Skip to Main Content Skip to Main Navigation
Join the Griffin's Guide HUNTING newsletter

Get weekly news, tips and photos from the world of hunting.
[contact-form-7 id="35884" title="GG Email"]
No Thanks!

Vertical Bow & Crossbow Regulations

Brought to you by:

Vertical Bow Regulations

  • Vertical bows (compound, recurve, or straight limb) may be used to hunt nutria, woodchucks, and all game birds and game mammals, including migratory game birds, with the exception of beavers, weasels, mink, muskrats, and river otters.
  • Draw locking devices are legal on all vertical bows except when hunting waterfowl.
  • Release aids are permitted.
  • For hunting deer and bear, the vertical bow shall have a full draw and pull of not less than 30 pounds.

Crossbow Regulations

  • Crossbows may be used to hunt nutria, woodchucks, and all game birds and game mammals with the exception of beavers, weasels, mink, muskrats, river otters, and waterfowl.
  • The use of telescopic and laser sights is permitted on all crossbows.
  • A crossbow used for deer or bear hunting shall have a draw of not less than 75 pounds.
  • All crossbows should have a working safety.
  • It is unlawful to have a loaded crossbow in, on or leaning against any vehicle. An unloaded crossbow (a cocked crossbow without a bolt or arrow in the firing position) may be in, on or leading against a vehicle.

Regulations Pertaining to Both Vertical Bows and Crossbows

  • Arrows used for deer or bear hunting must have a sharpened broadhead with metal points and a minimum width of 78 of an inch.
  • The vertical bow and crossbow may be used for hunting deer during the Deer Firearms Season and Muzzleloader Season, in accordance with Firearms and Muzzleloader Season regulations.
  • Firearms may not be carried while hunting deer during the Archery Season with one exception: in Deer Management Region A, persons 21 years old or older may carry a handgun for personal protection while hunting deer in the Archery Season if that handgun: (1) has a barrel length of less than six inches; (2) does not have a telescopic sight or electronic aiming device attached; and (3) is not used to kill wildlife wounded by a vertical bow or crossbow.
  • The use of poisoned or explosive tipped arrows is not permitted.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

Return to the home page
Brought to you by:
Conservation Partner Advertisements: The Maryland Department of Natural Resources allows appropriate advertising in its annual regulation guides in print and online, in order to defray or eliminate expenses to the state, and support enhanced communications with Maryland Department of Natural Resources Constituents. Through a unique partnership with J.F.Griffin Publishing, LLC &, ‘Conservation Partners’ have been established that pay for advertising in support of the regulations both in print and online. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources neither endorses products or services listed or claims made; nor accepts any liability arising from the use of products or services listed. Advertisers interested in the Conservation Partners program should contact J.F.Griffin/ directly at 413-884-1001,
JF Griffin Media
J.F. Griffin Media reaches 9,000,000 sportsmen every year through our print and digital publications. We produce 30 hunting and fishing regulation guides for 15 state agencies. For advertising information, please visit: