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Local Law and Regulations

United States Regulations


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.

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Crossbows legal for all persons during the entire deer hunting season.  Magnified scopes are now allowed on crossbows only.

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Crossbows legal during archery seasons; must have minimum draw weight of 125 pounds and mechanical safety.

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Crossbows legal for handicapped hunters on a very restrictive permit basis, or for anyone during general firearms seasons.

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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."

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Crossbows legal for all hunters during gun seasons and for handicapped hunters during archery season.

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Accomodation Permit



Effective 2013 Fall seasons, crossbows will be legalized for all archery hunters.

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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.

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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.

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Crossbows legal in all seasons starting 2003.

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Crossbows legal by special disabled permit only.

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Crossbows legal for all hunters during the primitive weapons season. 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.

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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.

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Crossbows legal for all hunters in LATE archery deer season. Crossbow legal for handicapped hunters in EARLY deer archery season.

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Crossbows legal in entire archery season beginning December 31, 2011.  Crossbows must have a minimum draw weight of 125-pounds and a mechanical safety.

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Crossbows legal for all hunters during archery deer seasons.

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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.

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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.

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Crossbows may be used by certain permanently handicapped persons by permit only.

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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.

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1-877-620-8367 (in state) or 410-260-8367 (out of state)


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.

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L.D. 1015 An Act To Expand Crossbow Hunting



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.

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 A person age 60 or over may take deer, bear, turkey, or rough fish by crossbow during the respective regular archery seasons. Crossbows legal for handicapped hunters by permit.  Also legal for anyone during firearms season and Turkey and Bear seasons.

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888-646-6367 or 651-296-6157


Crossbows for handicapped archers by permit and during firearms season.

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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.

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Crossbows legal only during gun seasons. No provision for handicapped hunters.

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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.

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North Dakota

Crossbows legal for handicapped hunters by permit.

Deer Gun & Youth Deer Seasons--Crossbows are legal during the deer gun season.  Crossbows must: a) have a peak draw weight of 75 pounds and not more than 200 pounds, b) be equipped with a working safety to prevent accidental firing, c) have a stock at least 14 inches long, d) use bolts at least 14 inches in length.

Muzzleloader Season--Crossbows must: a) have a peak draw weight of 75 pounds and not more than 200 pounds, b) be equipped with a working safety to prevent accidental firing, c) have a stock at least 14 inches long, d) use bolts at least 14 inches in length.  No magnification (1X) scopes are legal to use on crossbows during the muzzleloader season.

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Crossbows are legal archery equipment for big game (deer, antelope, elk, turkey & bighorn sheep).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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New York

Legal during a portion of archery season. More details to come.

518-402-8924 or 518-402-8985


Crossbows legal during archery season.

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Crossbows and conventional bows with draw lock devices are a legal means of hunting whenever conventional bows are allowed.

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Crossbows illegal.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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The use of crossbows is now permitted during all seasons including the regular archery season.

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Full-inclusion of crossbows in archery seasons except Grayson County.

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512-389-4800 or 1-800-792-1112


A person who has obtained an 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.

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Crossbows are legal during archery season and firearms season.  A crossbow permit will be required if the season is "archery only".

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Crossbows legal for all hunters for all species EXCEPT deer. Crossbow deer hunting legal for handicapped hunters with permit.

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Crossbows are legal for qualifying archers with a permanent non-operable upper extremity impairment. An application must be completed by a licensed Physician and submitted by the hunter to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife for consideration. Crossbows must have a minimum draw weight of 125-pounds and a working safety. Retractable broadheads are not legal. Crossbows with a scope are legal during modern firearm season within “restricted areas”.

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

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West Virginia

Crossbows are legal for all hunters in the full archery season for deer, bear and turkey. Crossbows are also legal in all firearms seasons. Crossbows are NOT legal in the counties of Logan, Mingo, Wyoming & McDowell.

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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.

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Canada Regulations


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.

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British Columbia

Crossbows legal.

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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.

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New Brunswick

In New Brunswick crossbows may be used by certified hunters during all hunting seasons

except for the deer archery season and for hunting migratory game birds.

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Crossbows illegal.

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Northwest Territories

Crossbows legal.

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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.

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Crossbows legal.

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Crossbows legal; 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.

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800-667-1940 or 705-755-2000

Prince Edward Island

Legal for hunting all game species, except migratory birds.  A Firearm Safety Certificate is required.

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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.

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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.

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Yukon Territories

Crossbows illegal.

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