You might have just started honing your skills as regards the use of a bow, or you have become a master over the years, you need to keep yourself abreast of the laws regarding its use in hunting or the sport of archery.
Among the questions asked by people who just started asking users of the bow is – does one require a license for bow hunting or archery?
This article would answer this question and more as we give you the recent legal framework regulating the use of the bow in hunting and for sport.
There are many factors to be considered before you start using the bow legally, but we will first answer the all-important question- is a license needed to make use of the bow?
Is a License needed to practice bow hunting?
In most states of the US, you would need to obtain a license before you can go about hunting game with a bow and arrow. Most of these states preserve populations of their wildlife by having specific times of the tear they have planned for the bow hunting season. Engaging in bow hunting beyond the hunting season is a violation of the law.
Is a crossbow allowed in the US?
A crossbow is among the hunting weapons you can use when bowhunting. Crossbows are legal in the US, but you need a permit before you can be allowed to make use of it in hunting game.
Obtaining a crossbow license across the states in the US is quite difficult, with some states having some pretty strict restrictions. The law guiding the use of crossbows is quite relaxed in some other states as well.
So it basically, it all depends on which states you reside.
The basic requirement for owning a crossbow is that it must have a draw weight of at least 75lb.
The 75lb minimum requirement is not strictly followed in the state of Alabama, as you can have a crossbow with a draw weight of 80lb.
The process for applying for a crossbow could be short or lengthy, depending on the state you stay as we stated earlier.
You could have your permit ready in as little as four days or have to wait for four weeks. Applying early enough is a sure way to get your crossbow permit in time.
The most important thing is to make sure you have a crossbow permit before the bow hunting seasons get underway.
Who needs a license?
Anyone who engages in the hunting of animals or wild birds requires a hunting license. The kind of License you would need is dependent on the age of the hunter, resident status, and a number of other factors. In general, one is required to have a license to engage in legal hunting activities.
The requirements needed to obtain a hunting license
To get yourself a hunting license, you need to meet either of these two criteria:
- You must have had a license the previous year or
- You have attended the mandatory classes on courses about safety skills for hunters.
The types of hunting licenses for bow hunters include the following:
Junior licenses: bow hunters who are not up to 16 years of age must obtain a junior hunting license.
Adult License: to obtain an adult hunting license, one must provide documents that show he/she has obtained a bowhunting license after 197 or, as stated earlier, completed an education course on hunter safety successfully.
Special licenses: These types of licenses are given to people who are serving in the military.
Complimentary licenses: this category of licenses is given to some of the military personnel who have become disabled as a result of been disabled during their active years.
How do you obtain a bow hunting License?
You can easily obtain a bowhunting license for young and adult age cadre by
the following means:
- Go to the hunting regulatory authorities to get a hunting license after paying a license fee of $15.
- You can also purchase a hunting license from agents recognized by the state you reside in. You would have to part with a processing fee of $2.
It is illegal to obtain a hunting license through illegal means or one that has been tampered to avoid paying the necessary application fees.
Is the License for bow hunting similar to gun hunting?
The hunting licenses for both bow and gun hunting are quite similar. The same process you pass through when you want to obtain a gun hunting license is the same as when you want to get a bowhunting license.
The application process for both licenses is simple and straightforward.
Why is the Bowhunting season longer?
In most states of the US, the hunting season for bow hunting is way much longer than that of the gun hunting season. This is so for obvious reasons. Bowhunting does not, in any way, alter the natural ecosystem. It is quiet and delivers more animal kills.
Another reason why bow hunting has a longer season is a safety measure. Bowhunting and gun hunting cannot take place at the same time, as bowhunters make use of camouflage and could be mistaken as animals. Unexpected killings or maimings could occur.
Rules and regulations of bowhunting
An understanding of the rules and regulations as regards hunting with a bow is very necessary for bow hunters. This is why the hunting courses are made compulsory for bow hunters.
It is important not only to ensure the personal safety of a bowhunter but also to the safety of members of the public at large. A bowhunter is also able to prevent getting into trouble with the law when he knows what is required by law to engage in bowhunting.
The rules and regulations guiding bow hunting in states across the US are as follows:
- The bows used to hunt big animals must have a drawing weight of at least 40 pounds
- The arrows used in hunting big games must weigh at least 6 grains/pound, with a single arrow weighing at leaser 300 grains, inclusive of the broadhead. The arrow broadhead used in bow hunting must have sharp ends and have a minimum width of 7/8 inches. It is illegal to make use of arrows with barbed broadheads in bowhunting.
- A bow hunter must never aim at animals from an automobile or across a public road.
- Making use of devices that stretch the bowstring to full draw is not allowed
- Attaching electrical gadgets to a bow or arrow by a bowhunter is prohibited.
- Bowhunters are exempted from putting on hunter orange during the bow hunting season. The case where you would compulsorily have to put on hunter orange is if you are bow hunting during the hunting season for rifle hunters.
- If you are making use of a crossbow during the hunting season, you must have a permit and a crossbow stamp. The stamp is proof that you have attended the mandatory bow hunting classes, and you haven’t legal privilege to engage in bow hunting activities. Crossbow stamps have at least a 12-month running period before they are due for renewal.
- Using a crossbow to hunt wild birds in public places is illegal and attracts a heavy fine.
- When a bowhunter uncharged with assault in the use of a bow, his License is revoked for at least ten years
- The killing of domestic animals with a bow and hunting under the influence of alcohol or drugs attract a five-year revoke of a hunting license.
- Using bow or crossbows ton carry out armed robbery or burglary attracts a compulsory revoking of a hunting license for at least two years.
Penalties for violation of bow hunting laws
There are a number of penalties bow hunters face if they flout the rules and regulations guiding bow hunting in the United States. The penalties are:
- In cases where there is a violation under the class 1 laws, you face the penalty of a $2000 fine or year imprisonment or both.
- Engaging in bowhunting without a license or when the hunting season has closed attracts a fine of $2 above, with a revoking of the hunting permits for at least 12 months.
- Hunting privileges are revoked for up to three years in cases where a bow hunter violates the daily hunting limit.
- A bowhunter hunting privileges can be revoked for five years and more when he is caught violating the bow hunting for a second time. He may be found guilty of being a Class 6 felon.
- Littering of the game reserves has the hunting license of the bowhunter been revoked, for a least six months and above.
The suspension of a hunting license in one state automatically gets you suspended across all states in the US.
Having your license papers on you
Bowhunters are mandated to always have on their person, the necessary documents that show legal backing of their engagement in bow hunting activities.
Keeping a soft or hard copy of your bowhunting license and other important permits are advised as you go about your hunting and transporting of the game. You might come across a law enforcement personnel, forest warden, or guide.
You could even be on a landowners property and face charges of carrying offensive weaponry. So it is important and in your best interests to carry your License as you go about hunting.
Educational Courses for bow hunting
A hunting license is not all that is needed to go about bow hunting. A number of states in the US make it compulsory for bow hunters to complete some educational courses before they are allowed to delve into bow hunting.
Before you can get a bowhunting license, you would have partaken in classes that discuss the safety tips to be employed as you shoot animals with your bow and arrows.
You should take an interest in these hunting classes even if you were not embarking on a hunting expedition anytime soon. This would help you in keeping up-to-date with the laws regulating bow hunting and any other new additions to the laws.
You would also be well acquainted with the skills needed by a bow hunter as he goes about stalking prey.
The skills required by a bow hunter include how to become a master of the bow, tracing animal movements, stealth movements as well as important survival skills, which could come in handy when lost in the woods. The care and preservation of the game are also included.
You can learn these courses by either downloading educational content online via various bow hunting organizations such as the National Bowhunter Safety Education Foundation, The International Hunter Education Association as well as state hunting agencies across the US. You could also learn these skills from an experienced bow hunter.
For new people who have an interest in bow hunting, personally developing yourself in these courses is also necessary. Through this, you become more familiar with the use of modern bowhunting equipment and how to be safe at all times during a hunting expedition.
Conclusion Of Bow Hunting license
We hope this article has provided you with all the necessary information you need to know about engaging in bow hunting activities, either as a sport or as a means to sustain yourself.
The bottom line is that you have to dig deep into researching the prevailing laws at the federal and state levels before going about bow hunting. Abide by these laid down laws to have a delightful bow hunting experience.
Also, endeavor to be safe on a personal level and be considerate of other people around you as you make use of your bow.
Master the skills necessary to practice bow hunting, so you do not cause harm to yourself and others. Of importance is the mandatory classes on the basics of bowhunting.
I have been hunting for last 5 years. (24 yrs. and that makes me feel old!) I have been very successful at hunting deer, turkey, exotics, and just about any varmint that moves.
I have hunted all over the great State of Texas, also into New Mexico, Colorado and a few other places. Hunting has been the prevailing passion in my life only trumped by my two great Sons.
I hope some of the bow hunting advice I have provided helps you be the best bowhunter around. Remember, everyone is different. You can tweek one little thing you are doing and solve a host of accuracy problems. Every day, new products come on the market designed to aid your success, but there is no substitute for desire and practice. Tip: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
Most importantly: A bad day hunting beats the hell out of a day at work!
Robin, Bangs Texas