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Airbows with Bolts, Airguns with Pellets, Will Be Legal in 2018 for Specific Hunts

Friday, May 25, 2018 | 04:31pm

Airbows with Bolts, Airguns with Pellets, Will Be Legal in 2018 for Specific Hunts

NASHVILLE --- For the first time, Tennessee sportsmen who possess a permanent disability license obtained from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, can utilize a pneumatic device known most commonly by its trademark name, Airbow.

Similar to a crossbow in that this device shoots a bolt (small arrow), the Tennessee Fish And Wildlife Commission, the governing body of TWRA, approved the use of the Airbow during its recent May meeting in Nashville.

“Commissioners were voting to give qualified permanent disabled hunters another means of enjoying the outdoors,” noted Lt. Col. Cape Taylor of the TWRA Law Enforcement Division. “They are the only ones who can use this device during archery-only big game hunts.”

The Airbow, however, can be used by any hunter during modern gun seasons in Tennessee, explained Taylor.

“This does not include the muzzleloader season for deer,” specified the lieutenant colonel. “There were no changes made to this upcoming fall muzzleloader season.”

Hunters who believe they qualify for a permanent disability license can visit the agency’s website at “Under Buy Licenses,” at the top of website, click on “Special Licenses & Permits.” From there, click on “Applications for Disabled, Blind, Seniors, and Miscellaneous Licenses.”

There was also another pneumatic hunting device, previously allowed only for small game hunting, that the 13-member TFWC approved for use during modern gun hunts.

Rather than shooting bolts, however, this airgun shoots large pellets but is powered by high-pressured air.

“The stipulation here is that the pellet must be at least .35 caliber in order to hunt big game or furbearers,” noted Taylor. “And once again, it can only be used during modern gun hunts."

Air guns with pellets .35 caliber and larger will be legal for deer, elk, bear, or furbearers such as bobcats, foxes or coyotes when they are in season.

In order to hunt furbearers, sportsmen using pellets that are .35 caliber or larger during deer, elk, or bear seasons must be a legal big game hunter in possession of a big game license.

More information about Airbows and airguns can be found later this summer when TWRA prints its 2018-19 Tennessee Hunting & Trapping Guide. An electronic version of that guide will also be placed on the agency website at

Doug Markham, Communications