There are thirteen states that allow game animals like whitetail deer to be hunted with airguns and airbows. These states are Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. North Carolina also allows whitetail deer to be hunted with an airbow, but only during firearm season.
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 coyotes 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.
There is one main reason to explain 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. These weapons can humanely harvest animals as large 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.
All states that do allow hunting with air weapons have regulations that 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 pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) weapons are the most popular. These weapons used compressed air to fire pellets.
|Florida||Legal for hog hunting only||Most states do not specify a particular type of air weapon, but pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) weapons are commonly used.|
|Georgia||Legal for hog hunting only|
|Texas||Legal for hog hunting only|
|South Carolina||Legal for alligator hunting only|
|North Carolina||Legal during firearm season|
|Alabama||Legal||Minimum projectile size of .30 caliber required for hunting game animals.|
|Arizona||Legal||Hog hunting not subject to regulation, but .30 caliber or larger air weapon recommended.|