Minnesota Crossbow Laws


5 year old buck +
I was in Mankato yesterday.....and had some time to kill. Went to the Sheels store and was looking over the crossbow inventory. Salesman there said that you can now use a crossbow to hunt deer if your over 60. New law this year.

Can anyone confirm this new law? My wrist, back, and shoulder would not withstand a recurve or a compound.....but a crossbow would work for me.
Yep, that's the new law

Been searching the web.....and could not find it. Hesitant to drop $1000 +/- on a new bow if I cannot hunt during the archery season. Can you direct me to the new law in print? TX.
You could always get a doctors note. Mine actually handed me the completed form when he told me I wasn't allowed to shoot my bow anymore. He came back and said "Here. Don't be stupid."
I don't have a link, but if you check out the last ODN I believe the info was in there.
Thanks Stu.....going to look now.
Most of the guys I know that are over 60.....could not reasonably or reliably operate a compound bow or recurve due to arthritis, old injuries or age limitations. I've felt, that with my limitations, I may only wound deer using a compound bow (....and I have some reservations about a large number of stick hunters anyway ;) ). I know I could get a Doctors certificate.....but have never taken the time to do so. I also don't like asking for "special treatment".

To me, the 60+ status makes allot of sense. I may have felt different when I was 45.

It will allow me a few more trips afield and will be a new discipline / hobby, in addition to the hunt situation for me. With practice and reasonable judgement, I think the crossbow could provide an opportunity to hunt deer before they become nocturnal.....as my belief is that the deer have learned to go nocturnal as the rut approaches.
I wasn't having any of it, and that's why my doc filled out the form and did everything but sign it (where I had to) and mail it for me.

I lose feeling in my right hand at full draw. The process irritates and pinches the nerves controlling feeling in my hand, and it's a neck issue that they don't intend to fix (yet). So I could continue to bow hunt and possibly really screw myself up (or possibly ass shoot a deer from not practicing enough), or I could get a crossbow, or I could stop hunting with sticks. I chose to swallow my pride and do as I was told. I'm still not happy about it, but I try not to dwell on that when I'm in the woods in the fall.

I still have my bow. I don't know if it's a wise decision to keep it, or if I might actually be fixed up enough someday to use it again. I can't bring myself to sell it.
This week's poll on the online version of ODN is about whether you support the new rule of allowing anybody over 60 to hunt with a crossbow during archery season ;)
Coundt find the poll.....or I'd vote in favor of it. I get the newspaper version rather than the online version.
I have had a crossbow permit for about 4 years and have not chosen to shoot at a deer. I still go and enjoy the time in the woods. Doc just gave me a permanent disability last year for the crossbow, and now I will be 60 in 4 months.

I predict there will be a big upsurge in crossbow sales in the north country, and bet that within 5 years, many will give up on it as it is not as easy as it sounds.
Sandbur......have you had many opportunities with the xbow? Why do you say it's not "easy"? Easy compared to what? Compound?

Life begins at sixty!!
Sandbur......have you had many opportunities with the xbow? Why do you say it's not "easy"? Easy compared to what? Compound?

Life begins at sixty!!

I don't have much experience with crossbows but I think that a lot of people think hunting with a crossbow is more like a gun and they would be taking long shots without much practice. They will sit in the same deer stands they use for gun hunting and they will try to take 75-100 yard shots. And once they realize that is not the reality they will give up on the crossbows.

I imagine the only hunters that will stick it out are the ones that want the opportunity to spend more time in the woods and are not as worried about shooting a deer.
^ Exactly why I think Bat Man's fears are unfounded.
Sandbur......have you had many opportunities with the xbow? Why do you say it's not "easy"? Easy compared to what? Compound?

Life begins at sixty!!
A lot of rifle hunters will think they can shoot longer distances with the crossbow than what they actually can shoot.

I also think that many rifle hunters will find it hard to get close enough to a deer for a shot, especially with our low deer numbers. They will have to learn new skills if they were not experienced bow hunters in the past.

I DO think it will be easier to get a shot at a doe with a crossbow in the Lottery areas than in our Intensive Harvest areas. The deer are just a whole lot smarter in the Intensive Harvest areas where they have been shot at for years.

Any deer in the Intensive Harvest area I live bolts for cover when they see a car, even if it does not stop. In the Lottery areas, I have stopped a car and rolled down the window, the deer, especially under one year of age just stand and look at you.
i'm only 40 and i'll be switching to a crossbow soon. way too many shoulder surgeries. i'm at 29 deer w/ the bow, might make the switch once i hit 30. pretty sure i will in wisconsin since it's legal for everyone there now.

there's really no shame (not much anyway ;)) in using an xbow. i'm trying to convince myself.
^ Exactly why I think Bat Man's fears are unfounded.

I have no fear. I am Bat Man.

MBI will likely try and convince decision makers to give crossbows their own license and season. It will allow us to track any effect they may have without an influence on the current liberal archery season.
Currently you can use a crossbow during firearms season for anybody..... Is that still a firearms tag purchased or does that useage fall under archery license?
Yeah, you could make it a special season from Jan 1st to the 15th and ensure the utter failure. :)
I can still remember the Long Bow "snobs" that didn't want to allow re-curves and compounds. :D Now we have "Compound snobs" that don't want to allow Crossbows.

I do understand the feeling. We've recently gone thru the same thing in "primitive weapons / muzzle-loaders". Personally, I may upgrade my firearms season to land mines and trip wires tho. ;) (it's a joke guys :D)
The archery harvest in MN is less than 10% of the total take. DNR calls it a non factor for management purposes. But the closer you get to the Twin Cities, the higher it gets. Some zones have over 30% of the harvest from archery. Double that and the debate will be full on. I do not want to see the archery season shortened because of its impact on the harvest in areas.
Has the archery harvest dropped 40+% the past few years like many other things have? Did that number hold a little steadier than the gun hunters? ;):rolleyes:

Good to read of the law change as I hadn't read anything about before this thread. I can't say that know a single person that will choose a xbow over a compound with the new rule change. A couple folks I know may start hunting with the change. If the added hunters and opportunity is too much then we just need what we have needed for a loooong time...buck lottery.
Curious still. I posted this earlier.
Xbow was legal during firearms season last year. Does that use require an archery tag, or is the DNR considering it a firearm license?