Crossbow Hunting in NY: Can You Hunt Turkey with a Crossbow?


Hunting is a popular activity in the United States, especially during the fall season. Some hunters prefer using firearms, while others opt for more traditional methods such as archery. However, there are some who want to try something different – hunting with a crossbow. If you’re living in New York and wondering if you can hunt turkey with a crossbow, this blog post is for you.

New York’s Hunting Regulations

Before deciding on hunting turkey with a crossbow in New York, it’s essential to understand its hunting regulations first. Crossbows were only allowed for use by authorized hunters during specified periods until 2014 when Governor Cuomo signed legislation authorizing their use to all legally eligible hunters that have completed an archery safety course or possess documentation of having successfully completed such courses from other jurisdictions.

Under the new rules effective 2020-21 season, standard draw crossbows (not including reverse-draw) can be used to hunt deer and bear during any big game season where firearms are allowed along with other legal weapons like long bows and compound bows etc but not turkeys.

Turkey Hunting Regulations

According to the Official publication of The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Turkeys may not be taken with crossbows at any time except for certain physically challenged persons holding Muzzleloader Deer Season tags issued pursuant to 6 NYCRR §10.1.
This means that unless you have a valid muzzleloader deer tag issued pursuant under these guidelines, it is illegal to hunt turkeys using your trusty crossbow in New York State.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion: No! You cannot legally hunt turkeys with your favorite crossbow in NY state if you don’t meet the necessary requirements stated above . Remember always check up-to-date regulations before going on hunts so that one doesn’t end up being fined for breaking a law they didn’t know existed.

While it might be tempting to break the rules and try hunting turkeys with your crossbow in New York, please keep in mind that hunting laws exist to protect wildlife populations and ensure safety. Always follow regulations, stay safe on the hunt and most importantly have fun!