Bow Hunting During Rifle Season in PA: What You Need to Know


Bow hunting and rifle season are two popular forms of hunting in Pennsylvania. Both have their own set of rules and regulations that hunters must follow to ensure safety and comply with state laws. One question that comes up frequently is whether or not you can bow hunt during rifle season in PA.

The Short Answer

The short answer is yes, you can bow hunt during rifle season in PA. However, there are some restrictions that you need to be aware of before heading out into the woods.

Rules and Regulations

According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, hunters are allowed to use a bow during any deer hunting season as long as they have the required licenses and permits. However, hunters cannot use a crossbow during archery-only seasons unless they meet certain criteria such as being over 65 years old or having a disability that makes it difficult for them to draw back a traditional bow. During the regular firearms deer season (also known as rifle season), hunters may only use rifles or shotguns loaded with slugs.

Safety Considerations

As always, safety should be your top priority when hunting regardless of what weapon you’re using. If you’re planning on bow hunting during rifle season in PA, make sure you wear bright orange clothing so other hunters can easily see you. Additionally, keep in mind that other hunters may be using firearms which means your range should be increased even more than usual.


In conclusion, if you want to try your hand at bow hunting during rifle season in PA just remember these key points: make sure you have all required licenses and permits; understand the rules and regulations surrounding each type of weapon; prioritize safety above all else; stay visible by wearing bright orange clothing; know how far away other hunters might be shooting from when choosing where to set up shop for your hunting experience. Happy hunting!