I have a PVC homemade bow in my backyard that I want to shoot. Can I shoot it at a target that is up against the fence? I will put cardboard around it, but I have neighbors on three sides of my house and a road on the 4th. I will be shooting down but I might miss. Do I need to get the neighbor's permission and if I do is it still legal?

  • I can't help thinking that, even if this is legal in the narrow sense of not being specifically prohibited, you would be liable for any damage or injury resulting from this activity. "I might miss" would probably be enough to prove negligence. – Paul Johnson Jun 17 at 9:22
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    @PaulJohnson Indeed.. and the question of whether this is legal (maybe) is distinct from that of whether this is a good idea (almost certainly not). Depending on the design and materials I've seen some high draw weights claimed for PVC bows - if they're even getting half of what some of them claim you're going to have a probably an arrow moving at some serious pace - and likely with dubious accuracy. Unless the OP's backyard is the size of a field this sounds like a seriously bad idea. – motosubatsu Jun 17 at 9:55
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    What ever happened to common sense? – IKnowNothing Jun 17 at 14:05
  • @IKnowNothing It had a good run, but it's being phased out in favor of uncommon nonsense. – zibadawa timmy Jun 19 at 4:39

ORS 166.220 suggests this would be illegal - specifically its "unlawful use of a weapon" if a person (emphasis mine):

Intentionally discharges a firearm, blowgun, bow and arrow, crossbow or explosive device within the city limits of any city or within residential areas within urban growth boundaries at or in the direction of any person, building, structure or vehicle within the range of the weapon without having legal authority for such discharge.

So what's "within range"? With a homemade bow of unknown construction, draw weight, and unknown arrows I'd say it's pretty much going to be something you find out when an arrow goes that far. I wouldn't expect it to match the range of high-end bows and arrows (I've seen 40lb recurves cover ~250 yards) but 100 yards plus doesn't sound ridiculous - more if it's got some elevation to it. The point is you really don't want to find out the hard way when a shot goes astray giving your neighbours the old King Harold treatment.

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