Carry While Hunting? Seeking Information


Gary Slider
April 8, 2011, 11:11 AM
Thanks to everyone who has assisted with this Information. It has saved me hours of searching. I have been confirming the information and have info on all the states except for those listed below. I have not been researching states without any info yet. Still confirming. Some will have no law saying you can't. Laws mainly say what you can't do. There are a few states that people have told me Yes you can but I can't confirm it. These may be states that don't have any law against it. It will take a few weeks to sort through it all and get it added to the state pages then more time to get the new pages uploaded to the site.

Again "Thank You!" You have saved me a lot of time. When I know where to look it makes it so much easier.

Here is Info I am not sure about or have not researched yet!

Montana Yes? DNR (I can find nothing in MT law/regs that says you can't)

Idaho No During Primitive Weapons Season. Unknown at other times. (Can't find anything saying you can't at other times. Idaho Fish & Game Hunting Regulations

Alaska Yes? No Law found stating you couldn't. Knowing AK you most likely can. Still Looking.

Kentucky Yes? But not doing Bow or Muzzle Loading seasons. Look Up ???????????????? Can't find this.

Missouri YES ????? Might not be any law. Can't find anything.

Delaware, Hawaii, Montana, South Dakota, Iowa, New Hampshire, Maryland, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Colorado, New Mexico

Here is what I have that will go on State Pages. The URL's listed will also be posted on those state pages.

Is Carrying of a Concealed Firearm with Permit/License
for Defensive Purposes Only While Hunting Legal?

Kansas Yes 32-1002. (3)

Texas Yes (No Law/Reg)

Michigan Yes (St. of MI Hunting & Trapping Digest)

Utah Yes 76-10-504 (5) & Admin Rule R657-5-11

Ohio Yes Hunting & Fishing Regulations

Florida Yes 790.25 (3)

Nebraska Yes NE Big Game Guide (But not while Bow Hunting)

Massachusetts No (MA Dept of Fish & Wildlife Regs)

Washington Yes RCW 9.41.060 & WAC 232-12-054 & WAC 232-12-051

South Carolina Yes SECTION 16-23-20

Pennsylvania Yes PA Hunting & Trapping Digest & PA Statutes Sec. 2525

Georgia Yes O.C.G.A. 27-3-1.1 & 27-3-6

New York In Most Instances No (See Regulations)

Oregon Yes OR Dept of Fish and Wildlife Hunting Resources

Connecticut In Most Instances No See DEP Hunting Laws & Regs

Vermont Yes Except When Turkey Hunting (VT Fish & Wildlife Guide)

Alabama No In Most Instances. See AL Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries Reg 220-2

Minnesota Yes Except when Hunting Deer with a Bow & Shining. Some Refuges Prohibit Handguns. See MN Statute 97B.211 & MN Hunting & Trapping Regulations Handbook

Michigan Yes DNR Hunting & Trapping Digest

North Dakota: Yes 62.1-02-10 & ND Game & Fish Hunting Regulations Guide

Virginia Yes 18.2-308 & VA Dept of Game and Inland Fisheries General Information & Hunting Regulations

California Yes 12027(g)

Nevada Yes But not while Bow Hunting or Muzzle Loading Hunting. NAC 503.144 & NAC 503.142

Arizona Yes Except When Bow & Muzzle Loading Hunting R12-4-318 AZ Game & Fish Dept Hunting/Trapping Regs

Arkansas Yes 07.04 AR Game & Fish Comm. Code Book & the AR G&FC Gen Hunting Regulations

Maine Yes Except when Bow Hunting St of Maine Hunting and Trapping Laws and Rules

Tennessee - Yes TN Wildlife Resources Agency Hunting and Trapping Guide.

West Virginia Yes WV Dept of Nat Resources General Regulations

Indiana Yes IN DNR Deer, Turkey and Hunting/Trapping Guides

Louisiana Yes Except During Deer Bow Season & Turkey Season LA Wildlife & Fisheries Hunting Regulations

Mississippi I can find nothing mentioning Concealed Carry while hunting in MS Hunting Regs.

North Carolina Yes Except when Bow or Muzzle Loader Hunting. Only 22 LR handguns can be carried on Game Lands.
NC Inland Fishing, Hunting & Trapping Regulation Digest is going to add info on carrying concealed with your self defense firearm with a permit/license while hunting. Is this legal in your state? A link or Alpha/Numeric citation from your state laws or Regulations would be greatly appreciated if the answer is either yes or no. I believe most of the Laws/Regs on this will be in the game laws. I can find the info but it saves me a tremendous amount of time if I know exactly where to look. Plus I like to give the Alpha/Numeric Citation so people can look up the law and confirm it. Any assistance you could give would be greatly appreciated.

This info will be listed in the Misc Information Section like this:

Carrying of Concealed Firearm with Permit/License While Hunting? YES or NO (With Law/Reg Alpha/Numeric Citation)

If there are any stipulations like, not when Bow Hunting Etc., it will be listed also.

Thank you for your help. It is very much appreciated.

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April 8, 2011, 12:14 PM
In Texas it is not mentioned at all really, which means it's legal. Well, one spot in the Archery hunting regs:

The TX Hunting Regulations section "Means and Methods" discusses firearms and there is no mention. Under the Archery section it specifically allows for carrying concealed with a permit.

It is unlawful to be in possession of a firearm while hunting with a broadhead HUNTING point during the Archery-Only season, except a person licensed to carry a concealed handgun in Texas may carry a concealed handgun.

There is nothing in the Penal or Administrative code.


TX Carrying of Concealed Firearm with Permit/License While Hunting? YES


April 8, 2011, 12:18 PM
Of course here in the Republik of Illinois, concealed carry is legal only on your own property or if you are a Chikago alderman or mayor. The game laws spell it out also in most cases. For example, while bowhunting, no other weapon may be carried..period. It is a little fuzzy on shotgun/muzzleloader hunting as more than one "legal" gun may be carried but handguns cannot be concealed.
I carry on my farm but not while bowhunting....the late evening treks back from the stand are a little rattling when the yotes are howling.

April 8, 2011, 12:20 PM
In MN carrying ANY firearm during archery season (except bear) is prohibited. While firearm hunting, CC is ok. Also, I believe it is against federal law to possess a handgun while hunting migaratory waterfowl.

April 8, 2011, 12:37 PM

KSA 21-4201: carrying concealed firearm is criminal offense except for those with a concealed carry permit or "licensed hunters or fishermen, while engaged in hunting or fishing".

Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks regulations have always prohibited possession of any firearm while bowhunting, but new Senate Bill 152 (SB 152, effective 7-1-2011) will allow holders of a valid carry permit to carry while bowhunting (but not hunt with the firearm).

KDWP regulations have also in the past prohibited carry of any firearm while hunting "big game" that is not legal for "taking" the "big game" being hunted. SB 152 will also change that to allow holders of a carry permit to carry a firearm that is not legal for "taking" the game being hunted. You will have to be in compliance with the concealed carry permit, which only allows handguns. We presume you will not be allowed to "take" the big game you are hunting with a firearm that is not allowed for that game (example, you can't "take" a deer with a 9mm).

By the way, SB 152 will also permit legally-owned suppressors for hunting.

test drive
April 8, 2011, 12:46 PM
In S.C you can open cary to,while,and returning from hunting.

April 8, 2011, 01:56 PM
Firearms except shotguns not allowed during shotgun season, nor during quail and pheasant seasons on stocked Wildlife Management Areas. No firearms at all allowed during exclusive archery deer season, and only primitive firearms during primitive firearms seasons.

Also prohibited: possession of:pistols and revolvers chambered to take ammunition larger than .38 caliber, between the hours of hour after sunset and hour before sunrise.
By the way, despite mathematics, it is not clear whether .357 is considered "larger than .38 caliber" or not; I suspect it is.

As I remember, and as this older set of regs from 2002 ( seems to confirm, the .38 or smaller pistols used to be more widely allowed, but that seems to have changed, and perhaps be different in the western vs central and eastern parts of the Commonwealth.

April 8, 2011, 02:18 PM
Ohio, yes.

Ohio DNR regs say

"A person possessing a valid Ohio-issued Concealed Carry license may carry their concealed weapon while hunting, but it may not be used to shoot, shoot at, or kill any wild animal. For more information go to"

1501:31-15-02(J) General hunting and trapping provisions.

(J) It shall be unlawful to carry any firearm or weapon unless displayed and visible on the outermost garment, and only when carried in accordance with the Revised Code. Persons possessing a valid Ohio concealed carry license issued pursuant to sections 2923.125 and 2923.123 of the Revised Code or a valid conceal carry license from a state with a reciprocity agreement with Ohio to carry concealed handguns, or who comply with federal legislation HR218, “The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004” are exempted.


April 8, 2011, 02:19 PM
Hello friends and neighbors// I called SC DNR and asked about problems carrying my 442 during Bow Season.

"As long as you have a hunting license and a CWP ,No problem", was her response.

April 8, 2011, 05:11 PM
In Georgia:

O.C.G.A. 16-11-126
Possession and carrying a concealed weapon; penalty for violating licensing requirement

(f) Any person with a valid hunting or fishing license on his or her person, or any person not required by law to have a hunting or fishing license, who is engaged in legal hunting, fishing, or sport shooting when the person has the permission of the owner of the land on which the activities are being conducted may have or carry on his or her person a handgun or long gun without a valid weapons carry license while hunting, fishing, or engaging in sport shooting.

O.C.G.A. 27-3-6
Possession of firearm while hunting with bow and arrow

It shall be unlawful for any person to possess any center-fire or rimfire firearm other than a handgun, as such term is defined in Code Section 16-11-125.1, while hunting with a bow and arrow during archery or primitive weapons season for deer or while hunting with a muzzleloading firearm during a primitive weapons season for deer or to possess a loaded handgun while hunting with a bow and arrow during archery or primitive weapons season for deer or while hunting with a muzzleloading firearm during primitive weapons season for deer unless such person possesses a valid weapons carry license issued pursuant to Code Section 16-11-129.
O.C.G.A. 27-3-1.1
Acts prohibited on wildlife management areas

It shall be unlawful for any person on any wildlife management area owned or operated by the department:

(1) To possess a firearm other than a handgun, as such term is defined in Code Section 16-11-125.1, during a closed hunting season for that area unless such firearm is unloaded and stored in a motor vehicle so as not to be readily accessible or to possess a handgun during a closed hunting season for that area unless such person possesses a valid weapons carry license issued pursuant to Code Section 16-11-129;

(2) To possess a loaded firearm other than a handgun, as such term is defined in Code Section 16-11-125.1, in a motor vehicle during a legal open hunting season for that area or to possess a loaded handgun in a motor vehicle during a legal open hunting season for that area unless such person possesses a valid weapons carry license

April 8, 2011, 08:18 PM
In Missouri, you have been able to carry a concealed handgun while hunting if you have an otherwise exposed firearm while in the act of hunting. This was the case even before we had concealed carry permits (571.030 RSMo, subsection 3).

It has been illegal to carry a concealed handgun while bowhunting, but this regulation has been recently changed to allow leos and those with ccws to carry concealed handguns for person protection while bowhunting NEXT year (Fall 2011) (3CSR 10-7.432,1.A of the Missouri Wildlife Code).

April 8, 2011, 08:52 PM
For Washington State (from the hunting regulations) -

A modern handgun may be carried for personal protection. Modern handguns cannot be used to hunt big game or dispatch wounded big game during a big game hunting season for muzzleloading firearms.

There is a similar provision for archery seasons.

This regulation is relatively new. Prior to the change, Washington State did not allow carrying a modern handgun for personal protection while hunting during muzzleloader season or archery season.

I still read comments about using a handgun for dispatching a wounded animal "to prevent needless suffering" and the folks writing these things are just plain wrong. While it may appear to be a good idea, it is an excluded use and should be honored as such.

April 8, 2011, 08:55 PM
In Oregon we can open carry anywhere but Portland and I think maybe one or two other cities. I live in Bend, OR and regulary open carry in the city and in the woods. Certainly while hunting.


April 8, 2011, 09:21 PM
I've been trying to find Alabama's law for you. I've always heard that it is illegal to carry a pistol while bow hunting, but I can't find a law that says that. I'm not sure about carrying while hunting with a firearm.

If anyone can find the law or has anymore info please let me know.

April 8, 2011, 09:38 PM

See Pg 33 of Hunting Rules:

"Carrying concealed firearms: A permit is required to carry a concealed firearm in Maine, except that licensed hunters and trappers are exempt while engaged in these activities; the latter provision does not authorize the carrying of a concealed or loaded firearm in a motor vehicle. Some town offices or city halls issue these permits to residents. If not, contact Maine State Police. Nonresidents may obtain concealed weapons permits from the chief of the Maine State Police: (207) 624-7210."

"Deer hunting: No firearm may be used which uses .17 or .22 caliber rimfire cartridges, except .22 magnum. No firearms of
any kind may be carried while hunting deer with a bow and arrow during the special archery season on deer and the expanded
archery season on deer, except that a person who also holds a license that allows hunting with firearms may carry a handgun. but it
cannot be used to shoot a deer or dispatch a wounded deer."

And thanks for your site- a great service to firearms owners!

April 8, 2011, 09:47 PM
Here is a cite from MN BCA website, with the statute cite. Note the second item from the bottom re: carry while bowhunting. Hope this helps.

24. Where am I prohibited from carrying my pistol?

School property
A childcare center while children are present
Public colleges and universities may have policy restricting the carrying of weapons on their premises by employees and students while on campus
Private establishments that have posted a sign banning guns on their premises
Private establishments who have personally informed the permit holder that guns are prohibited and demands compliance
Places of employment, public or private, if employer restricts the carry or possession of firearms by is employees
State correctional facilities or state hospitals and grounds (MN Statute 243.55)
Any jail, lockup or correctional facility (MN Statute 641.165)
Courthouse complexes, unless the sheriff is notified (MN Statute 609.66)
Offices and courtrooms of the Minnesota Supreme Court and Court of Appeals
Any state building unless the commissioner of public safety is notified (MN Statute 609.66)
In a field while hunting big game by archery, except when hunting bear (MN Statute 97B.211)
In federal court facilities or other federal facilities (Title 18 U.S.C. 930)

Gary Slider
April 8, 2011, 09:47 PM
41 You can carry while hunting even Bow Hunting in AL. When I saw your post I went looking. Took me less than 4 minutes. But that is why I am asking for help. AL was easy to find compared to others. I am getting a lot of info that is saving me hours. Thank you.

AL Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries Reg 220-2-.21 at

Gary Slider
April 8, 2011, 09:52 PM

I even have that same cite on the MN page at I looked after you posted it. I don't remember seeing that. It would have been the last place I looked. But taking care of all the states I can't see everything. You saved me a whole lot of time and energy. Much Appreicated.

April 8, 2011, 10:19 PM
No person shall take, carry, or possess any firearms or bow of any
description whatsoever (except handguns possessed by legally licensed
persons for personal protection) in any wildlife management area in this
State during the closed season on game birds, game and/or fur-bearing
animals, except on an open designated target range and except a person may
possess a bow and arrow only during special bow season allowed for the
taking of rough fish. No person shall at any time take, carry or possess any
firearms or bows of any description whatsoever in or on any wildlife refuge
or wildlife sanctuary located in or on any national forest area in this State, or
on or in any state or federal sanctuary except by special permit or when bow
and arrows may be legally possessed during special bow season provided for
the taking of rough fish on such areas by regulations of the Department of
Conservation and Natural Resources; provided, however, that this rule shall
not apply to the possession of firearms by State Conservation Officers, state
or county enforcement officers, or federal agents, when they are on active
duty in the performance of their duties in the enforcement of the laws of this

I may be mistaken (which is entirely possible), but I believe that this regulation only gives a person permission to carry a concealed firearm inside of a WMA during non hunting seasons.

I don't see where it allows concealed carry while hunting

It also appears that in section 220-2-.55 (P) that it is illegal to for anyone to possess any firearm while bow hunting on a WMA outside of a gun deer season.

I can't find any thing on private land though.

Gary Slider
April 8, 2011, 10:42 PM
41 You are correct. I looked back and I have WMA's Off Limits on the AL page. 220-2-10 says it even better. There is only one time you can have a firearm and bow. Thanks for pointing that out.

April 8, 2011, 11:27 PM
Carrying of Concealed Firearm with Permit/License While Hunting? YES or NO (With Law/Reg Alpha/Numeric Citation)

For NV...
YES. There is nothing in the Nevada Revised Statues that prohibits it.

For CA...
YES. There is nothing in the California Penal Code and California Fish & Game Code that prohibits it.

Also for CA, under CA PC 12027(g)...
It is LEGAL for a licensed hunter/fisher to conceal carry a loaded handgun without needing a valid CCW permit while engaged in hunting/fishing.
It is LEGAL for a licensed hunter/fisher to conceal carry an unloaded handgun without needing a valid CCW permit while traveling to and from their hunting/fishing expedition.

Penal Code 12027
Section 12025 does not apply to, or affect, any of the following:
(g) Licensed hunters or fishermen carrying pistols, revolvers, or other firearms capable of being concealed upon the person while engaged in hunting or fishing, or transporting those firearms unloaded when going to or returning from the hunting or fishing expedition.

April 9, 2011, 12:10 AM
No problem, Thanks for all you guys do to help keep all of this handgun info in one easy to find location.

April 9, 2011, 12:42 AM
Cannot carry a firearm during Archery hunt:
NAC 503.144 Hunting with longbow and arrow. (NRS 501.105, 501.181, 503.150)
3. It is unlawful for any person to:
(a) Carry any firearm in the field while hunting under archery regulations.

Cannot carry other firearm during muzzle loader hunt:
NAC 503.142 Hunting big game mammal with firearm. (NRS 501.105, 501.181, 503.150)
2. During a type of hunt that is restricted to muzzle-loading firearms, it is unlawful for a person hunting under the authority of a tag for such a hunt to carry in the field a firearm or longbow and arrow except for:
(a) A muzzle-loading rifle or a muzzle-loading musket with the characteristics set forth in subsection 1; or
(b) A flintlock or percussion handgun. However, it is unlawful to use such a handgun to hunt a big game mammal.

During a hunt in which the use of "any legal weapon" is authorized by a regulation of the Wildlife Commission, there is no restriction on carrying a concealed firearm as long as the person possesses a Nevada Concealed Firearm Permit, or the person is occupying his/her own private property (no carry permit is required for concealed firearm on your own property).

However, there are limitations on the handgun that may be used to take big game:
NAC 503.142 Hunting big game mammal with firearm
5. A person may hunt big game mammals with a handgun if the handgun uses a centerfire cartridge, has a barrel length of 4 inches or more and:
(a) Uses a cartridge of caliber .22 or larger with an overall loaded length of 2 inches or more; or
(b) Uses a cartridge of caliber .24 or larger with a case of length no less than the length of the case of a cartridge for a Remington magnum of caliber .44.

FYI, also note:
NRS 503.165 Carrying loaded rifle or shotgun in or on vehicle on or along public way unlawful; exceptions.
1. It is unlawful to carry a loaded rifle or loaded shotgun in or on any vehicle which is standing on or along, or is being driven on or along, any public highway or any other way open to the public.
2. A rifle or shotgun is loaded, for the purposes of this section, when there is an unexpended cartridge or shell in the firing chamber, but not when the only cartridges or shells are in the magazine.
3. The provisions of this section do not apply to paraplegics, persons with one or both legs amputated or who have suffered a paralysis of one or both legs which severely impedes walking, or peace officers and members of the Armed Forces of this State or the United States while on duty or going to or returning from duty.

Note to those looking up Nevada law:
The Nevada Revised Statues (NRS) are laws made by the State Legislature and signed by the Governor.
However, the legislature & governor may authorize other Boards or Commissions to establish additional rules and regulations. These are codified in the Nevada Administrative Code.
So you notice that some of the Nevada laws listed above have an NAC prefix. These are laws, rules, ordnances, codes and regulations enforceable under police powers of the state, but not strictly found in the Nevada Revised Statutes. The NAC regulations listed above are adopted into the Nevada Administrative Code by the Wildlife Commission.
When looking up laws, you need to look up both bodies of law, NRS and NAC.

April 9, 2011, 05:26 PM
Thanks for the heads up about the NAC.
I'll make sure to check it from now on. Use to relying on the NRS. :o

April 10, 2011, 12:41 AM
In TN, it is legal to carry while hunting IF you have a handgun Carry Permit (HCP). It is not legal to use that weapon for hunting unless it meets the guidelines set forth by the TWRA for that particular hunting season. It is legal to carry a firearm anytime in a TN WMA with the HCP, but it is not legal to discharge that weapon (except for reasons of self defense, I believe). National Forest lands fall within the the state WMA regulations.

April 17, 2011, 06:00 PM
In MISSISSIPPI, generally you can carry while hunting anytime, except during some primitive weapon type seasons (archery & muzzleloading). No CCW license required during hunting or fishing activities. You can also hunt pretty much anything with a handgun except migratory birds, turkey, or during special weapons seasons. No minimum caliber, etc. Maximum calibers apply at night. Managed hunting lands (WMAs, etc.) may have their own rules.

April 17, 2011, 06:19 PM
I open carry my ROA during muzzle loader season in Ky(it's a legal ML in Ky). I've actually used it to finish a deer that was shot high and wouldn't hesitate to use it as a primary gun, if the deer is in bow range.

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