Crossbow Hunting Regulations in Maine

We’ve prepared the following guide to help you find out if it’s legal to hunt with a crossbow in the state of Maine. The references below have been well-researched by us, and we got in touch with informed governmental bodies to verify what you read here. We do need to make it clear, however, that the information below does not come with a warranty – while we do our best to make sure it’s as reliable as possible, it’s possible that we might have made a factual mistake somewhere and therefore strongly recommend that you verify what you learn over here with a reliable third party.

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

Crossbow Hunting Regulations in Maine

A crossbow can be used for hunting in Maine in two scenarios:

  • During bear hunting season
  • During open firearm deer season

To legally hunt with a crossbow, you must be 16 years or older. The requirements are as follows:

  1. Obtain a big game hunting license or an archery license
  2. Complete an archery hunting education class in addition to a crossbow hunting course

Once the above criteria are met, you will be able to apply for a crossbow hunting license. People with severe disabilities may apply for a special license which will allow them to use a crossbow for hunting even during archery season.

For children and youth aged 10 to 16, only a junior hunting license is required, and there is no need to obtain an additional crossbow hunting license. You can find out more about the requirements, as well as courses available in Maine, by visiting Please note that using a scope or sight on a hunting crossbow in Maine is legal.

When hunting with a crossbow in Maine, you need to wear Hunter Orange at all times. Additionally, anyone who is 70 years or older is allowed to use a crossbow to hunt any wild animal and wild bird. This will hold true until 1/1/2015; the same holds true for people with a special disability crossbow permit.


  • Pistol-type crossbows are strictly prohibited for the purposes of hunting in Maine.
  • The minimum required draw wight for a hunting crossbow is 100 lbs.
  • The maximum draw weight cannot exceed 200 lbs.
  • Minimum cutting diameter of the broad-head (including opened expandable broad-heads) must be 7/8″.
  • The arrows cannot be tipped in poison, chemicals, nor can any explosives be attached to them.

Help Us Be Accurate

As you can see, we’ve tried our best to ensure the references above are as accurate as humanly possible. However, if you have reason to believe that anything you’ve read above is not accurate or is simply outdated, please let us know via e-mail and we will get in touch with you, then verify the information you provided us with and if everything is in order – we will make all the necessary updates on our website. We obviously regularly check for changes in these regulations, however it’s possible that we might have missed something, which is why we ask for help.


Add a Comment
  1. I am 62 I have been hunting with a crossbow for 22yr in PA. Because of my shoulders I had my RT one replaced 1yr ago my LT one is ready to be done I am going to wait till my Maine bear hunt in 2018. What will I have to do to be able to hunt in the fall thank you.

  2. I am still conflicted about the law over 70 and crossbow hunting. I believe how the law reads I can take a antlerless deer in any WMD that has antlerless deer permits with my crossbow. That one permit is provided under my lifetime hunting and crossbow license.

    This is how the law is printed in the 2017-2018 law book. I will provide the appropriate part.

    The license includes the following permits. bear hunt, bear trap, muzzleloader, migratory waterfowl, pheasant, spring and fall turkey, coyote night hunt, crossbow, one expanded archery antlerless, and one either sex.

    It is at the end where it says one of either sex, that causes the confusion. I don’t hunt in expanded areas, but see this as permission to hunt and take an antlerless deer in any WMD that has antlerless permits under my crossbow permit.

  3. I guess M FLW is going to wait until the season is over before replying to my question. How many more chances will I have, I am 75 now.

  4. After purchasing res crossbow permit am I all set to hunt on oct 2nd when archery season opens? Or do I need another actual archery permit as well to hunt the earlier season ?

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