Crossbow use expanded for deer and turkey hunting

You can expect a significant increase in the use of crossbows by hunters. The legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee voted to allow the use of crossbows in the fall archery deer season and the fall turkey season.

Crossbows are currently allowed in the spring turkey season but not the fall turkey season. And they are prohibited in the fall archery season for deer.

The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife supported these changes. The amended bill received the unanimous support of the DIF&W Committee, and is certain to be enacted by the full legislature and signed by the governor.

The changes apply in 2020, 2021, and 2022. After that, DIF&W will have authority to continue these uses through the rule making process.

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.