Crossbow Laws By State: Crossbow Hunting Regulations For 50 States

Question, are crossbows legal? Except for Oregon, crossbows are permitted in US states. However, crossbow regulations vary from state to state. Therefore, if you plan on hunting with a crossbow, you must know your state’s crossbow hunting regulations.

Below, we have compiled a list of the 50 US states and their crossbow hunting regulations. Click on a state to learn more about crossbow hunting regulations in that state. In addition, we have covered the requirements to hunt with a crossbow in different states and also go over restrictions on scopes, sights, and electronic calls for crossbow hunters in different states.

It is important to remember that these are only general guidelines; in some cases, specific circumstances may apply that would override state crossbow hunting regulations. However, we tried our best to provide up-to-date information for each state, but it is advisable don’t take any information in this article as legal advice. Laws are subject to change, and we can not guarantee the accuracy of any information found here since it is provided “as is.” We do not take any responsibility for any inaccuracies. Always confer with a lawyer or other legal specialist if you are in doubt about any laws of crossbow hunting.

You can also check out our best crossbow comparisons page to view our crossbow comparison and reviews section.

Crossbow Regulation - Crossbow Laws State By State

Crossbow Laws By State: Learn The Regulations and Where Are Crossbows Legal?

Vermont crossbow laws and Regulations

As of Jan 1, 2020, the use of crossbows during archery-only hunting seasons, including turkey archery season, is legal. First-time archery deer license buyers must first complete a bowhunter education course.


Virginia crossbow laws and Regulations

Crossbows are legal to use during both archery and firearm hunting seasons. It is important to note that an archery permit is required to use a crossbow during the archery-only season. A hunting license is also required, which can only be issued to persons aged 18 years and over.

Also to get the license, a person must complete a hunter education course first. Broadheads used must be at least ⅞ inches wide. There are no restrictions on draw weight. Also, explosive and chemically treated broadheads are permitted.


Washington crossbow laws and Regulations

Hunting wildlife with a crossbow during the archery-only season is illegal in Washington. Crossbows can only be used during firearm season. Crossbows need to have at least 125 pounds of draw weight to be legal.

As for the broadheads need to be at least ⅞ inch wide and have at least two cutting blades. Arrows used must weigh at least 350 grains for hunting big game animals. Barbed broadheads are prohibited.


West Virginia crossbow laws and Regulations

It is legal to use a crossbow to hunt during the big game firearm season in West Virginia. Crossbows used for hunting must have a draw weight of at least 125 pounds. Also, the crossbow must have a working safety.

Arrows must be at least 16 inches in length, and the broadheads must be at least ¾ inches wide and have two cutting edges.


Wisconsin crossbow laws and Regulations

In Wisconsin, it is legal to use a crossbow to hunt for any hunter regardless of age, physical disability, or lack of disability. Crossbows can be used during archery season as well as firearm season.

But can a felon hunt with a crossbow in Wisconsin? Under the law, convicted felons cannot possess or use firearms. However, crossbows are not considered firearms, and thus a felon can use a crossbow for hunting.

Wyoming crossbow laws and Regulations

In Wyoming, crossbows are legal for hunting during the archery season as well as firearm seasons. Crossbows used for hunting must have a minimum draw weight of 90 pounds. The arrows used must be at least 16 inches.

Both fixed and expandable broadheads are legal as long as they are at least ⅞ inches wide. Scopes and cocking devices are permitted regardless of physical ability. Previously only disabled hunters were allowed to use cocking devices; this rule has since been reversed.


Are Crossbows Illegal In The UK

In the UK, crossbows are not considered firearms and thus the same restrictions extended to guns do not extend to them. As such, no license or permit is required to own a crossbow in the UK, meaning they are not illegal in the country.

Are Crossbows Illegal In Australia?

In Australia, crossbows are classified as prohibited weapons and are illegal in most parts of the country. However, you can possess a crossbow in other parts as long as you have a permit or a license. Generally, owning a crossbow without a permit or license is illegal in Australia.

Is it legal to shoot a crossbow in your backyard?

It depends on your state and even county laws. In some states, it is legal to shoot your crossbow in your backyard for practice. In others, you will be required to have an ordinance officer inspect your backyard range to certify it as safe, and only after you are issued with a safety permit can you shoot your crossbow. Ideally, it is essential to check your state and county laws on backyard crossbow practice. 

1 thought on “Crossbow Laws By State: Crossbow Hunting Regulations For 50 States”

  1. Im Pretty sure South Dakota Crossbow is NOT Legal for all hunters… Please review above.
    Handicap hunters, big game or small game. You need HANDICAP medical papers from Licensed Physician.
    Thank You.

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