This is a short guide to the crossbow hunting regulations in the state of Utah. This should never be used as more than a reference. It is vital to validate these regulations with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources or the Utah Department of Administrative Services: Division of Administrative Rules. If you are unable to contact any of the above entities, please contact us so we can help.
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 Regulations in Utah
Hunters who have a permanent physical disability due to disease, injury, or birth defect may legally obtain a crossbow permit for hunting big game. Game which may be harvested by them includes big game; turkey; bear; cougar, waterfowl; and small game during the any weapons or respective archery season. Eligibility may be determined by a certificate from a physician; demonstration by the applicant, or it may be an obvious impairment per Subsection (1)(a).
- All crossbows used to harvest big game, bear, cougar, waterfowl, turkey, or small game needs to comply with the requirements of R657-5-11(6). Crossbows used to harvest waterfowl, turkey, or small game are an exception and these must have a draw weight of no less than 60 pounds. The minimum draw weight for big game, bear, and cougar is 125 pounds.
- Crossbows used to harvest carp must feature a reel with a line which is capable of tethering the bolt in order to restrict the flight distance.
- Crossbows must have a functional mechanical safety.
- No chemically treated or explosive equipped arrowheads may be used.
- Broadhead points must be no less than 7/8 of an inch wide upon impact. They must feature at least two cutting edges. Mechanical broadheads are required to open upon impact and be no less than 7/8 of an inch wide while in the open position.
- Bolts must be no less than 18 inches long.
- Crossbows must have a stock which is no less than 18 in length.
- The draw length must be no less than 18 inches from the front of the crossbow to the rear of the string while in the cocked position.
- Use of range finding devices are prohibited.
- Crossbows must be in an enclosed case while being transported in any vehicle.
If you believe the above rules are no longer valid, we would deeply appreciate it if you tell us so we may correct this.
17 CommentsAdd a Comment
Absolutely ridiculous that they don’t allow a range finder. In regards to a clean kill……….Would you rather have someone use a range finder to get an accurate distance and make a clean kill………or just have them guess and hit high or low and wound an animal. Absolute stupidity.
You can in fact use a range finder in Utah. It just cannot be attached to your bow.
No mention of the use of scopes/sight regulation.
I wish that crossbows would be considered for all sportsmen, not just the handicap.
My VA disability is 80% but I doubt that I would qualify
Just my opinion. It would eliminate some wounded animals. Plus more hunters would buy more tags. I don’t see where it would have any negative affects. Maybe you could set an age limit, say 60 or 65 years of age. I used to hunt Utah years ago, but I’ve been hunting Wyoming especially because I can use a crossbow. It would be nice to be able to hunt Utah with a crossbow, however I had a lot of fun in a beautiful place. Maybe I’ll just have to start practicing with my compound which I haven’t use in a good while. By the way, I’m from Pennsylvania. Have a good day and keep up the good work with your habitat and wildlife conservation
I feel that using crossbows should be allowed for any weapon which it is, and for the Archery season. What really needs to happen is the Elk Hunt is too early, “Mudders” tear up the land and roads causing hazard to vehicles and personal safety. This should be stopped at least during any hunt, And recreational campers, hikers,and atv riders should not be allowed to molest our hunts. If DWR cannot work with people to stop their abuse of the lands then they should lower the cost of the tags. This Bull Elk hunt already cost me a side mirror due to sliding into a rut and hitting a tree. Then I had to dig myself out.
Interesting article in the December 2018 issue of Field & Stream on the use of crossbows during the archery’s season and the states that allow them. I am a Utah resident and haven’t hunted with a bow for several years.
I cannot stand the hypocrisy of the “compound bow hunters” stating “crossbow is NOT a primitive weapon, actually crossbows come from antiquity just as the LONG BOW, but considering the compound bow with fiber optic sights as a “primitive weapon” and the crossbow as not is beyond a JOKE…
this seems to be the comment I always hear when utah discusses allowing crossbows on the bow hunt
Are you able to use a crossbow to hunt carp without a disability?
Does your disability preclude using a standard bow? I would suggest that if your disability includes arm strength issues, you get a disability breakdown letter and a summary of benefits letter from the VA and make the application.
Can I use a variable cross bow scope in Utah?
No, no power 1x only. Red dot is what most use.
Can senior citizens hunt utah with a crossbow?
Utah should mirror the other reasonable 4 corner state laws regarding crossbow hunting. There appears to be someone against crossbows making the decisions. Just my opinion!
You can only use a variable magnified crossbow scope in Utah during an any weapon season hunt. Unless your severely paralyzed and disabled you can get a certificate of registration from the Utah DWR to use a crossbow during Archery season. Even if your severely paralyzed and disabled you still can only use a fixed scope 1x non magnified scope during archery season. The rare exception to use a magnified scope on a crossbow during archery season if A person may obtain this Certificate of Registration from the Utah DWR to take wildlife with a telescopic sight if they have a vision impairment leaving them with worse than 20/40 corrected visual acuity in the better eye. A few people in Utah try to take advantage of using a magnified crossbow scope during archery season, but the state is finally enforcing the law.
I have major back issues and talked to my doctor, he feeled out the paper work and I was approved. But the laws are wierd and im starting to wish I would have never bought the crossbow. I just did not want to give up hunting. I love the archery hunt and did not want to stop hunting because of my back. Still thinking of getting rid of the crossbow and hunt hunting anymore. 🙁
Anyone know if the air bow is considered a cross bow or if it’s even considered a legal weapon?