Contributors to this thread:
Stupid State Laws: Here's one
I had a friend contact me that he was given a citation for "hunting" at night. What really happened was he was tracking a deer (with his bow in hand) that he shot just prior to legal hunting hours. After finding his deer, the officer cited him for hunting at night . . . Unreal!!!
In Maryland, you must fill out a "possession tag" prior to moving a harvested deer. But, like many states we have a 1-800 number to call in and legally check-in a deer. At the end of the check-in process you are given a "confirmation number." The check-in must be completed within the first 24 hours. Since many hunters report their deer at the kill site and record their confirmation number, what's the purpose of a possession tag?
If an officer needs to know who killed a deer, why wouldn't he just ask? Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems the possession tag is just another way to harass hunters.
What other stupid game laws have you experienced in your state?
Oh man, where do I start....No Hunting on Sunday!!!!
tobywon with the best answer. I cant imagine living in a state with no huntin on a Sunday.
Not being able to shoot a deer that is predominantly white.
My state loves to schedule waterfowl dates when there are most likely few ducks around.
Here in Okla. we can't shoot Channel Cat or Blue catfish while bowfishing, but we can take a limit a day of each with a speargun.
No Sunday hunting is the sorest subject in PA.
Inefficencies. i.e. PA has 3 separate agencies (and 3x admin costs) for our game commission, fish and boat commission, and DCNR.
Deer farms/canned hunting operations remaining legal in spite of overwhelming evidence they are the primary vector for CWD transmission.
Antiquated processes. I.e. County treasurers process our doe license applications. Via snail mail. Checks only.
Evidence of sex laws out West and other stupid/confusing/semi-pointless intracacies prone to frequent accidental violations.
Prioritization of trophy hunting vs. opportunity in tag allocations, mostly out West.
Any form of outfitter welfare (Wyoming wilderness laws, allocated tags)
Conflicting/illogical electronics laws in many states (cell cams ok but no lighted pins?)
Quite a few illogical public land regulations. Tree stands allowed to be left up all season is a big pet peeve of mine.
I guess legally (probably in most states) you would have to let a wounded deer sit all night if you came upon one that you shot. Dispatch it with a knife? That's probably not a legal method of take in most states. This is where common sense and proper discretion should come in from the COs, but not sure how prevalent that is around here any more. I've had pretty good interaction with wardens in my limited time hunting out west though.
The deer farms(elk etc) thing in that they remain legal is huge in my mind also.
Evidence of sex (elk). I've tried to come up with the rationale for this. I guess if you have a cow tag you should show you shot a cow. If you have an either sex tag, who cares? I don't think you are required to bring the antlers in.
Evidence of sex must be attached in Colorado
Not attached in Wyoming. Last year we had 5 cows in ice chests when we got checked. They said a zip loc bag of 5 udders would be fine.
Also confusing. Where you keep the punched tag after harvest while packing out. I saw a warning given for punched tag in Colorado because it was attached to antlers. That may have changed. I don't hunt Colorado any more.
Some as stupid as having a season on crows.
Can't hunt turkey after 1 p.m. in Missouri. STUUUUUPID! I see no evidence of turkey extinction in states that allow afteroon hunting.
The hunting at night is not a stupid law. Just very POOR judgment by a conservation officer in that instance!
" that he shot just prior to legal hunting hours"....do you mean that he shot just prior to legal hours ENDING?
Speaking of hunting hours. Here in CT, we can hunt small game until one-half hour after sunset. For Deer and (fall) Turkey we have to stop at sunset. Splain that one.
I hate the attached evidence of sex here in Colorado. It turns an already "dirty job" into a royal PITA trying to find a hunk of meat to leave a ball sack attached when going with the boned out method.
I don't like that the carcass tag can't be placed on the antlers.
I wish the state would better align the grouse opening day with elk opening day.
I'm conflicted as to why muzzle load hunters must wear orange but not required for archery hunters in the same season and in the same area.
We just got lighted knocks last year and a recording device is now allowed attached to bow but still no lighted pins.
Turkey roosting is the rationale given for changing legal hunting hours in the evening. Supposedly blasting into the flock at sunset can cause them to roost on the ground and be more susceptible to predators. I don't know if that is logical since I rarely hunt turkey.
Hunting and killing a mountain lion, in a state where it's legal, but not being able to bring it back to your home state. Along the same subject, Fish and Game (I mean "Fish and Wildlife" - because "fish and game" is not politically correct) Commissioner looses his government-appointed job because he legally hunted a mountain lion out-of-state.
A dumb one I've dealt with in MN on a Federal Wildlife refuge - Not being allowed to set up a tree stand the night before you deer hunt on public land. Tree stands must be hung the morning of the hunt and are not allowed to stay overnight. The rational was that they wanted to reduce competition for spots. It made it worse because the same competition happened, just in the dark. And then you had to hang your stand in the dark which just makes you more prone to accidents.
I agree with not allowing people to hang one for the entire season and claim ownership on a spot, but you should be able to leave a stand for 72 hours or something like that.
Here is one, A friend of mine got tagged for not having the required 250 inches while hunting. Now it was almost 30 minutes after hunting time and dark. He had his flashlight on. The warden was at his truck. It got thrown out because hunting hours where over.
45 years ago in New Jersey hunting was illegal on Sundays......unless you went to a game preserve, and then you could hunt. So my take on that was that hunting on Sunday's was only bad for people who couldn't afford to go to a game preserve. Politician's logic......sheesh......
There are a lot, but no hunting on Sunday's still gets me.
It is illegal in NC to punch your tag without an authorization number.
I killed a cow in CO one time. Was so intent on getting her butchered and cooled that I had finished before I realized I didn't leave an udder attached to a piece of meat. So, I decided a skull cap of her ears and the fur connecting them would suffice. I was wrong. According to the Barney Fife forest rangers that wrote me a ticket for it.
I shot a bear once. I don't know what it weighed. It was long, tall and lanky. I butchered it -and called the end about info on what footy they wanted for their study. Talked with a GW and he said he'd just Swing by later and pull it for me.
Long drama short, when pulling the tooth, he determined the tooth was too short and said he was going to write me a ticket. The law at the time was a hundred pound bear. I got a bathroom scale and weighed myself with and without the hide. He and I determined the rough weight of skull and hide was about 33 pounds. I then asked him if he thought the guts, bone, and muscle from that bear would make 100 pounds. He said no doubt. But, I'm writing you the ticket for the tooth length. Which was not a rule defined by the regulations. No matter the common sense a dog has, he wrote me a ticket.
I fought that in court and smoked them. Felt good minus the money it took for an attorney. Never did get my bear back either. I stalked and bow shot that bear from 6 yards. I don't have a lot of use for most of them. Year after that, the regulations were defined better, closing up the loop holes they were using to write these tickets.
Wisconsin you have to 5pm the next day to call in, or use a computer to register.... got rid of tags to be attached.... and got rid of hunting hours, and went to shooting hours, just so what was stated at the beginning would not happen....... talk about a lack of common sense
In MA, can not release an arrow within 500 feet from an occupied dwelling (waved if you have permission from occupant). This one law eliminates countless acres of otherwise huntable land in eastern MA. Ridiculous.
PA has a small elk herd, but grows some giant bulls. Very limited tags.
PA give NO PREFERENCE to residents. We are just thrown in with all the applicants. How many states do that????
Boris, what is the 250 inches requirement, I have not a clue.
Probably 250 square inches of orange.
Lost arra...I think that has to do with disturbing hens sitting on nests in the pm. That's what I have heard but not exactly sure. We cant hunt past noon, how many times do I get a bird going at 11:50 only to time out with this law.
Amen to that one BC... Sunday's would be nice too here in the Bay State...
I don't know how I can top anything above.....some really stupid laws. However, I have two issues with my state. Number one, why encourage the killing of spike bucks ? That's just dumb ! Number two, why have deer tags on your license ? If I want to hunt illegally, it makes not one damn bit of difference whether I have one tag, or all five. If I'm caught with a dead deer and all my tags are unused, the fine is gonna be the same. If I've killed six deer and only tagged five, no difference. Diehard poachers are never gonna quit IMO, I've known several in my life and it's a thrill for them to poach.
In CO, if you want to have your dog help blood trail a big game animal you have to buy a separate permit, notify the State before you go and report the outcome when you are done.
Another law that probably every big game hunter I know has likely broken is that the tag has to stay with the meat until consumed. Have a package of elk burger at the bottom the freezer from 2011? Need to have the tag with it.
Before you had even mentioned MARYLAND I knew it had to be MARYLAND!!!!
I know a fella who was arrested for baiting bear. He had bacon for breakfast and poured out the grease behind his camp. He drove to where he was going to hunt. He was hunting over 400 yards from his camp when they they found him and still gave him a ticket. That's the Pa. Game Com. You can be arrested for baiting if your hunting in a area with a salt block even if you had no idea it was there. Go figure.
I carry a file folder for each state/province I hunt which includes tagging, transport and possession laws. It's a lot easier if you familiarize yourself this way. I've seen many a quirky law but it's their law.
"I fought the law and the law won"
No lighted nocks or mechanical broadheads in Idaho
I'm ok with the rules prohibiting leaving stands in the woods or setting up in advance on public land. If its too early, hot, cold, buggy, rainy, snowy, or whatever other excuse to not make it out in the woods then someone else has every right to hunt it. Too many people try to stake a claim to public areas. I never had an issue putting my climber up in the wee hours of the morning.
grey foxes are very rare in Illinois but there is no limit on how many you can kill. you can kill as many antlerless deer as you want but only 5 squirrels per day. you can use any size rifle for coyotes but only shotguns for deer. your shotgun can only have 3 shells in it but a 50 shot banana clip is good for varmits.
HerdManager - "PA has a small elk herd, but grows some giant bulls. Very limited tags. PA give NO PREFERENCE to residents"
I think you accumulate bonus points if I remember correctly, (cause I missed the application deadline this year after 13 years of applying and called to see if I lost my points), but anyhow I believe these bonus points gives you more/better chances in the lottery whether resident or nores...
In NH you have to write your name and address on your arrows.
Can only shoot crows on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and only for a certain part of the year. The bright side is that Pennsylvania DOES have Sunday hunting (but crows only).
NY has the SAFE Act. Lol. A joke.
"...... you can use any size rifle for coyotes but only shotguns for deer."
boonr: That one's always baffled me also. The reasoning behind the shotguns only rule is supposedly safety, as Illinois is a more densely populated state, but if that were the case then logic (I know..."logic" and government are polar opposites) would dictate that it should apply to ANY use of a rifle for hunting.
I'm tired of being lied to. ...in Oklahoma they wouldn't admit that my lions have a small but growing population throughout the state for 20-30 years. Some of the officials were adamant and some you could tell we're trying to be honest but giving the correct political answer....basically they were told to lie. Along came trial cameras in the early 2000s and the had to admit it. They issued a statement that there was a stable population in every county!!! This year in Colorado I shot a lion at 6 yards with by bow. Thick brush, a frontal shot, and my story lined up so no ticket but then as we were dragging the cat out someone stopped and asked what happened. The officer told a bald faced lie. Yeah I don't trust the wildlife agency's. I do obey their laws and have a level of respect for them but it pisses me off to be lied to because money talks.
Some one else said it, but it still boggles my mind that in CT you can start hunting deer 30' before sunrise, but have to shut down at sunset. It's always brutal walking out of the woods knowing you had 15-30' of decent light left.
Crow seasons are Federally mandated. I think it's 120 days per year and the states can decide how to apportion the time. In Ohio it's Friday/Saturday/Sunday for part of the year (I forget months). I don't kill crows anymore - they help keep my rural roads clear since no agency around here removes road kill. Until about 10 years ago, it was illegal to carry a cell phone while hunting in Ohio. Cooler heads prevailed there. Safety won out over the worry about someone "cheating" with a cell phone, as if that type of person would comply anyhow.
@Ace: "Speaking of hunting hours. Here in CT, we can hunt small game until one-half hour after sunset. For Deer and (fall) Turkey we have to stop at sunset. Splain that one."
Well, that one is easy. The best hunting period for deer is crepuscular prime time. If we hunt too many deer during prime time then CT state would not have to opportunity to complain about deer population. Without complaints about deer population how is the state going to justify spending $$$$$ money with White Buffalo for night over bait deer cull? See the bee-line? It is all politically and financially motivated. Glad I got that off my chest. Ufff.
Mountain lions are a protected species in New York but the state "says" there are none in the state.Wolves also are protected and we are not supposed to have any of them either.
Crows can spread infections and diseases from lot to lot and farm to farm, no reason to protect them. As I understand it happened in some migratory bird agreement because they fly into Mexico.
No Sunday hunting on WMA land but you can hunt private land on Sunday. Duck hunting on a lake near where I live is Wednesday morning only up until 12 noon.
Whoever the genius was that classified the crow as a migratory bird should be hung up in a cornfield and used as a scarecrow. Around here they cause almost as much damage to cornfields as the deer do. And they don't friggin migrate. The flock stays in one area year round.
In Kentucky you cannot be Governor if you have ever participated in a duel. I have to be careful with my banjo at all times.
In CT doves are considered a 'songbird', and we can't shoot them. Once they fly to your state, they forget how to sing and they're fair game.
"I'm ok with the rules prohibiting leaving stands in the woods or setting up in advance on public land. If its too early, hot, cold, buggy, rainy, snowy, or whatever other excuse to not make it out in the woods then someone else has every right to hunt it. Too many people try to stake a claim to public areas. I never had an issue putting my climber up in the wee hours of the morning."
Yup me too very rare I can't put up a stand quietly on the same day of the hunt. Or take it down if I need to.
That's a BIG advantage of using leg irons. I have even shot deer while climbing tress getting set up for the daily hunts. In the areas where they are not allowed, cause someone decides they damage trees. Somehow I have trouble believing that when I hunt the same trees year after year and they do fine, the bark is repaired every spring.. What kills a tree is driving nails, screws, bolts into the tree allowing bugs, fungus to enter deep into the wood.
Making it illegal to dig a small pit in the woods for your feet on a natural ground blind seems kinda dense too. Bears, coyotes, foxes, badgers, groundhogs and marmots all do the same..
"Making it illegal to dig a small pit in the woods for your feet on a natural ground blind seems kinda dense too."
Just tell the Warden that you were about to take a dump and you only brushed yourself in because you're such a modest and discreet fellow....
I live in CT these days, and 'twould appear that most of our dumbest regs have been addressed - No Sunday Hunting, no dove season; you can't kill a fawn with spots, but a week later it's fair game; you can bow-hunt for coyotes from a tree stand for up to 1/2 hour after sunset, but you can't legally shoot a deer at a half-second past....
But JMO, there are three kinds of Dumb Laws - those which are completely irrelevant (like Sunday-hunting blue laws); those which achieve no management purpose and are there purely because of public sentiment (such as the protections for doves, spotties, pie-balds and albinos); and those which exist only to close up a loophole that once got a poacher off the hook.
Those are the worst, because they criminalize decisions which would otherwise be made based on good judgment...
Like Hunting Hours: depending on weather & cover, how much light you have to work with may not have a whole lot to do with were the sun is; you can be extremely safe and ethical by pure moonlight, if it comes to that, but if a CO hears a shot at 0:45 after sunset, he can bust a jack-lighter whether he saw the light in use or not. FWIW, I cannot side with a CO who waits by a vehicle after hours and busts a guy just returning from the woods, but possession of Hunting Implements IS Prima Facie evidence of Hunting in every state that I know anything about. On the other hand, if the CO has a solid reason to put the heat on a specific individual, I'm OK with the courts affording that Officer some discretion.
Proof of sex: I always thought that was nuts (pardon the pun!), but a friend of mine from the U of WY/DFG Co-op unit pointed out that that the head of a road-killed (or poached) bull could be used as a free pass to shoot a cow (or a bull that doesn't meet the points requirement for a unit), or that a single head could be used to check more than one animal through a station. And from a management standpoint, it's a lot more important to control the number of cows killed than whether a raghorn had a brow-tine of 3.5" or 4". That never would have occurred to me, but then, I'm not looking for a way to beat the rules; where there's a Will, there's a Way, and - unfortunately - usually when there's a Way, there's somebody out there with the Will....
But back to Stupid... Hell, in some states, you can't shoot a deer if its feet are touching water - probably because somebody had the clever notion to drive deer off of a point or an island and pot-shoot them as they made a swim for it.
And JMO, I would rather hunt a state with restrictions as to how long you can leave a stand out in the woods (or maintain a camp on a given site) than not. In CT, I hunted a public area one year and was never out of sight of at least a half-dozen stands until I followed a deer trail into about 3 acres of Mtn Laurel where the wasn't a big enough tree to hand a stand anywhere in sight. Weren't any DEER to be seen, either, but at least I saw definite signs that deer HAD been there and no indication that I was "tresspassing" on somebody else's patch of PUBLIC land... The way some people talk, you'd think you should give serious thought to a sturdy flak jacket just in case you accidentally cross paths with some of these jerks.
And in CO, the drainage that I always hunted has been under increasing pressure from guys who put a big camp with a wall tent and all that, and LEAVE IT there for the entire season to spare themselves the effort of hiking in and out on a daily basis or the hardship of a Spike Camp; sometimes you get the feeling that those same camps are in regular use from mid-August until the last tag is filled in rifle season - then you're faced with leaving a safe & courteous amount of distance between yourself and someone else's camp, vs. avoiding a good area out of "courtesy" to some SOB who is perfectly happy to monopolize an area for the entire year!
Anyway, thanks for letting me vent!
Here is one,,,,,, Trying to keep CWD out of the UP, MI has strict laws about bringing back the animals from out of state,,,,, good idea...... However, there is CWD in lower MI, but they allow the transport, of that animal whole, across the bridge from the lower to the Upper??????????????? makes no sense......
Wow... No mention of Wyoming's wilderness law. May be the dumbest hunting law on the books... NR's have to be accompanied by either an outfitter or resident to hunt designated wilderness.
Yeah, forgot about the WY wilderness law and the AK non resident regulations...
In addition regarding Michigan's CWD, you cannot bait in the counties that CWD has been found but you can in all the counties around it. I'm sure deer understand county lines.
Yeah, that's GREAT thinking!!! CWD got spread by bait piles, so let's allow bait piles where it's not a problem yet.......
hogs are protected here in arkansas
You cant hunt spring turkey in Montana with crossbow because apparently it is more dangerous than a shotgun LOL !!
Are you kidding?? At 50+ yards, I think I'd MUCH rather get hit with bird-shot.... Not sure what distance I'd rather get clipped by a broadhead, but there's really no max range for Lethal with a blade....
Are you kidding?? At 50+ yards, I think I'd MUCH rather get hit with bird-shot.... Not sure what distance I'd rather get clipped by a broadhead, but there's really no max range for Lethal with a blade....
Just curious as to how many are involved with the state/provincial bowhunting organization or know their local politician. Instead of complaining about the laws, do something to change them.
In Alberta we have combined our Bowhunting organization with other outdoor user groups to have more clout with government. We used to not be allowed to hunt on Sundays. We used to have to put our license number on our arrow. Funny that what finally made sense to the politicians is when someone asked why gun hunters didn't have to put their numbers on their bullets.
The stupidest thing up here is having an appointed politician (by the party in power) in charge of the Provinces Natural Resources when their only qualification is having been a lawyer.
GF not sure what you think im kidding about. Are you saying that a broadhead is more dangerous in turkey season than turkey shot? If yes then why do they allow compounds and trad tackle ? Its a gun season so not like the crossbow is being allowed in a bow season !
I'm right with you on your logic... right up 'til we run into the fact that you just never hear about a Hunter being shot "accidentally" by a bowhunter.
So you're right, and I'm making assumptions about how responsible people are going to be when they have a gun-stock in their hands vs a vertical bow... which is undeniably prejudiced, with maybe a little snobbery built into it.
But I still have more confidence in the safety record for archery. Irrational, maybe, but there it is.
Oh really should I start posting some ?
Nothing good ever comes from a bitch fest...and this is one of the worst. (Yes, I'm bitching about the bitching.) :-)
In WY allowable pistol cartridges are based on cartridge length. Therefore, a .38 Special is legal for big game but a 10mm is not. Go figure.
I DID acknowledge that I have an irrational bias... That said, if you have links to legitimate reports of accidental shootings by bowhunters, just send me those via PM, if you don't mind. No sense improving their search rankings for the Antis to feed off of....
BTM - better yet: in CT, a rifle is legal if the cartridge is .243 or larger, so a Marlin 1894 is legal with a .38 Spcl... Wonder if that means a .25ACP would be legal if you built a rifle for it?
Cannot carry a pistol while bowhunting during archery season in CA (amended to allow LEOs to carry).
Bow must be able to propel an arrow 120 yards to be legal. How do you test that in the field when confronted by a CO? By launching an arrow into the sky at 45 degrees? Who's fault is it when that arrow hits somebody? Who reimburses me for my lost $30 arrow?
Can not carry ANY firearm while bowhunting in CT, even with a concealed carry permit.
And even if you COULD, you would still be limited to a .22LR on public land.