Maryland State Senator George Edwards (R-Garrett) has sponsored a bill that will allow bowhunters to carry a pistol for defense while hunting. According to, Edwards introduced the bill on Tuesday in response to a request made by the local Sportsmen’s Association.

“I hear from people all the time up in the tree stands [that] a bear comes along, and they’ve got to stay up there a long time because it’s easier to protect yourself with a pistol than it is with a bow and arrow against a bear,” Edwards says. Many hunters espouse the addition of a revolver to more traditional gear as a backup in case of emergencies.

“It just gives you another source of protection. It’s easier to shoot a pistol at a bear, depending on the situation, than it is a bow and arrow. It takes a little longer. Once you shoot that first arrow, you’ve got to put another one in. With a pistol, you’ve got probably at least six shots in there,” Senator Edward says.

Several larger-caliber handguns are made expressly for self protection against dangerous predators or even startled game. Sometimes knowing that you have a few bullets in addition to what’s in your quiver offers a bit of peace of mind.

“It’s up close is what we’re talking about here,” Edwards states. “We’re not talking far away, so if you’re up in a tree stand and they’re coming up there after you, or you get down out of the tree stand and they’re right there, you have it. The noise of the gun is one thing that kind of scares them off too.”

Image from Stephen Z (~Steve Z~) on the flickr Creative Commons

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3 thoughts on “Maryland Bill Would Allow Bowhunters to Use Handguns for Defense

  1. So it would be legal to protect yourself carrying a handgun from a bear, an animal who fears you and would rather have nothing to do with you but we cannot carry a handgun for protection from KNOWN violent criminals! Wow!

  2. OMG, ban “The Bear”…i would say that any bow huntershould be allowed where ever they hunt to carry a “back up” for self pritection.

  3. Thankfully Arizona changed the law a couple of years ago. It wasn’t Bears but the 2 legged Coyotes that were the problem. They also removed the magazine restriction of 5 rounds except the 3 rounds for Fed Mig birds still stands. It is also legal to hunt with a supressor. Reasonable people decided that saving your hearing was a good thing.

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