Can you bow hunt on probation? (The Answer)

By Andy Ryan


Updated at

Are you a bow hunting enthusiast, but on probation? Well, let me explain to you where you stand and what you should have in mind. This article will explain to you what you can and can not do and what consequences it can lead to. Have in mind that I am not a legal advisor and do not take responsibility for your actions.

Can you bow hunt on probation?

Yes, you can bow hunt if you are on probation. In order to do so, you need to get a bow license. and be allowed to use it outside of your own residence.

This doesn’t apply to all countries and states so make sure to check out with your legal adviser if you are not sure if it’s legal where you live. A convict is not allowed to carry a firearm before 5 years have passed. That’s why bow hunting is a lot of people take up and start learning. In a lot places, a bow and arrow are counted as a firearm, but if you are lucky you are not in one of those places.

Make sure to read other rules and restrictions as well. Still, if you have a bow license there are different regulations that matter as well. Such as hunting on sundays.

Consequences of Hunting Without a Bow License

A legal break of this sort is usually a fee. Hunting without a bow license is often an A or a B misdemeanor. In the worst-case scenario, if you don’t pay your fine in the due date which is generally 30 days, you may have to spend up to 60 days in jail, and the fee will be increased.

In this case, where you are on probation, you can risk getting sent back to jail which is not worth it. So take your time to make the legal stuff right before you go out to hunt.

So what should you do?

  • Go to your legal help or advisor and find out where you should apply for your bow license.
  • If you can’t get your license because of probation, it is not much you can do besides waiting for five years to get back your rights to carry a firearm.
  • If you can get your license to wait for the permission to arrive and be confirmed and make sure everything is okay before going out and hunting. You don’t want to risk it going back to jail because of hunting. So let’s make sure that’s in place, and after that, there is not much more to do than enjoy the hunt.

Why is it legal to hunt with a bow and not with a gun?

The reason you can legally hunt with a bow and arrow, but not a gun is that a felon cannot legally obtain or carry a firearm. This is the definition of a firearm in the state law of Virginia.

“Firearm” means any handgun, shotgun, or rifle that will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel single or multiple projectiles by the action of an explosion of combustible material.

As you can see “by the action of an explosion of combustible” does not match with the function of a bow and arrow and is therefore not considered a firearm. Remember this is the state law of Virginia and not for the other states. These laws can be different for each state so as I mentioned earlier make sure to check if you are able to apply for a bow certificate in your specific situation.

What bow should I buy for bow hunting?

If you haven’t purchased your first bow yet and have decided to switch to bowhunting because this is the only way you can start hunting again, let me explain to you what you need and the best equipment I have field-tested and what the best archery pieces I have found.

Leader Accessories Compound Bow Hunting Bow

The leader Compound is a duel cam bow that has 70-80 % let-off which is great. It’s adjustable between 50-70 lbs.

If you need to adjust anything on the bow it’s made really simple, because there is only a screw you need to turn to adjust it. You need an Allen key if you want to adjust the draw weight, but for the draw length, a screwdriver will work.

This is a great beginner bow because of the easy adjustability it offers, its fast (310 fps) and it comes with a straight-arrow rest

You can check it out here (Amazon link)

SAS Siege 55 lb Compound Bow

This SAS Siege is perfect for an adult starting out in the hunting world. The bow’s weight is only 4 lbs and the draw weight ranges from 40-55 lbs with a 70% let off.

You get everything you need with the purchase: A 5 pin sight, sight light, arrow rest, paper target, tube peep sight, bow sling, and stabilizer!

You can check it out on Amazon here (Amazon Link)

PSE Evolve 31 Compound Bow, RH, Skullworks 2, 70lbs

This is a great bow, it shoots at 338 fps! and a let 80-90% let off which is awesome. The let-off is the amount of weight the bow helps you to hold. After your draw, you are forced to hold the drawback for a certain amount of time when you are hunting because your target has to be at the correct angle. That’s when you need the let-off to make it easier for you to hold it.

I have nothing else but great things to say about the PSE. I have not owned a PSE myself, but I have heard great things about it. Check it out if you have a bigger budget and are ready to invest in your hunting carrier. If your budget is on the lower side I would go with the SAS.

You can check it out on amazon here (Amazon link)

Related questions

Can you get a hunting license if you have a felony? Yes, A felon can get a hunting license, but in most countries, they are not allowed to carry a firearm. Bow and arrow is the only hunting equipment a felon have

Can felons go hunting? Yes, felons can go hunting, but they can not carry a firearm. For a felon to hunt he needs to use a hunting weapon that is not considered a firearm, for example, a bow and arrow.