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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, I am new into bowfishing and before I get out on the water again, I want to make sure I am in the clear.

It seems to me that the laws surrounding bowfishing are unclear and ambiguous. I am from Washington state where no license is needed to bowfish for carp, and where it is legal by fish and wildlife standards on most bodies of water. However, most bodies of water seem to be within city limits where it is illegal to discharge a bow, and I have clarified with WDFW and city police that city ordinances against discharging bows do take precedence over WDFW laws...

So, where can we bowfish!? I want to get out on the water but I will not risk getting a criminal charge or anything on my record.

Thanks!
 

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You may want to confirm with local pd that you cant, I spoke to several local to me (nc) and they all said that a bow set up for bowfishing is considered fishing equipment and is no different than casting a rod out legally
 

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Whoever you ask state or city do it by email so if a problem comes up latter you can have their response with their name and title on it printed out on your person instead of "well some guy from the state said"
 

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You may want to confirm with local pd that you cant, I spoke to several local to me (nc) and they all said that a bow set up for bowfishing is considered fishing equipment and is no different than casting a rod out legally
Not in Pennsylvania or new jersey. Shooting a bow is shooting a bow no matter if it's at a deer, in your back yard or at a fish.

With that said tiki I live in new jersey and fish primary nj and Pennsylvania. Even here where every city had discharge ordinances there are plenty of waters outside of city limits rivers are typically good and most townships allow discharge or weapons. Think to yourself where you can hunt? If you can hunt obviously you can discharge a bow. Even some of the local lakes if you look at city limits are only partially inside city limits. Might take some research and you might have to drive but I'm sure if I can find shootable waters in nazi nj you can find a few spots in Washington
 

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Wow, thank you all for the responses. I'm glad there are such receptive people within this community. I will definitely check with local PD and try to get everything in writing. I like the idea of going by, "can I hunt here?" I will have to look for places outside of city limits.
 

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Where at in Wa. do you live. There are places to bow fish every where in Wa. We have tournaments all the time. Have one next weekend in Boardman Oregon if you want to shoot.
 

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I wouldn't even bother with anything inside any city limits. I tried that once in a secluded metropark and got a ticket. The judge tossed it out, but made me pay court costs. It was still a PITA going through the process.
 

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I'm thinking the same thing. Outside city limits should be fine. I don't trust the local PD to give the right info honestly either, I called one local PD before I went out and they said it should be okay...well, I heard from a friend that somebody got arrested at that lake for fishing with a crossbow, which is illegal in our state, but I don't want to take my chances. I would be gung-ho all in if I knew there were no risk of legal repurcussion if I didn't check every state and local ordinance pertaining to bowfishing. Outside of city limits eliminates the local part, and state is pretty strait forward.
 

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Where at in Wa. do you live. There are places to bow fish every where in Wa. We have tournaments all the time. Have one next weekend in Boardman Oregon if you want to shoot.
@Bodycarver, anything on the Washington side down near Portland?
 

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many many years ago we used to spear carp at one of the shipyards on the Willamette river mop handles and files ground into spear points, we would walk the catwalks under the pier, they would be sucking on the pilings
 
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