Alaska Crossbow Education Course

Beginning July 1, 2018, you may not hunt with a crossbow in any hunt or area for big game unless you have successfully completed an ADF&G-approved Crossbow Education course.

The crossbow education course will provide instruction on crossbow techniques and safety, wildlife conservation, and outdoor preparedness. The course will be composed of two parts, the online course and a field day.

Man demonstrating crossbow to two other people

For the online course, you will study the course material and take practice tests on the internet. You can take multiple chapter review tests online until the material is adequately covered. After successfully passing the online test, you must attend a field day where you will complete a proficiency shoot. Only after successfully completing both parts of the course will you receive your crossbow education certification.

Proficiency Shoot

All crossbow education students must successfully complete a standardized proficiency shoot. All students must provide their own crossbow equipment. It is recommended the student use the crossbow they intend to hunt with during the proficiency shoot. The crossbow must be shoulder-mounted, but there is no minimum draw weight required to take the proficiency shoot, however, students must be knowledgeable about the current regulations to hunt big game in Alaska.

During the required proficiency shoot, a course will be set up with eight different shooting stations (two stations at each of four 3-D targets). The shooting proficiency will also require a student to estimate range and identify the vital zones of various big game animals. Students will use field tips only, NO BROADHEADS. Students will be allowed to use a rangefinder during the proficiency shoot as it's a legal piece of equipment and can be a valuable aid to any hunter, however they cannot share this information with any other student. Students will also be allowed to use a bipod or monopod during the proficiency shoot. Shooting proficiency shall be demonstrated by the student taking eight shots at four 3-D targets. The student must make five out of the eight shots in the vitals (heart, lung, liver). The student must make at least one vital shot on each of the four target animals and a double kill shot on one. The proficiency shoot yardages are based on realistic distances that all hunters would encounter in the field. The course also serves as a learning experience for all hunters and hopefully will have an impact on their choice of equipment, amount of practice required, and shots taken while in the field.

Click here to enroll in the Online Crossbow Education course

View the Online Crossbow Education Course Field Day schedule

Non-Resident Hunters

Alaska accepts the crossbow certification from any State/Province-sponsored crossbow education course. Other state's crossbow hunting licenses, tags, stamps, age exemptions, etc. are not adequate to fulfill Alaska's requirements.

If you need a crossbow education course before coming to Alaska to hunt big game with a crossbow, visit the National Bowhunter Education Foundation website and complete their crossbow education certification course.

Please feel free to contact us if you need additional assistance or have questions about the crossbow education requirement to hunt big game with a crossbow in Alaska.

Important Crossbow Regulations

A crossbow MAY NOT be used in any hunt or area specifically restricted to bow and arrow only, as a crossbow is not recognized as legal archery equipment.

To hunt big game in Alaska with a crossbow, the crossbow MUST:

  • have at least a 100-pound peak draw weight.
  • use a bolt that is at least 16-inches in overall length, be tipped with a broadhead, and at least 300 grains in total weight.
  • use a broadhead that is a fixed, replaceable, or mechanical/retractable blade type that is not barbed.
  • not use electronic devices that are attached to the crossbow, except scopes or electronic sights that do not project light externally.
  • be shoulder-mounted.

Disabled hunters may be eligible to use a crossbow in an archery-only area. For more information, visit the Hunting Methods and Means Disability Exemption webpage.

For questions relating to the Alaska crossbow education course, contact (907) 267-2196 or ginamaria.smith@alaska.gov.