Crossbow Hunting Regulations In Oregon: Why ODFW Restricted Crossbow

Crossbows are a popular hunting tool in many states, unfortunately, Oregon is the only state where crossbows are not legal for hunting. Fun fact is you can hunt bear deer with a .22 but not with a crossbow. In this article, we will discuss the reasons why crossbows are not allowed in Oregon and some of the alternatives that hunters may find useful.

Crossbow Hunting Regulations in Oregon

Crossbow Hunting Regulations In Oregon: Are Crossbows Legal To Own In Oregon

In Oregon, only recurve, compound, and longbows are legal. As such, crossbows are illegal in Oregon.

Use the above regulations carefully

We can not guarantee the above regulations are 100% accurate or up to date. Always consult the Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife website for the most recent regulations regarding hunting in Oregon. However, up until this time June 30, 2022, crossbows are not legal to hunt with in Oregon. But the good news is you can still hunt with a crossbow from one of the states that allow them.

Why Oregon Restricted Crossbow Hunting?

Oregon restricted crossbow hunting to maintain “traditional” hunting practices. With the new bows, they are not as traditional as with regular bows. Crossbows also allow you to shoot at full draw all day long which increases the hunter’s effectiveness in taking game animals compared to compound bows or other traditional bows. For these reasons, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife thinks crossbow can be a big challenge to maintain traditional hunting practices as well as protect the game animals from becoming over-hunted.

Hunter’s Opinion About Restrictions

At the time of our research, we talked to several veteran hunters who favored allowing crossbows for hunting. They felt that the technology had come a long way since crossbows were first used in hunting, and modern crossbows are much more powerful than traditional bows. Additionally, the crossbow proves a safer and easier option for the disabled hunter as it requires less strength to draw and hold. Also, they feel that Oregon could make some good money selling the crossbow license at least allowing the disabled hunter to hunt with a crossbow.

On the other hand, there are other hunters in Oregon who feel that crossbows are not traditional enough for hunting and should not be allowed because they are a more modern hunting tool. They argue that crossbows are not as physically demanding as traditional bows, also the increased power and mobility of the crossbow can lead to an increase in deer harvesting rate which will hamper the populations of game animals. Ultimately, the decision on whether or not to allow crossbows for hunting will come down to state regulations.

5 thoughts on “Crossbow Hunting Regulations In Oregon: Why ODFW Restricted Crossbow”

  1. I would like to know how you can’t classify a crossbow as traditional weapon they have been around since the Chinese in 6BC do you people not read history books. And they have been making them with steel since the 1300s. if not for deer and elk at least make it to where you can use them on bear and mountain lions.

  2. As an older Archer, I can no longer pull well my traditional bow, and had to reduce the pull strength much lower; which could result in more of a chance to wound an animal; rather than a quick kill. For two years, I wasn’t able to hunt, as I had torned a shoulder muscle, just prior to the 2019 Season. Using a Crossbow, would enable hunters, over the age of 65, to be more comfortable and accurate with such a tool. I really think older hunters, should be allowed this technology.

  3. I tore my rotator cuff and will not be able to bow hunt, in addition I am 86 years old, love to hunt, but even without my injury would have difficulty pulling a compound bow with more than 25 to 30 pounds draw weight . Which undoubtably will result in passing on shots and potentially lost game.
    My recommendation is to allow Crossbow hunting for hunters over 70 years of age.

  4. I agree with some of the comments already stated. Also why can’t it be legal at least in eastern Oregon since it is draw only there is plenty of opportunity to keep over harvest to a manageable level. Could also make all Oregon draw for crossbow hunting.

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