Crossbow hunting laws

A rundown of provincial and territorial regulations

While crossbows are becoming more popular, and accepted, all the time, there are still provinces and territories where they’re not legal. Here’s where you can, and can’t, hunt with a crossbow in Canada. And before you hunt, be sure to check provincial hunting regulations for information on hunting licence requirements and restrictions that may apply to the use of bows.

BRITISH COLUMBIA

Crossbows are legal for all seasons, including special bow-only seasons, unless otherwise indicated under the regional schedules. 
MORE INFO: (250) 387-9771; B.C. hunting regulations.

ALBERTA

Crossbows are legal for all seasons, except bow-only. That said, they are legal in archery-only seasons for eligible handicapped hunters with a crossbow license. Crossbows must have a minimum draw weight of 100 pounds.
 MORE INFO: (780) 944-0313; Alberta hunting regulations.

SASKATCHEWAN

Crossbows are legal only during muzzleloader and rifle seasons, except in the Regina, Moosejaw, Saskatoon, Buckland and Prince Albert wildlife management zones, where crossbows are allowed during all open seasons. Crossbows must have a minimum draw weight of 150 pounds and broadheads must have a cutting diameter of 7/8 of an inch. MORE INFO:  (306) 975-4087; Saskatchewan hunting regulations.

MANITOBA

Crossbows may be used during muzzleloader and rifle seasons. A hunter may not be in possession of a crossbow while hunting during archery or shotgun/muzzloader seasons. A person hunting big game shall not be in possession of a crossbow requiring less than 150-pounds draw weight or an arrow using a broadhead less than 7/8 of an inch in width. Under the authority of a Disabled Crossbow permit, a permanently disabled archer may use a crossbow during an archery season.
 MORE INFO: (204) 945-6784; Manitoba hunting Regulations.

ONTARIO

Crossbows are legal, except during gun-only seasons. There’s a minimum 119-pound draw weight and 12-inch draw length for moose and bear, and 100-pound draw weight and 12-inch draw length for deer.
 MORE INFO: 1-800-667-1940 or (705) 755-2000; Ontario hunting Regulations.

QUEBEC

Except in zones 17, 22, 23 and 24, you can hunt with a crossbow during firearm-, shotgun- or muzzleloader seasons. However, it’s illegal to hunt with them during specific bow-only seasons (with some exceptions.) Crossbows are legal during bow season for disabled hunters who have received a special permit. MORE INFO: 
(418) 627-8600; Quebec hunting regulations.

NEW BRUNSWICK

In New Brunswick, crossbows may be used by certified hunters during all hunting seasons
except for the deer archery season, and for hunting migratory game birds.
 MORE INFO: (506) 453-3826; New Brunswick hunting regulations.

NOVA SCOTIA

Crossbows are legal in all hunting situations where conventional bows may be used, except the special open season for bowhunting deer. The crossbow must have a draw weight of 150 pounds or greater and bolts with heads more than 2.2 centimetres in diameter.  MORE INFO: (902) 424-6723; Nova Scotia hunting regulations.

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND

Legal for hunting all game species, except migratory birds.  MORE INFO: (902) 368-4683; P.E.I. hunting regulations.

NEWFOUNDLAND

Crossbows are illegal.
 MORE INFO: (709) 729-2830; Newfoundland and Labrador hunting regulations.

YUKON TERRITORY

Crossbows are illegal. 
MORE INFO:  (867) 667-5652; Yukon hunting regulations.

NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

Crossbows are legal.
MORE INFO: (867) 873-7500; N.W.T. hunting regulations.

NUNAVUT

Crossbows are legal. Bows or crossbows may not be taken into a wildlife sanctuary. MORE INFO: (867) 975-7700; Nunavut hunting regulations.

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Credit: Excalibur crossbows