Crossbow Hunting Regulations in Minnesota

Welcome to our crossbow hunting regulations guide for the state of Minnesota. A lot of research went into the creation of this somewhat short page, and while we do personally think these references and summaries are accurate, please keep in mind that hunting laws and regulations are altered on a fairly regular basis, making it somewhat hard for us to keep up at times. For that reason, please make sure to double-check everything you learn through this guide, preferably by contacting the Minnesota DNR (888-646-6367 and/or 651-296-6157). We do not guarantee the accuracy of the information provided in this article.

Make sure to check out our best crossbow for the money rankings page if you’re looking to get started.

Crossbow Hunting Regulations in Minnesota

Update (July 2014): as of now, anyone over the age of 60 is allowed to hunt with a crossbow during archery season. Please see the DNR hunting and rapping page for details.

As of today (July 31st 2013) the following crossbow regulations apply:

  • Anyone can hunt with a crossbow in Minnesota during regular firearms seasons for deer, bear, and turkey. A valid firearm license must be possessed.
  • A person with a certified permanent or temporary disability plus an archery license may hunt with a crossbow during archery season (also people over the age of 60 can do so, see Update above). You will need to acquire a disability permit, which can be obtained by getting in contact with the Minnesota DNR  (call 888-646-6367 or 651-296-6157).

The following restrictions/rules should be kept in mind:

  • It is illegal to parry a crossbow hunt with hunters using firearms.
  • If transporting a crossbow in a motor vehicle, the weapon should not be armed with an arrow.
  • We are currently not aware of any draw weight or arrow shaft length restrictions in Minnesota. To find out more, please get in touch with the DNR directly.

Help Us Improve

Did you notice any factual errors in the references above? Are you aware of any changes to the crossbow hunting regulations in Minnesota that are already in effect or which are supposed to be in effect in the very near future? Have we misinterpreted any laws? If the answer is YES to any of the above, please let us know through the contact form on this page. We treat all such information very seriously and investigate it thoroughly, while also getting in touch directly with the DNR for confirmation. If we conclude that there is indeed an error in our references, we will update this article as required and provide a date for our most recent update. We’d like to extend a warm Thank You to anyone helping us keep this resource accurate and reliable for all crossbow hunters in Minnesota.


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  1. Minnesota just passed a law this past session that allows anyone over the age of 60 to hunt with a crossbow effective with the 2014 archery season.

    1. This is great except that women can still not pull as effectively as a 60 yr old man, so not sure why the age for women isn’t lower.

  2. Was wondering what the law is for a felon to use crossbow during rifle season !/ ?…
    I was under the understanding that this law passed last year pls reply ty

    1. I’m s felon and it’d kosher to use crossbow during firearms season no prob. The guy up top is right about the 60 year old rule and the permit. Happy hunting.

      1. So as an ex-felon can you bowhunt with a compound bow ?
        I was under the impression that you could not hunt with a standard hunting bow

        1. The only reason a felon cannot hunt with a bow is if the judge specifically puts this into your conditions of release or probation agreement.

      1. FYI: ### I researched and felon’s can NOT use a muzzleloader period. Definition of a fire arm is a projectile driven by compressed air, gas, or explosion by gun powder.

        1. Felon’s air-powered BB gun is no ‘firearm,’ Minnesota Supreme Court rules, pioneer press. Air guns legal. PUBLISHED: October 19, 2016 at 12:23 pm 

        2. Felons can use air rifles, air rifles are not classified as firearms under the federal government. Many websites sell air rifles that shoot a 50. Caliber projectile very fast and effectively.

  3. Minnesota requires crossbow bolts to be at least 10 inches in length with a 42 ft lb energy @ 10 feet with a working safety and a minimum 30 inch shoulder fired stock.

  4. I shattered my amr wrist n fingers and have plates and srews in it for the rest of my life,can’t pull back a bow with out low pounds n pain with it. Kinda wondering what kind of permit I need?

    1. Go to the doctor that did your surgery he or she will fill out a permit if they feeel it permanet they issue u a permanet liscense

  5. I have a severe case of PSA in my hips, knees, shoulders and wrist, it is just like Rheumatoid, only 50 yoa, getting hard to pull by bow back during archery season. how do I get a permit for this and am I eligible?

  6. Can’t seem to find a valid reply. Are those 80lb mini/pistol Crossbows legal for small game in Minnesota or not?

    1. Patrick no they are not legal for deer and othe big game hunting now i am not sure about small game hunting though. I know you have the have a crossbow that is at least 30in in length.

  7. Parry with rifle I hunt with my spouse,however we are in our own blind, just share deer camp. Does te parry rule, mean I can not hunt with my spouse

    1. Hi Samantha,

      Thank you for the heads up. Could you please cite a source for this? I was unable to find it with a quick Google search. Would appreciate it so we can update the article accordingly. Thank you!

  8. How legal is it to huntfish in the minnehaha grays bay dam area at midnight using a crossbow and light, last night I witnessed 2 guys out “having fun”

  9. Leave it to Minnesota to simplify things by using language like over the age of 60 rather than just saying 61. Kind of like the deer regulations and all the changers every year written by some Government Stooge.You have to be a lawyer to understand them.

  10. I am confused about what the regulations referring to “parrying”, can someone please explain what it means?

  11. Crossbows used for hunting under this permit must:
    1) Be fired from the shoulder.
    2) Deliver at least 42 foot-pounds of energy at a distance of 10 feet.
    3) Have a stock at least 30 inches long.
    4) Have a working safety, and
    5) Be used with arrows or bolts at least 10 inches long
    6) In addition, arrowheads used for hunting big game or turkey must be sharp, have a minimum of two metal
    cutting edges, be of barbless broadhead design, and must have a diameter of at least 7/8 inch

    1. So the Raven model R26 new 2019 crossbow would be illegal to use in Minnesota for hunting deer because it to short at only 26″ ?

    2. Not understanding why the stock would have to have minimum length of 30” inches long to hunt with in Minnesota.
      I currently have nerve damage in my upper left arm-shoulder and have a hard time holding up anything 30” inches long
      Can’t compound bow hunt anymore and a rifle can’t hold up. Thinking this rule or regulation needs to get changed.
      Can I appeal this to anyone? I was able to shoot and hold up a Ravin 26

  12. If I have a valid archery license can I hunt with a crossbow during regular firearm season without the purchase of a firearm license

  13. A lot of weird questions here. BUT, as a retail sporting specialist, some random answers:
    YES, you can use a scope on a crossbow. In fact, I’ve almost never seen one without, or at least a rail.
    Crossbows are very hard to draw. Get yourself a crank system – perfectly legal, and in fact some high-end bows like the Ravin have one as the default mechanism.
    AGE: There’s not a limit on a hunting age. There’s only a limit on a purchase age. You can even give a firearm or other weapon as a “bona-fide gift” to a relative. Why do you think they have .22 Rascals? Or “Youth Bows?” Ultimately, safe usage is the responsibility of the parent.

  14. Yes, you can have a crossbow in the car. But not with a bolt (arrow) in it.
    Yes, you can use it without being disabled – there are just more season restrictions.
    ADVICE: You CAN use a field point arrow to discharge your bow. But it’s cheaper to use a specifically-designed discharge arrow.

  15. I have a question- if someone has a Minnesota felony is it legal for them to use a crossbow during firearm deer hunting season

  16. I am a retired military with a VA disability rating that lives in Texas. Can I use a crossbow during the premative weapon season?

  17. Can you use a crossbow during rifle season if your under 60 with no disability in a zone that dose not allow rifles in Minnesota?

  18. Can you use a crossbow during rifle season if your under 60 with no disability in a zone that dose not allow rifles in Minnesota? .

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