Can You Carry a Sidearm While Bow Hunting? Among 50 States, 48 of Them Allow Sidearm

While hunting, the first concern of a bow hunter is being concerned about their own protection. In the hunting field, you will need to be aware of the wild animal attack. In this scenario, you may wonder whether carrying a sidearm while bow hunting is legal or not. Well, it will depend upon where you are going for bow hunting. It will differ from different states.

According to National Rifle Association, in 37 states, archers can legally carry a sidearm for their safety purpose. With time, the number of states has increased, and now 48 states have provided legality to carry a sidearm. In this article, we have shared about whether you can carry a sidearm; also, when and why you should carry a sidearm.

So, without any further ado, let’s get started.

Can You Carry a Sidearm While Bow Hunting

Is Carrying a Sidearm in Bowhunting Legal?

There are several reasons why a sidearm is carried by archers while bow hunting. Some of them are – 

  • Protect yourself from an unwanted attack.
  • Keep secure yourself from wild animals.

While bow hunting, you may face off with one of your enemies or a bear in that situation you will need to secure yourself. In this scenario, you will need to carry a sidearm. Now the question is, is it legal to carry a sidearm? Among 50 states, 48 of them have allowed archers to carry a sidearm. Most states require a concealed carry license. If you have a CCL then you are good to use a sidearm while hunting. Besides that, in some states, there is no need of having a CCL and there you can carry a sidearm without it.

Also, if you are bow hunting in a private land then you won’t need to follow any law as it’s not a public hunting place. Another thing you will need to keep in your mind is that, while having an archery deer tag, you can’t use your sidearm while dispatching deer. Here are the state lists that allow a sidearm while bowhunting –

States that allow a sidearm while bowhunting
AlabamaDelawareIowaMassachusettsNebraskaNorth CarolinaRhode IslandVermont
AlaskaFloridaKansasMichiganNevadaNorth DakotaSouth CarolinaVirginia
ArizonaGeorgiaKentuckyMinnesotaNew HampshireOhioSouth DakotaWashington
ArkansasIdahoLouisianaMississippiNew JerseyOklahomaTennesseeWest Virginia
ColoradoIllinoisMaineMissouriNew MexicoOregonTexasWisconsin
ConnecticutIndianaMarylandMontanaNew YorkPennsylvaniaUtahWyoming

So, by this, you can see that it’s totally legal to carry a sidearm while bow hunting. To keep yourself clearer it is advised to read out the laws and regulations of your state before going bowhunting.

Does the Legality of Carrying Sidearm while Bowhunting Varies from Different States?

States have their own law and regulation and they are different from other states. There you will find some states; carrying a sidearm while bowhunting is prohibited, also there you will find another state where you can carry a significant sidearm for protecting yourself. Here we have shared some laws of different states regarding carrying a sidearm while bowhunting. 

  • If you are bowhunting in Montana then you are allowed to carry a sidearm of 0.375 calibers or larger.
  • In Alaska, the law allows a sidearm of 0.44 caliber.
  • In Texas and Colorado, you will need to carry the sidearm openly on your hip. You can’t hide it in another place.

So, from here you learn that the law and regulations vary from a different state. 

Bonus Tip: Advantages and Disadvantages of Carrying a Side Arm

The advantage of carrying a sidearm is, you can keep yourself secure from unexpected attacks and wild animals. Having this can keep you calm and provide you with peace of mind. The drawback of having a sidearm while bowhunting is if you do not have experience using a sidearm then there is a higher chance of happening an accidental discharge. 

Frequently Asked Questions And Answers

Can I carry a sidearm while bow hunting in Florida?

Yes, you can carry a sidearm while bow hunting in Florida. You will need to carry it in a holster and hang it on your hip.

Can I carry a pistol while bow hunting in PA?

Yes, you can carry a pistol while bow hunting in Pennsylvania and for that, you should have CCL.


Lastly, you can easily carry a sidearm while bow hunting but what type of sidearm and how to carry them; all of these factors will depend on the state law. Do some research and then go for a sidearm. Because some states allow a sidearm if you have CCL whereas some states will allow it if you have separate permission from the authority. That’s think before you leap. That’s all for today. If you have any further queries, let us know in the comment box. Till then, happy hunting!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *