (will be reviewed in three years).

www.dnr.state.wi.us
608-266-2621

Wyoming

Crossbows are legal during archery seasons, and must have a 90 pound minimum draw weight and shoot a 16 inch bolt.

https://wgfd.wyo.gov/News/Most-common-archery-questions
307-777-4600

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