The Airbow Legal States
There are eight states that allow game animals like whitetails to be hunted with airguns and airbows. These states are Washington state, Maryland, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Missouri, Virginia, and Arizona. Some other states allow airguns and airbows to be used for non-game animals. Florida, Georgia, and Texas allow hog hunting with airbows and airguns. Also, airbows and airguns can be used to take coyote and other varmints in more than 30 states. Georgia and South Carolina even allow alligator hunting with air weapons.
As using airguns and airbows for hunting becomes more popular, many states are likely to allow these weapons for hunting. Several states have passed legislation recently that allows hunting with air weapons. However, air weapons are still illegal for hunting in most of the country.
Why Airbows are Illegal in Some Jurisdictions
There is one main reason why there are still not that many airbow legal states. Many people, state legislators included, still think of airsoft rifles when they hear people talking about airguns. Of course, airsoft rifles cannot be used to humanely kill anything bigger than a dragonfly. People who aren't up to date with the developments in air weapon technology aren't aware that new and extremely powerful air weapons have been developed. This weapons can humanely harvest game as big as a hog or a deer.
As more people hunt with air weapons and more states legalize this practice, legislators in many other states will realize that hunting with air weapons is humane. Of course, it is necessary for states to regulate the usage of air weapons to ensure that only airbows and airguns designed for hunting are used.
Restrictions on Using Airbows
All states that do allow hunting with air weapons have regulations which are designed to ensure that game is harvested humanely. These regulations vary somewhat from state to state, but the most important points are always similar. Almost all states require that air weapons used for hunting fire a projective that is at least .30 caliber. These regulations apply to deer hunting, turkey hunting, and hunting for other game animals.
These regulations do not apply to hog hunting, as hogs are not considered to be game animals. However, it is a good idea to use a .30 caliber (or larger) air weapon when hunting hogs. Most states do not require hunters to use a specific type of air weapon, but PCP weapons are the most popular.