Below you will find a summary of the current crossbow hunting laws in the state of Calirofnia. We try our best to keep these references up to date, however we can’t ever guarantee completely accuracy of the references provided and it is your responsibility to check with the California FGC to confirm the current legal situation. The following information should be treated only as a reference.
Make sure to checkout our list of top 5 recommended crossbows for hunting in the USA if you’re looking to get started.
Crossbow Hunting Regulations in California
Using a crossbow for hunting is legal during all gun seasons. While a crossbow is not considered an archery weapon in California, it can be used as one (during archery season) by people with a disability or disease that makes it impossible for them to manually draw and hold the draw on a regular, vertical bow. To be eligible for the disabled archer crossbow permit, you must provide the California FGC (contact: 916-445-0411) as well as keep with you at all times while hunting, a document containing the following information:
- Your full name, including signature
- Full address, DOB, driver’s license number (or DMV number)
- A description of your disability / disease
- Your physician’s full name, license number, full address and signature
When hunting with a crossbow in California, please remember that all broadheads you use must have a cutting diameter of 7/8″ or larger – this goes for expandable broadheads as well, in which case what matters is the cutting diameter while the blades are retracted (opened). Also, please remember that it is illegal to have an arrow seated in the flight rail whenever transporting your crossbow in a motorized vehicle of any kind (be it a car, truck, boat, etc.).
For more information, please see the California FGC (Fish and Game Commission) mammal hunting regulations guide, archery and crossbows section, which can be found by clicking here.
Notice Anything Wrong?
Do you have reason to believe that any part of the above references and mentioned regulations are misleading or no longer accurate? Is there something you believe we should have mentioned here due to its importance and you would like to see it added for others to see? Please let us know and will happily comply with your request and make any required updates to our California crossbow hunting regulations guide as soon as we confirm the validity of the information you provide us with. We really try hard to keep this resource reliable and update, but like everyone we do make mistakes from time to time – so please be patient and help us improve. Thank you and stay legal please!