Most common archery questions

Archery season is just around the corner with most areas for antelope opening on Aug. 15 and most areas for deer and elk open to archers on Sept. 1. 

8/3/2015 9:20:21 AM

Cheyenne - A few areas have different openers so bowhunters should check regulations for seasons in the area they want to hunt.

  • The following are questions often asked by archers.Do I need an archery license in addition to my big game license?  Yes…usually.  Archers hunting in the archery preseason need an archery permit in most areas. The exception is for holders of Type 9 archery only licenses. Persons holding Type 9 licenses do not need a separate archery license. The archery license does not allow a person to take an extra animal – it simply allows the archer to hunt in the early archery pre-season.
  • Do I need a separate archery license for each species?  No.  Only one archery licenses is required to hunt all big and trophy game animals.
  • If I don’t get my elk with my bow can I hunt with my rifle when the gun season opens?  Usually.  In most areas, archers who do not fill their tag during the archery season may return and hunt with firearms during the gun season. Once again, the exception is that holders of Type 9 archery only licenses may only hunt on that license during the archery season. Type 9 licenses are not valid for firearms hunting.   
  • Do I need an archery license to hunt with a bow during the firearm’s season?  No.  The archery license is only required to hunt in the archery preseason.
  • Can I wear camouflage clothing when archery hunting?  Yes, as long as you are hunting in the archery pre-seasons. If you are hunting during the firearm’s season, fluorescent orange clothing is required.
  • Are mechanical broadheads legal?  Yes, as long as it has a cutting width of at least one inch.  Wyoming law requires that broadheads, whether mechanical or fixed, must have a minimum cutting width of one inch.
  • Can I carry a firearm while archery hunting during the archery season?  Yes. However, the law does prohibit the use of firearms in taking or finishing off any big or trophy game animals during the special archery season.
  • Are crossbows legal during the archery hunt?  Yes, as long as they conform to certain specifications. Crossbows must have a minimum draw length of 90 lbs. and the bolt must be at least 16 inches long. The broadhead requirement is the same as with conventional archery equipment and must have a minimum cutting width of one inch.
  • Are scopes legal on crossbows?  Yes…scopes are legal.
  • Is a cocking lever allowed to cock a crossbow?  Yes…the old regulation requiring crossbows to be cocked by hand without aid of a leverage gaining device is no longer applicable.
  • Can I use the same archery equipment to hunt elk that I use for deer?  Possibly….as long as it conforms to minimum draw weight requirements. Regulations require the bow to have a minimum draw of 40 pounds for deer and antelope and 50 pounds for elk and moose. 
  • Are lighted nocks legal?  There is no regulation prohibiting the use of lighted nocks.
  • Is a bowhunter education or hunter safety course required to archery hunt?  No. There is an archery section in Wyoming’s hunter safety course, but completion of a bowhunter education course or hunter safety course is not required to archery hunt in Wyoming.
  • Are tree stands, blinds, and decoys legal?  Yes, in all instances. You may put up a blind on public lands, but the blind must be removed once the archery season is over.
More detailed information on archery seasons, regulations, and hunting equipment is found in the archery section in the big game regulations for each species.

(Al Langston (307) 777-4540)

- WGFD -

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