Crossing US-Canada border with my bow


Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Niagara Falls

    Crossing US-Canada border with my bow

    I live in the the US but cross the border up to Toronto each week for school. This year I am joining their archery club. I have a take down recurve and some arrows, stab, etc. that I carry in a soft bow case.

    I assume I can just decalre this at the border without any problems. Anyone have information about crossing the border with your archery equipment?


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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Newark, Ca
    I'd call the Canadian authorities and see what they say. I can't see the U.S. side giving you any trouble, but if you have receipts to prove you bought them in the U.S. it might help to have them with you.

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  5. #3
    I've crossed the border several times to Bear hunt. I never had any kind of a problem taking a bow either direction

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  7. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Miramichi, New Brunswick
    If your driving you won't have any trouble at the border. But I've started hearing rumours about Canadian airlines refusing to carry arrows since the foiled plot in the U.K. The lodge doesn't have any bowhunters coming in this fall so it'll be awhile before I find out whether or not it's true.

  8. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Niagara Falls
    Thanks for the advice. I crossed tonight and they said all I need to do is declare it, and if I really want to be safe to fill out a 1 time application that shows I bought it in the US, which is what Dchiefransom was saying I think.

  9. #6

    Border Crossing

    I cross with my bow a couple times a year with no problem. Just declare it. If you have firearms (which a bow is not) then you go inside and fill out the paperwork to register them and pay to bring them in.

  10. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
    I go back and forth a couple of times a year and without fail Canada Customs question where I got my equipment.I carry reciepts for everything.
    That is probably because I am Canadian and CC is suspicious of possible undeclared purchases in the US.I'm quite sure this would not apply to you as you are an American citizen.
    You should be alright,but you never no who's having a bad day.
    I would keep a bill of sale close at hand.

  11. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Ft Rich, Alaska
    I crossed with a couple bows and they didn't care, guns they take pretty serious though. Even told the folks in the "pay to bring your guns through booth" all they cared about was the guns. Must not take bows serious enough?

  12. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Niagara Falls

    Border crossing

    My wife said I should let the people on the train (VIA) know about it as well because it is a weapon.

    Couldn't help getting an image out of my mind of holding up a train with a take-down bow. "All right everybody this is a hold up. Nobody move... really nobody move, I need to put my bow together first. Then I will need you all to hold very still and stay within 30 meters of me, and if we can get the conductor to stop the train from moving that would be a big help as well... Thank you for your cooperation"

  13. #10
    I live only 8 miles fro mteh border and camp in Canada a lot. When i bring my bow across they want me to have a reason for it. I never have a problem and have brought it over and back MANY times in the past 4 years..

  14. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Here are the facts.

    The Canada Border Services Agency defines the term “Weapon”. You can decide if your compound bow fits this definition, of if a customs officer will. But, I doubt this is what Mathews had in mind when they designed my LX.

    Weapon - anything used, designed to be used, or intended to be used in causing death or injury to any person, or to threaten or intimidate any person-firearms are considered weapons.

    The Canadian Criminal Code and the Canadian Firearms Act define Guns and Cross-Bows only. Neither of these acts have any mention of regular Compound or Traditional Bows.

    Canadian Criminal Code
    Canadian Firearms Act

    Canadians are sensitive to the issue of cross-bows because:

    “In 1991, Ottawa women witnessed a series of particularly brutal murders of women and a girl who was 14 years old. Their sense of outrage culminated in an innovative call for change when local lawyer Patricia Allen was murdered with a crossbow in broad daylight on a downtown street.”

    Of course, this doesn’t stop a Canadian customs agent from thinking that a bow is a weapon.

    Notwithstanding, I always declare on the Canadian customs form that I am carrying a bow to save me possible hassles by uninformed and suspicious customs agents. I know that some of them don’t know these definitions - you can't expect every customs officer to know every regulation and definition.

    Provincial hunting regulations define Guns, Cross-Bows and Compound Bows as “Firearms”. This Provincial definition has nothing whatsoever to do with a Federal Canadian border declaration and often leads to confusion.

    Firearms include air or pellet guns, bows and cross-bows. You may use semi-automatic or repeating firearms for hunting in Ontario, but not handguns or fully automatic firearms. Air and pellet pistols with a muzzle velocity less than 500 feet per second may be used for hunting in Ontario. For storage and transportation information, contact your local police department.

    I have traveled across the Canada – U. S. border, many times with long guns, and regular compound bows.

    When I returned from Florida on a pig hunting trip I declared on my Canadian customs form that I was carrying a compound bow even though there is no legal requirement. I was inspected at Canadian customs by a lady officer who was uncertain whether my bow was a Cross-Bow. She also asked why I was traveling with a bow – duh! As it turned out, there was another customs officer, also a lady, who happened to be a bow hunter. This lady knew more than the guys who were hanging around and she explained to the first lady, and the guys, the difference between a Cross-Bow and a bow. She also looked pretty darn nice. So, I tried to strike up a conversation with her, but she was so busy she couldn't wait to get rid of me and deal with the next customer. So much for my male charm.

    I also advise if you are flying to check with your airline for their baggage rules and regulations. Air Canada, recently changed its rules for carrying firearms. The best thing to do is check on the Web for your air carrier’s rules and regulations the evening before you fly and print a copy to take with you to the airport. Since these rules change all the time I don't expect airline personnel to always be up to date on their own regulations.

    I also carry a copy of the purchase invoice for my guns and bows – proof of where I purchased them.

    If you travel through the Toronto airport with anything cool, like a nice double engraved shotgun, count on spending a little extra time with the customs guys – many of them are outdoors types and like to chat about expensive toys.

    And one last thought. If you got some time to burn and feel like driving the Canadian customs guys nuts, just tick the form where it says “I/we will be visiting a farm or a farm show in Canada within the next 14 days”. They have no idea what to do.

    Canadian Customs form:

    I have no idea of what happens to an American returning to the U.S.

  15. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Battleford, Sk, Canada
    Ok this is old but I figure a Canadian should chime in on this.

    It isn't considered a firearm or regulated like firearms. You don't need any license in Canada or permit to carry or transport a bow.

    The only regulations are city bylaws and hunting regs. Some city's allow you to fire off bows in your backyard some do not. Of course at ranges it don't matter. If you plan to hunt with it you need to follow the law and get your proper hunting permits in the province your in.

    As a precaution I'd keep it in a case until the time you plan to shoot it.

    Of course if you use your bow to commit a crime well... that's a whole different story, but you will be fine and I'm sure no one would question you... atleast out west in sk/alberta. Ontario might be abit more jumpy.

    When it comes to cross border restigo has it all laid out.

  16. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Mac- Keep in mind that when you go from the US into Canada, those people checking you out are Canadian authoruties that are enforcing Canadian rules. However, when coming back into the US the people you deal with are US employese that enforce US laws. Therefore you need to ask both of them.


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