Archery Regulations For Each State- Is Your Bow Legal?

Archery Regulations For Each State

Have you ever checked out the archery regulations for your state? Just like regular hunting regulations, every state has their own rules for archery season.  You might be wondering what could possibly make a bow illegal. It depends on what state you hunt in. The most common regulation concerns draw weight minimum. That is to be expected since shooting arrows at slow speeds is more likely to wound an animal. While some states have no restrictions, others get pretty detailed with everything from bow let off restrictions to broadhead requirements. Check out the archery regulations for each state and make sure your legal this season.

And if your hunting in Colorado remember, NO EXPLOSIVE ARROWS!



Alabama – Legal

No size restrictions.


Alaska – Legal

Hunting big game with a bow, UNLESS: — the bow is at least: – 40 pounds peak draw weight when hunting deer, wolf, wolverine, black bear, Dall sheep, and caribou; – 50 pounds peak draw weight for hunting mountain goat, moose, elk, brown bear, muskox, and bison; — the arrow is at least 20 inches in overall length, tipped with a broadhead, and at least 300 grains in total weight; — the broadhead is a fixed, replaceable or mechanical/retractable blade type and not barbed.


Arizona – Legal

No size restrictions.


Arkansas – Legal

Long, recurve and compound bows: Must have at least a 40-pound pull. Scopes may not be used. String locks and mechanical string releases may be used. Deer, turkey and bear hunters are required to use arrowheads at least 7/8-inches wide. Poison may not be used on arrows. Mechanical broadheads allowed.

California – Legal

Bow, as used in these regulations, means any device consisting of a flexible material having a string connecting its two ends and used to propel an arrow held in a firing position by hand only. Bow, includes long bow, recurve or compound bow.

Colorado- Legal

A long bow, recurve bow or compound bow on which the string is not drawn mechanically or held mechanically under tension. String or mechanical releases are legal if they are hand-drawn or hand-held with no other attachments or connections to bow (except bowstring).
    a. Hand-held bows, including compound bows, must use arrows with a broadhead having a minimum 7/8-inch outside diameter or width and minimum of two steel cutting edges. Each cutting edge must be in same plane for entire length of cutting surface.
    b. Only legal, hand-held bows allowed during archery seasons.
    c. Minimum draw weight of 35 pounds required. Let-off maximum of 80 percent.
    d. No part of bow’s riser (handle) or track, trough, channel, arrow rest or other device (excluding cables and bowstring) that attaches to riser can contact, support and/or guide the arrow from a point rearward of the bow’s brace height behind the undrawn string.
    e. Bows can propel only a single arrow at a time. No mechanisms for automatically loading arrows allowed.
    • f. NEW!Scopes, electronic or battery-powered devices cannot be incorporated into or attached to bow or arrow, with the exception of lighted nocks on arrows.Recording devices such as cameras or video recorders attached to bows may be used as long as they do not cast light toward the target or aid in range finding, sighting or shooting the bow.
    • g.Hydraulic or pneumatic technology cannot be used to derive or store energy to propel arrows. Explosive arrows prohibited.

Connecticut – Legal

For the purposes of hunting deer and turkey, legal bows include long, recurved, or compound bows with a minimum draw weight of 40 pounds and crossbows. Mechanical string release devices are permitted. Projectiles coated with any drug, poison or tranquilizing substance are prohibited.


Delaware – Legal

No person shall use a compound, recurve, or longbow with a pull weight less than 35 pounds.


Florida – Legal

Using bows with draw weights less than 35 pounds.


Georgia – Legal

No size restrictions.


Hawaii – Legal

When hunting with a bow, no person shall use:
(A) Long bows with less than forty pounds of drawing tension at a twenty-eight inch draw;(B) Recurved bows with less than thirty-five pounds of drawing tension; or (C) Compound bows with less than thirty pounds of drawing tension.

Idaho – Legal

With any bow having a peak draw weight of less than 40 pounds up to or at a draw of 28 inches or any crossbow having a peak draw weight of less than 150 pounds. Using any compound bow set at more than 85 percent let-off. With an arrow or bolt, and broadhead with a combined total weight of less than 300 grains. • With an arrow less than 24 inches from broadhead to nock inclusive.

Illinois – Legal

Vertical bows, limited to longbows, recurve bows, or compound bows with minimum pull of 40 pounds at some point within a 28-inch draw. Minimum arrow length is 20 inches. Any mechanical device capable of maintaining a drawn or partially drawn position on a vertical bow without the hunter exerting full string tension is illegal.


Indiana – Legal

Legal equipment includes long bows, compound bows or recurve bows and arrows. The bow must have a pull of at least 35 pounds. No portion of the bow’s riser or any track, trough, channel, arrow rest or other device that attaches to the bow’s riser can guide the arrow from a point back beyond the bow’s brace height. The common overdraw is still allowed as long as it does not extend beyond the string when the bow is relaxed.


Iowa – Legal

Longbows, recurve bows, and compound bows shooting broadhead arrows are permitted. No explosive or chemical devices may be attached to the arrow or broadhead. There are no minimum draw weights for bows or minimum diameter for broadheads. Arrows must be at least 18 inches long. Draw locks on compound bows are legal.


Kansas – Legal

Does not have a minimum bow weight, draw length or bow length.


Kentucky – Legal

No size restrictions.


Louisiana – Legal

Legal Gea