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Thread: Archery laws in California?

  1. #1
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    Archery laws in California?

    Can anyone point me towards a good overview of laws regulating archery in CA?

    Two things that I'd like to know:



    * Can I shoot a bow in a city park, assuming that I do it in a safe manner and there are no people around?
    * Can I _carry_ a bow in a national forest or in a state park, if I don't have a hunting license?


  2. #2
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    1. depends on the city you are in. I would guess though that most towns/cities with 10k people or more, it is a no-no
    2. No idea. Very likely you can. I would have no tips that are used for hunting. Broadheads for example.

    Ultimately, you need to check local regulations.

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    Oh god, commiefornia.. Good luck with anything in that state, I hated it there...
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  4. #4
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    City parks like was mentioned----------you will have to contact the local authorities------different cities different laws, chances are against it.
    State Parks contact the park as like here in Michigan that can vary from park to park. National Forest or State Forest here yes you can--------------BUT if it is hunting season you do need a hunting license. They are considered a weapon and it doesn't matter if you have hunting heads or target points----it still shoots a projectile.
    Best thing is do a search for your state and see where the local archery clubs are located and join one.
    Have a good day and a better hunt

  5. #5
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    "you can--------------BUT if it is hunting season you do need a hunting license. "

    What do you mean, "if it is hunting season"? There are different hunting seasons for different game mammals. As far as I can tell, the hunting season for deer is over (it's only open two months/year), but, for example, the season for wild pigs is year-round.

  6. #6
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    Each city would have different laws. Best to check with local jurisdiction.

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by eugenek View Post
    "you can--------------BUT if it is hunting season you do need a hunting license. "

    What do you mean, "if it is hunting season"? There are different hunting seasons for different game mammals. As far as I can tell, the hunting season for deer is over (it's only open two months/year), but, for example, the season for wild pigs is year-round.
    Please read my post the way I wrote it--------"if" takes in many meanings, each state is different(I do believe I referenced Michigan as a comparison) because I do not live in Cal. or know their rules. The bottom line I was getting at is get off the net and ask your local authorities------logical move to get the correct answer to the question. Besides EACH state has a site where you get find these rules.
    Have a good day and a better hunt

  8. #8
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    I'm sure city parks are a no no unless they have an archery range. National forest I don't know about a bow but target shooting with a firearm is not permitted. I would check with the forest service and the local sheriff to be sure. I know you cannot use the Leopold laser rangefinder on your bow for hunting (it is considered a laser sight).
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  9. #9
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    Best way to know for sure is to try it.

  10. #10
    I know of at least two california cities with free public ranges in parks. Sacramento and San Diego. Good luck.
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  11. #11
    >>Can I shoot a bow in a city park,

    I would say most likely not, unless there was an actual archery range in the park. Most CA towns and cities have ordinances that prohibit the discharge of firearms (yes, in CA bows are considered firearms because they fire a projectile. doh!).

    >>Can I _carry_ a bow in a national forest or in a state park, if I don't have a hunting license?

    As mentioned state park rules vary. In SD County, you can transport a bow through Cuyamaca State Park as long as it is "cased". Palomar State Park does not allow cased or uncased weapons even in vehicle just driving through the park. Doesn't matter if you have a hunting license or not.

    National Forest is generally OK. I suspect if you were out with your bow during hunting season without a license and were stopped by a ranger, you might get a ticket.

    The National Forests have an annual parking permit that must be displayed when you park anywhere in a national forest or state park. Think it's $30/yr or $10/day available at a ranger station or forest service office. The fine for not having a sticker is a lot more that the sticker itself.

    When in doubt, call ahead.
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  12. #12
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    Skynight, it's an honor system donation of a heafty $2.00 There's is also Poway lake but I'm not sure if the Range is still up and running. Law enforcement (I'm speaking generally for Southern California) do not know much about laws when it comes to Firearms, air rifles/guns, bows and any other "weapon" that is not a firearm. Unless you know the PC's that protect you, I would recommend not shooting in a public park unless it has an archery range much like Balboa park in San Diego. You would be good to go on Federal land if you had a license and a pig tag because like someone said earlier, pig is year round. However, keep in mind you have to be a certain distance (150 yards?) from a public road and from any dwelling and I believe this means camp grounds too.

    As for State parks read below. I got this off http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=21301

    4305. Animals.
    No person shall molest, hunt, disturb, injure, trap, take, net, poison, harm, or kill any kind of animal or fish, or so attempt, except that fish may be taken other than for commercial purposes in accordance with the state fishing laws and regulations, provided, however, that no person shall use or discharge a spear or bow and arrow in the state park system (except in underwater parks or on designated archery ranges). Where hunting in a state recreation area or portion thereof is permitted by regulations herein, so much of this section as is inconsistent therewith shall be deemed inapplicable, provided hunting is conducted in the manner specified.

    4313. Weapons and Traps.
    No person shall carry, possess, or discharge across, in or into any portion of any unit any weapon, firearm, bow and arrow, trap, net, or device capable of injuring, or killing any person or animal, or capturing any animal, or damaging any public or private property, except where the Department of Parks and Recreation finds that it is in its best interests. Nothing herein contained shall be construed in derogation of the use of weapons permitted by law or regulation and to be used for hunting in a unit, or portion thereof, open to hunting. Firearms not having a cartridge in any portion of the mechanism, traps, nets, bows and arrows, other unloaded weapons or devices may be possessed within temporary lodging or mechanical mode of conveyance when such implements are rendered temporarily inoperable or are packed, cased, or stored in a manner that will prevent their ready use.
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  13. #13
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    OK, that's very helpful, thanks. Looks like state parks are a big no-no.

    I suspect if you were out with your bow during hunting season without a license and were stopped by a ranger, you might get a ticket.
    but again, what is "hunting season"? Is it hunting season right now up on Palomar Mountain or not? I wouldn't worry much about a ticket, but some of these rules are rather harsh, the link above says that the penalty for violating section 4313 is up to 90 days in jail.

    (yes, in CA bows are considered firearms because they fire a projectile. doh!).
    I'm not so sure about this part. I tried to find the legal definition, there's one in Penal Code 16520 and it says that the firearm must have a barrel (except, for some provisions, it also includes rocket launchers.) Do you have any references?

    Where exactly was the range on Lake Poway?

    Think it's $30/yr or $10/day available at a ranger station or forest service office. The fine for not having a sticker is a lot more that the sticker itself.
    I know that part ... You can also buy them in any sporting goods store like Sport Chalet. It's $5/day.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by eugenek View Post
    OK, that's very helpful, thanks. Looks like state parks are a big no-no.



    but again, what is "hunting season"? Is it hunting season right now up on Palomar Mountain or not? I wouldn't worry much about a ticket, but some of these rules are rather harsh, the link above says that the penalty for violating section 4313 is up to 90 days in jail.



    I'm not so sure about this part. I tried to find the legal definition, there's one in Penal Code 16520 and it says that the firearm must have a barrel (except, for some provisions, it also includes rocket launchers.) Do you have any references?

    Where exactly was the range on Lake Poway?



    I know that part ... You can also buy them in any sporting goods store like Sport Chalet. It's $5/day.
    Honestly you have a weapon(bow) and you do not know what hunting season is???????? It is the legal time of the year to hunt and take game animals with a weapon as long as you are licensed to hunt such game animals and that my friend is spelled out in YOUR state regulations that can be answered at any pro shop or places you buy your hunting licenses.
    May I ask how old you are as you didn't fill anything out in your profile? The questions your asking sound like from a very young person.
    Have a good day and a better hunt

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dale_B1 View Post
    Honestly you have a weapon(bow) and you do not know what hunting season is???????? It is the legal time of the year to hunt and take game animals with a weapon as long as you are licensed to hunt such game animals and that my friend is spelled out in YOUR state regulations that can be answered at any pro shop or places you buy your hunting licenses.
    I would ask that you re-read what I wrote in post #5. BTW, I will accept your apology for insulting me.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by eugenek View Post
    Can anyone point me towards a good overview of laws regulating archery in CA?

    Two things that I'd like to know:

    * Can I shoot a bow in a city park, assuming that I do it in a safe manner and there are no people around?
    * Can I _carry_ a bow in a national forest or in a state park, if I don't have a hunting license?
    Be careful on the no hunting licenses issue. A few yrs. ago frend of mine went out one morning during archery season in Ca. got to the woods ( Na. forest ) and realized he'd forgot his deer tags. Well no problem, grouse season was on also so would bowhunt the rest of the day for grouse. Got stopped by a fish cop to check his licenses, that one cost him $600 for no deer tag even though he was only hunting grouse.

  17. #17
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    OK i lived in so cal for 26 years before i got smart enough to get out that's a whole different story back in the sixties we used to take archery lessons at a park and their was a range at a park in the San Fernando valley but that was a long time ago i would think now a days you would be on the evening news if you were caught shooting your bow at any old park check the local laws and go to the cop shop i'm sure they will tell you where to go i know my son shoots at a range in San Diego and i think its free also try a pro shop for places to shoot ...

  18. #18
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    There are several city and county parks with archery ranges open to the public. One of them is in the middle of Los Angeles near the Sepulveda Dam. There is also an archery range in Pasadena at a public park near the Rose Bowl. There is a public park with a designated archery range in Oak Park as well.

    It is quite likely that some cities and counties have not written rules regulating archery, and it may be appropriate to do so in areas where it is safe.

    As far as carrying your bow in the National Forest, there is no issue. If you're going to do some target practice, the National Forest is open for many uses, including hunting. You do not need a hunting license to target practice. I think some of the previous posters are thinking of restrictions in National Parks, which do not allow hunting or even possession of weapons. However, National Forests, BLM land and many other areas are designated for a variety of uses. They are among the few areas you can legally target shoot on public land with firearms as well. Archery is not a problem in these areas.

    I agree that California has some restrictive laws, and you may have to travel some distance to get to National Forest or BLM land. However, you would be surprised what opportunities are out there once you take a look.

    As for posters who live in Bangladesh, but think they know the laws in California...well that's another matter.

  19. #19
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    You can shoot in Balboa park in central San Diego but any other parks would be sketchy depending on specific regulations. During any hunting season (year round Pigs included) it would really save you a bunch of grief if you have a license and at least a pig tag. You can always assert that you are hunting pigs and that someone told you they had heard pigs were in the area even if you just wanted to plink ground squirrels for paractice with maybe the odd Coyote. Hunters actually have some additional rights on Federal lands at least. You might be kept from target practicing for example but you can't be kept from hunting. If you are hunting (with a license and tag in your posession) and needed to check your accuracy a few dozen times you would very likely not be cited.

    There are various archery clubs with 3d targets on private land and if you can find someone with a little property you can probably arrange to practice by keeping the squirrel population down for example. When I lived in town I practiced on the side of my house with no problems whatsoever. Justin Huish, the Olympic Gold medalist, used to shoot from across the street through his garage at a target so it isn't really that big a deal finding a practice location if you are responsible.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by eugenek View Post
    I would ask that you re-read what I wrote in post #5. BTW, I will accept your apology for insulting me.
    No apology from here-------I responed to your post #17 not to post #5. You posed the question, I gave an answer. Sorry your so thin skinned to the answer that is very common sense situation.
    You and yours have a safe and Happy Holiday.
    Have a good day and a better hunt

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by soless View Post
    There's is also Poway lake but I'm not sure if the Range is still up and running. Law enforcement (I'm speaking generally for Southern California) do not know much about laws when it comes to Firearms, air rifles/guns, bows and any other "weapon" that is not a firearm.
    Poway lake still has the archery range up and running. I was there just last weekend. It's quite a nice place, and to shoot there, you just have to buy a $10 archery card, which is good for a whole year from the date of purchase. Parking is free at the moment, but read about the different dates and holiday parking fee stipulations. For more detail, check here:
    http://www.poway.org/Index.aspx?page=1001

    And you're so correct about the officers not knowing the laws on archery. I called a police station to ask if it was okay to practice in my backyard. She did not know, so she referred me to a range master. The range master did not know the legality of it, but discussed it with his colleagues for a moment, and came back with, it's probably okay, just be careful. I asked, should I call the station to let them know when I practice. He didn't see a need for it.

  22. #22
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    National forrest parking permits

    [H]Not all sections of the national forest require a adventure pass Call the national forest headquarters in San Diego CA for more info on which sections require the pass. @ 858-673-6180. Look at this site http://dualsport-sd.com/forums/index...dventure-pass/ [/H]
    Quote Originally Posted by PSI@Work View Post
    >>Can I shoot a bow in a city park,

    I would say most likely not, unless there was an actual archery range in the park. Most CA towns and cities have ordinances that prohibit the discharge of firearms (yes, in CA bows are considered firearms because they fire a projectile. doh!).

    >>Can I _carry_ a bow in a national forest or in a state park, if I don't have a hunting license?

    As mentioned state park rules vary. In SD County, you can transport a bow through Cuyamaca State Park as long as it is "cased". Palomar State Park does not allow cased or uncased weapons even in vehicle just driving through the park. Doesn't matter if you have a hunting license or not.

    National Forest is generally OK. I suspect if you were out with your bow during hunting season without a license and were stopped by a ranger, you might get a ticket.

    The National Forests have an annual parking permit that must be displayed when you park anywhere in a national forest or state park. Think it's $30/yr or $10/day available at a ranger station or forest service office. The fine for not having a sticker is a lot more that the sticker itself.

    When in doubt, call ahead.

  23. #23
    The town or city you live in should have a website with the town ordinances listed. As far as forests you should be good to go. You could always call a ranger station for the forest your planning on visiting

  24. #24
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    I do not know if this is an artifact of AT being down...guys this thread is almost 2 years old?

    Besides, since they just outlawed lead ammo, they will next tell you the other materials are "armor piercing" and therefore also illegal....so hunting is done in this state, and our terrible weapons need to go next
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  25. #25
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    They only banned lead ammo for hunting and you will still be able to use it on the range or competitions. We have been using steel shot for ducks for over 25 years and ducks are still dying so get over it. A copper jacketed ballistic point for deer isn't that bad. And this is archery talk so talk archery.
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