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» Trad Gang.com » Main Forums » Hunting Legislation & Policies » draw weight

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Author Topic: draw weight
M P Clark
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So I've been ready the West Virginia hunting regs, which I thought I knew. I've only hunted West Virginia from the begining.

When I was little dad always said I had to shoot atleast 45 lbs to be legal. When I got to that point my father made sure I could put the arrow where it needed to got consistantly. THANK YOU DAD

Anyways, the published regs do not list a minimal draw weight for longbow / recurve / compound. They do list 125 for crossbow. A buddy called DNR to confirm, DNR said there was nothing set by statute.

What are your takes concerning draw weight? Face it, many hunters are not very ethical anymore and it concerns me that someone might go bear / deer hunting with 30 lbs (just an example weight). Seems that it could lead to higher rate of slow deaths, non recovery, SUFFERING.

Yes I know placement is key with scary sharp blades, but you still have to get it deep enough to do the job (repeatably).

Posts: 50 | From: Ohio | Registered: Apr 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mojostick
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I killed a deer with a 30lb recurve this past season. Died dead. I got 14" of penetration in the chest. I'm shooting higher now, but I was still recovering from rotator cuff surgery last year. In truth, I'm still recovering and doing daily rehab.

Having been archery hunting since 1978 and having owned a sporting good store in the state with the most archery hunters and worked at Cabela's, the reality is more deer are wounded by hunters being overbowed and struggling with accuracy than with archers who are comfortable with weight. In fact, in the past 20 plus years of that experience, I never recall a single archer having an issue with too light of draw weight on an animal. I've heard probably 1000's of stories of hunters struggling to get the string back and/or guys using too light an arrow because they're milking out top speeds.

The old weight requirements are from a past era where many politicians didn't even think you could kill a deer with a bow. So when they created archery seasons, some states arbitrarily picked a number that sounded good. None of those old minimums were set using any research on arrow performance on animals. They were picked by what sounded good.

Here's an edited list from Tradgang from 2013. I corrected a few of the mistakes. I cannot say for certain if this is 100% correct. But if there's changes, it should be because states are dumping minimum rules, not adding them. Having worked at the Cabela's archery dept, it's pretty amazing what todays 30-35 compounds can do. I would not suggest using 30lbs in a traditional bow unless if in experienced hands being very selective on shot selection. That said, I could have killed that doe last year with a 25lb bow. At about 8 paces quartered away, a razor sharp head goes in deeper than one might expect. But picking a number from air isn't a wise course and all minimums should be repealed.

I'll paste this now and try to correct any other changes later. But the family is off to Sunday Dim Sum at a great Chinese restaurant and then I have to watch my Michigan State Spartans win the Big Ten title at 3:30pm. [Wink]


Alabama: 35 lbs.

Alaska: 40 pounds peak draw weight when hunting black-tailed deer, wolf, wolverine, black bear, Dall Sheep and caribou

50 pounds peak draw weight when hunting mountain goat, moose, elk, brown/grizzly bear, musk ox, and bison

Arizona: 40 lbs

Arkansas: 40 lbs

California: All bows used for big game in California have to be able to cast a legal hunting arrow horizontally at least 130 yards.

Colorado: 35 lbs.

Connecticut: 40 lbs

Delaware: No minimum limit

Florida: 35 lbs

Georgia: No minimum limit

Hawaii: (A) Long bows with less than forty pounds of drawing tension at a twenty-eight inch draw;

(B) Recurved bows with less than thirty-five pounds of drawing tension; or

(C) Compound bows with less than thirty pounds of drawing tension.

Idaho: 40 lbs

Illinois: 40 lbs

Indiana: 35 lbs

Iowa: No minimum limit

Kansas: No minimum limit

Kentucky: No minimum draw weight

Louisiana: 30 lbs

Maine: 35 lbs

Maryland: 30 lbs

Massachusetts: 40 lbs

Michigan: No minimum

Minnesota: 30 lbs

Mississippi: No minimum

Missouri: a longbow or compound bow of any draw weight; handheld string releasing devices, illuminated sights, scopes and quickpoint sights are allowed

Montana: No minimum

Nebraska: 40 lbs.

Nevada: A longbow used in hunting a big game mammal must, in the hands of the user, be capable of throwing a 400 grain arrow 150 yards over level terrain. (The term Longbow also includes compounds)

New Hampshire: 40 lbs

New Jersey: 35 lbs

New Mexico: 40 lbs

New York: 35 lbs

North Carolina: 35 lbs

North Dakota: 35 lbs

Ohio: 40 lbs

Oklahoma: 40 lbs

Oregon: 40 lbs deer/50 lbs elk

Pennsylvania: 35 lbs

Rhode Island: Long bow, recurve, or compound capable of not less than 40 pounds at peak draw weight at peak

South Carolina:

South Dakota: 40 lbs

Tennessee: No Minimum

Texas: 40 lbs

Utah: 40 lbs

Vermont: Moose--Bows of not less than 60 pound draw weight,
based on the archer's normal draw length for traditional
bows, and using arrowheads with at least 7/8 of an inch
in width with two or more cutting edges.

Virginia: Bow must be capable of casting an arrow with broadhead
at least 7/8 inch diameter (or expandable to that size), minimum of 125 yards

Washington: 40 lbs

West Virginia: No Minimum

Wisconsin: 30 lbs

Wyoming: 40# or have the ability to cast a 400 grain arrows 160
yards for antelope,deer,sheep,mtn goat.

50# or have the ability to cast a 500 grain arrow 160
yards to hunt

Posts: 2280 | From: Michigan | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
bjansen
Trad Bowhunter
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That is a really good list of information, and I have never seen it all in one place. Thanks for posting.

Illinois is a 40 lb draw weight somewhere within a 28" draw...which is kind of odd as someone with lets say a 25" draw would be drawing much less than 40# (but totally legal given their bow is rated 40#@28").

Posts: 2265 | From: Germantown, WI | Registered: Oct 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ChuckC
Contributor 2013
Member # 1813

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I am guessing that that was worded to cover compounds, whose weight of course drops precipitously after half a draw. I guess you can also extend and say that at the location that the person (with 25" draw) draws to, they never hit 40 #, so it is not legal.

Real picture. . the DNR will never check them out. . how can they ?

ChuckC

Posts: 7300 | From: Deforest, Wisconsin | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
bjansen
Trad Bowhunter
Member # 17789

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I think it was worded that way for that exact reason Chuck, however I think a better wording (achieving the same initial intent) would have been:

40 lbs somewhere within the archers draw length

But then again, that language is less objective and thus harder to enforce. I agree...it is probably not high on the enforcement concern list. I don't think I would have a problem with a lack of an established draw weight as I doubt it is a significant, pervasive issue.

Additionally, an established minimum...(no matter what the minumum) will then allow the crossbow activists to argue that certain people cannot pull back that stated minimum poundage, and thus we MUST have a full inclusive crossbow season to cater to their needs.

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ChuckC
Contributor 2013
Member # 1813

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You Know, I Always Wanted To Be A Brain Surgeon, But I Am Too Stupid. Not Everybody Can Do Everything. When Do We Realize This ?
chuckc

Posts: 7300 | From: Deforest, Wisconsin | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mojostick
Trad Bowhunter
Member # 12256

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True, not everyone is good enough to kill a deer with a 25 or 30lb bow. [Razz]
Posts: 2280 | From: Michigan | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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