Weird bow law / Oregon


March 12, 2014, 04:11 AM
This is kinda a weird question, so if it should be in Legal instead mods- please move it, but I figured it also applied here, and I'm more likely to get someone who knows the right answer here than in legal.

Anywho :

Ok, so I'm a new recurve bow user... So this odd kink of law doesn't really apply to me yet ( no compoind in the future- but you never know), but I was curious as to its application for hunting now that I've read it in the 2014 Oregon Big Game Guide- p.30 :

And I quote :

"No device secured to or supported by a bow may be used to maintain the bow at full draw"

Now, its quite likely I could be misreading this in my mind, but isn't this exactly what the "stop" or "wall" is on the compound bows' cam ? For holding the bow at full draw ?

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March 12, 2014, 05:57 AM
I read it as a prohibition against crossbows. If you let loose of the string on a compound bow, nothing will maintain the draw.

March 12, 2014, 06:32 AM
I read it the same way as GuyFromOhio does. It's sounds like it's written to both make crossbows illegal for hunting and to make any psuedo crossbow or crossbow like adapter illegal for hunting. Notice the "secured to or supported by the bow". That would allow string releases to remain legal because those are secured to your hand / wrist. A stop doesn't maintain a compound bow at full draw, it simply stops you from over torquing the cams.

However, I'm not a lawyer, and even I was it wouldn't matter. That's because my interpretation doesn't count, but the Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife's interpretation does count. I think I'd email them and ask to be safe.

March 12, 2014, 07:36 AM
No, since you still have to hold it at full draw.

Dave Markowitz
March 12, 2014, 10:26 AM
That law is intended to prohibit devices like the Lock-A-Draw (, not compound bows.

March 12, 2014, 11:29 AM
Yeah what Dave said. The language is specifically to prevent those devices from circumventing the crossbow ban/regulation. My dad uses one of these due to his arthritis (over here in Maryland we do not have crossbow restrictions.)

March 12, 2014, 02:10 PM
Laws intent and their interpretation are often at odds.

Off to ODFW we go.

March 16, 2014, 02:28 AM
Most places have some kind of law like this. It has nothing to do with the cams on a compound. It means exactly what is shown in the link Dave posted. For example, take a compound and draw it back, then let go of the bow. It will come back and hit you in the face and break it. If you bolt something on the bow that makes it function similar to a crossbow, holding it at draw if you let go of it, then that is illegal..
The back wall does nothing other than let you know when the bow is drawn all the way back, stopping you from drawing farther. How do you think lots of people hunt with normal compound bows every year if every bow with a cam is illegal?

March 17, 2014, 12:46 PM
Sounds like a crossbow limitation to me. Compound bows do not "lock" at full draw. They still require muscle strength.

Most states have been legalizing crossbows to get more hunters out buying licenses and harvesting deer that are often over populated. I view it as a regulatory adjustment to the reality that most hunters or would be hunters are often not willing to take the time to shoot a lot with a recurve or compound bow to the point of reasonable proficiency. It is sort of like the hunter who takes a few shots in October to check his scope and rifle out prior to the season, but seldom shoots it otherwise.

March 17, 2014, 07:31 PM
It has nothing to do with the cams on a compound.

Thats what you could infer, however what it actually says is quite the contrary.

Feel free to look up the definition of "maintain" if you have some disagreement on that point.

Given how verbiage is literally shredding us in so many other areas, im hoping to get a confirmatory answer from ODFW soon.

If this is actually how a law is worded, I'd like to see it changed.

Improper ( or proper- depending on your coin side) verbiage is causing quite a few headaches of late.

Everyone knows what the militia represents/means, right ?


BEtter to be safe than sorry... and the more I think about it, the more I want a definitive answer. Thats a poor choice of words, if thats the intent.

March 19, 2014, 12:55 AM
Draw locks have been around for at least 25 years if not more and most states have laws with verbiage similar to this. It makes sense to me as a wall or stop isn't a device used to maintain the bow at full draw. There is still some physical ability required even if minimal to maintain or hold the bow at full draw. Draw locks can also be dangerous as the bow is "loaded" in addition to giving the archer a bit of an advantage on game since they don't have to draw the bow in presence of game and continue holding.

March 19, 2014, 01:29 PM
It could be poorly worded for a lot of people but youre misunderstanding how compound bows work. The cams wotking with the limbs provide the power for the bow. Draw a bow with any type of cams on it and release it and the cams will roll over and the bow will fire. There is no way to make the cams hold the bow at draw. It takes an external device like has been linked to before. On an unmodified bow you HAVE to hold the bow at draw manually or it will fire, just because the cams reduce the holding weight doesnt mean they actually lock it at draw. Which they dont..

"No device secured to or supported by a bow may be used to maintain the bow at full draw"
That means if you secure (an external device not needed for the bow to work as normal) or supported by a bow ( stick something between the bow and the string) not how the bow is built and works

That is not infering, that is simply how a bow works and what the law says although it may be comfusing for some.

March 22, 2014, 11:17 AM

What about that confuses you? It says no device can be used to maintain the draw.

Maintain is the key word there. Given that your arm is not a device secrued to the bow itself and is not specifically meant to maintain a bow at full draw, I don't get where your confusion is coming from.

March 22, 2014, 11:28 AM
There have been items built that hold a bow at full draw, generally aimed at aiding the handicapped population. It turns the bow into a crossbow. The law is odd but common. Most places have crossbow seasons so maybe they just want to further restrict? Where it's really odd is when that law exists where it is legal to use a crossbow in all of archery season. I believe that this law was made more out of a danger point as bows are built to take the stresses of being pulled and released, not held at pressure for extreme periods. This could fracture a limb and cause injury.

March 22, 2014, 11:29 AM
And cam over leaves the bow at a reduced draw weight, not no draw weight, so it's not "holding the draw" of the bow.

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