Crossbow Hunting Regulations in Colorado

Crossbow Hunting Regulations in Colorado

We have diligently researched the information in the guide below for crossbow hunting regulations in the state of Colorado; however, these regulations and mandates are frequently updated. It is therefore altogether possible that we have missed one of these. It is very important to strictly adhere to all of these state regulation and best to check with your local government to ensure their accuracy before hunting. For more information on how to consult this entity you can contact us.

Make sure to checkout our list of top 5 recommended crossbows for hunting in the USA if you’re looking to get started.

Crossbow Regulations in Colorado

Crossbows may be used to hunt big game in Colorado during the general firearms season. They may also be used to hunt small game and fowl. Handicapped hunters only are legally allowed to use crossbows during archery season. All crossbow hunters must carry legal licenses or permits to do so.

    • Big Game consists of elk, white tailed deer, moose, bear, and reindeer.
    • Small game includes rabbits and squirrels.
    • Game birds consist of pheasant, dove, quail, geese, and duck.
    • Predators include cougars and coyotes.
    • Hunting unprotected species such as varmints and vermin has no specified regulations in Colorado; however, these are subject to change at any time per animal censuses.
    • Crossbow hunters must have a tag, which may be acquired with hunting permits and licenses, for each and every harvested animal.
    • Remember that in some cases hunters may be required to have formal crossbow training before they may receive hunting permits.
    • The minimum for bolt length is 16 inches
    • Broadheads are to have at least 2 steel cutting edges and must be a minimum of 7/8 inches
    • All cutting edges must be in the same plane for the complete length of the cutting surface
    • The minimum draw weight is 125 pounds
    • The minimum draw length is 14 inches from the knocking point of the draw string to the front of the bow
    • All are required to have positive mechanical safety devices

Inaccurate Info

We try our very best to ensure all of the info we provide is completely accurate. If we have missed an update, please let us know. Thank you in advance for your time and effort.


Add a Comment
    1. Yes, the crossbow is technically not considered a firearm and is in the same class as a compound or recurve bow, which you can buy off the shelf at any outdoor sports store.

        1. I’m a non-violent felon (marijuana, which is now actually legal) I was once charged with possessing a firearm by the state and beat the charge because I did not possess a firearm it was just near me in someone else possession who was legally allowed to carry it.

          If felons are not actually allowed to possess archery gear in CO, then that law would conflict with the federal laws that allow a felon to possess weapons but not firearms.

          I would actually say that even if you got caught bow-hunting on private property with a long bow or a crossbow you would certainly have a leg to stand on and you might even beat the charge.

          Some rather conservative elements have even voiced in opposition to non-violent felons being allowed to possess firearms.

        2. Bro Rob buddy, did you not even read the link you yourself put? It says felons CAN possess a license AND can hunt in Colorado, they just cannot use a firearm!

  1. Is there a certian age where as crossbows become legal? And what about out of state hunters is it possible to get a crossbow permit?

        1. scopes are not prohibited in the general rifle season, but if you hunt in the archery season with a disability permit you must follow the archery rules which prohibit scopes on archery equipment

  2. I have an elk hunt booked for September. I fell last week and fractured several ribs. Can I use a crossbow during archery season?

    1. Colorado’s permit to use a crossbow during archery season is not based on pain or difficulty in using a regular bow as a rational person would think, but treated as sort of a consolation prize for losing one or more normal life functions due to an injury. I had a full shoulder replacement, and while I was told if I lifted or pulled more than 25 lbs I would wear out the joint in about ten years, my application was denied because the doctor said no normal life functions (like dressing, going to the bathroom, etc.) were impaired. Waiver is connected to the act of hunting, and it says so right on the application.

  3. Im a disabled hunter in aurora CO. Can you hunt with a crossbow in city limits? I have woods behind my apartment complex and the land is big with no houses or residencies in front or behind for thousands of yards.

  4. I am a non-resident who has been unable to draw a compound bow for two years due to shoulder problems. Does this qualify me as “handicapped”? Will a doctors note qualify me as being handicapped and allow me to use a crossbow for hunting big game?

  5. So my grandad & i are trying to set up a hunt next year in Colorado, He is 65 and struggles using a compound. We live down in Texas and he uses a crossbow. i read you have to be disabled? would he be considered “disabled” & eligible to use a xbow?

  6. I am planning a small game trip for January. Do the same regulations apply for hunting small game here in Colorado (175 lbs draw weight, 7/8 inch broadhead) or is a less powerful crossbow allowed?

  7. I am looking to hunt small game in Colorado. Are the same regulations required (175 lbs draw weight, 7/8 in broadhead etc.) or is a less powerful crossbow/smaller broadhead permitted?

  8. I’m legally disabile in the state of iowa. Have disabilty licence.Can i crossbow hunt for elk in colarado?

  9. I Elk hunted in Colorado for years with a bow. Well 4 years ago I broke my back and can no longer draw a bow. I would like to know the actual requirements for Elk hunting with a crossbow. I am considered legally handicapped. What do I need to do to proof this so I can make an Elk hunt with a crossbow. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

  10. I just got my handicap driver’s license and hang tag. Can I use a crossbow this year to elk hunt? I live in Arkansas.

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