Can You Carry A Sidearm While Bow Hunting

When it comes to bow hunting, many hunters wonder if they can carry a sidearm for added protection. As an avid bow hunter myself, I understand the importance of safety and the desire to be prepared in the wilderness. In this article, I will delve into the regulations surrounding carrying a sidearm while bow hunting and share my personal experience and thoughts on the matter.

Regulations and Legalities

Before delving into the topic, it’s essential to understand the regulations and legalities surrounding carrying a sidearm while bow hunting. These regulations vary from state to state, so it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with your local laws before making any decisions.

In some states, carrying a sidearm while bow hunting is strictly prohibited, while in others, it may be allowed under certain circumstances. For instance, some states allow hunters to carry a sidearm if they possess a concealed carry permit. However, even in states where it is legal, there may be specific rules and restrictions that hunters must adhere to.

It’s important to note that the primary purpose of bow hunting is to test your skills as a hunter by using a bow and arrow. The use of firearms, including sidearms, can be seen as contradicting the principles and challenge of bow hunting. Therefore, many hunting enthusiasts advocate for the use of bows only during bow hunting seasons.

Personal Perspective

As a bow hunter, I have wrestled with the question of whether to carry a sidearm while in the field. While I understand the desire for added protection, I also appreciate the purity and challenge of bow hunting. Carrying a sidearm can somewhat diminish that challenge and turn the focus away from the skills required to stalk and take down game with a bow.

Furthermore, the weight and bulk of a sidearm can be cumbersome, particularly when trying to maintain a steady aim with a bow. It can also impede movement and hinder the hunting experience. Additionally, the noise and recoil of firing a firearm can be detrimental to the stealth required for successful bow hunting.

That being said, I do recognize that there can be situations where it may be necessary to have a sidearm for personal protection. If you are hunting in an area known for dangerous wildlife, such as bears or predators, carrying a sidearm may provide an extra layer of security. In such cases, I believe it is essential to prioritize personal safety over the pure experience of bow hunting.


In conclusion, the decision to carry a sidearm while bow hunting is a personal one that depends on various factors, including local regulations and personal preferences. It is crucial to familiarize yourself with the laws of your state and assess the potential risks and benefits before making a decision.

As a passionate bow hunter, my personal perspective leans towards embracing the challenge and purity of bow hunting without the use of firearms. However, I also acknowledge that there may be circumstances where carrying a sidearm is warranted for personal safety.

Ultimately, whether or not you choose to carry a sidearm while bow hunting, always prioritize safety, follow the law, and respect the principles of the sport. Happy hunting!