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Crossbow Hunting Regs in Eastern States

With archery deer season ready to open, here's a look at crossbow rules in 13 Eastern states.

Crossbow Hunting Regs in Eastern States

Photo courtesy of Excalibur Crossbows


Crossbows are legal for all archery hunters.


Crossbows are legal during all deer seasons. Deer may be hunted with crossbows, provided hunter orange is displayed when it is also lawful to hunt deer with a gun.


Crossbows are legal during the entire deer bow season in all counties.


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


Hunters must be 16 years of age and older, have a valid big-game license, have completed an archery hunting education course and a crossbow hunting course, or previously held an adult archery and crossbow hunting permit in ME or another state, province or country after 1979. Legal for disabled hunters.

New Hampshire

Crossbows are legal for disabled hunters by permit. They are legal for all hunters to take a deer in firearms season and are legal for all hunters on Long Island in Moultonborough with a Long Island Deer Permit. Crossbow hunters must purchase a crossbow permit.


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 permitted.

New York

Crossbows are legal during certain deer and bear seasons. Check for specifics.


Crossbows are legal during archery seasons.

Rhode Island

Crossbows are legal for use by all archery hunters during the archery deer season, provided the hunter has successfully completed the bowhunter education course or otherwise qualifies for an archery deer permit.


A crossbow may be used as a means of take by any person during any hunting season that permits the use of a bow and arrow.


Crossbows are legal during archery and firearm seasons. A crossbow permit is required if the season is archery-only.

West Virginia

Full-inclusion of crossbows in archery seasons except Logan, McDowell, Mingo and Wyoming counties. However, Class Y/YY holders may still use crossbows in these counties during the archery seasons.

Note: Be sure to check all local, state and federal regulations prior to hunting with a crossbow in your state.

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