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Deer Hunting Lists Whitetail

8 Dumbest Game Laws on the Books

by Doug Howlett   |  December 13th, 2011 26

The lists are long and ludicrous of laws that have been passed around the country over the ages and that by any sort of normal logic, don’t seem to make sense. Over the years folks have been barred from carrying an ice cream cone in their back pocket under any circumstances, wrestling bears in Alabama, fishing from horseback or hunting whales in Utah. Crossing state lines with a duck atop your head in Minnesota might even get you in trouble and will certainly leave you wondering what in the heck was going on at the time that some legislator stood up and proposed such a law – and then the governing body approved it!

As is obvious, laws concerning animals and hunting have seemingly defied common sense as well, and no, not all of these dumb laws are antiquated. In fact, a number are still in force today. Here are eight of the dumbest game laws on the books.

  • John from IL

    I don't have a problem with #6 or #7. I don't know what a Piebald is, but I imagine there's a reason OK protect them.

  • Seedman

    I see nothing wrong w/ orange so a hunter can be seen or not being able to take a "Pot Shot" @ a bunch of sitting quail or any other upland game bird that normally flies or waterfowl. I still think that a trail dog to find crippled deer is far better than letting them die a cruel death when you cannot find them. I guess it is better w/ the wildlife departments to just let a hunter go shoot another deer rather than recover one already wounded, rather than allow the use of a trail dog. No recovery trail dogs in Ks. either. The Sunday thing is stupid also for the exact reasons given under the picture. Another one that Ks had until recently was "No Scopes on Muzzle Loaders" either. For guys like me w/ Tri-Focals forcing me to hunt w/o a scope on a muzzleloader was little more than a "License to Cripple" but that has been changed now.

  • Pete

    No Sunday hunting has burned my butt for over 30 years, I still think you guys didn't spend enough time picking on Pennsylvania. Let me offer up the PA Game Commissions rules on “Special Regulations Areas” These are areas near in the more populated regions of the state. But they are also overrun with deer. Here are the deer hunting regulations for Spec.Reg Areas in the hand book:

    “DEER & BEAR SEASON ARMS & AMMUNITION: Allegheny County—Muzzleloading long guns .44 caliber or larger, ….. , ….. Remaining Counties—Muzzleloading long guns, .44 caliber or larger, manual or semi-automatic shotguns .410 or larger using slugs, 20-gauge or larger using buckshot, ………………………..”

    So, I can use a 50 caliber inline shooting 240 grain 44 sabots at about 2200 ft/sec but I’m not allowed to use my 44 magnum revolver that shoots the very same bullets at 1350 ft/sec ?!

  • Pete


    Let’s take a look at PAGC’s small game regulations:

    “Arms & Ammunition: 1…….; 2) Manually operated rifles and handguns .23 and less calibers; 3) ……….”

    So, I can hunt squirrels with a 22-250 but not my 38 special using target wad-cutters. Even though, the 22-250 has more ft/lbs of energy at 500 yards than my 38 special does at the muzzle?!

  • Rohn

    How about Ohio's laws, where you can only take one gun hunting with you at a time. This means that you cannot strap a .22 revolver on your side to go small game hunting and also carry your shotgun. Nor can you take your .44 mag revolver and shotgun hunting deer at the same time.
    Also if you are deer hunting you cannot hunt with a 30-30 rifle (shotguns or muzzle loaders only) but I can take my T/C Encore handgun chambered for any handgun cartridge, loaded as hot as I want. I can also hunt with any rifle if I'm hunting anything but deer. How does this make sense?
    Also in Ohio if I am hunting with a handgun it must be displayed on the outside in plain sight. In cold weather this is not always easy since you have to have it on the outside of your coat. These are stupid laws.

  • Pete

    Holly cow Rohn!! They are stupid laws too!

  • coyote man

    Massachusetts must take the case. Not only for their insane gun laws, but for their game laws as well.
    You can't hunt bears in Massachusetts with a shotgun, (slugs), but you can with a rifle. The reason- DFW doesn't want anyone to shoot a deer out fo season with a shotgun, (it's a shotgun state for deer). So lets make that bear hunter three times as effective with a rifle instead.
    How about no hunting coyotes after sunset with anything larger than a .22, (shotgun too). The reason for the .22, because DFW doesn't want guys jacking deer with a rifle. Last I heard, jackers preferred a .22 to a deers head.
    Of course there's no Sunday hunting, it originated here.

  • Pete

    Yeah, here's the big deal with no Sunday hunting. I started hunting in 1975. ((2011-1975) * 365.25)/7 = 1878 stolen Sundays from me. But since I've started working for a living full time, it's 50% of my available hunting time stolen for no good reason?!

  • Matt O'Brien

    Come and join in on the grassroots effort to give Virginians the freedom to choose whether or not to particpate in Sunday hunting. 2,800+ members and growing!

  • Robert M. Anderson

    What I cannot fathom, and would love to hear addressed, is this: Both the Heller and Chicago SCOTUS rulings upheld our rights under the Second Article of Amendment. That being the case, why didn't virtually all of the tens of thousands of unconstiutional laws, rules, and regulations become null and void automatically? This is a serious question. Here in VA, for example, a 'Premption Law' was passed – no locality can pass more strict firearms laws than the state has – and, as states go, the Commonwealth of Va is quite good (open carry, straightforward permit system (which also should not exist), crossbows allowed for bowhunting, and so on. In my home state of Vermont, one does not even need a permit to carry a concealed weapon, just as in Alaska. Also, the U.S. Constitution REQUIRES that states honor the licenses of other states (the "just faith a credits" clause); one does not need a new drivers license, for example, for each state, nor can any state of DC deny you your driving PRIVILEGES because your drivers license is from a different jurisdiction. This should automatically be the law of the land for CWPs as well.. Bob Anderson

  • whackmaster50

    I live in Connecticut and we have tried for years to get Sunday Hunting. But, we do have two of the largest Casinos in the World, go figure.. The state will do anything for revenue, but don't realize the revenues they lose by not accomidating Sportsmen. We just got to hunt with crossbows last year but only late season in January when it is Bone Chilling cold , with few Hunters in the field. Crossbows in many other States are allowed all of Archery Season.

  • Southerner

    The most unethical of game regulations: On Alabama Wildlife Management Areas, small game hunters are encouraged to kill any feral hog seen, but are restricted to shotguns with birdshot or .22 rimfire rifles. These firearms are clearly inadequate for game as large as hogs. The Alabama Department of Wildlife and Conservation is encouraging wounded and lost game through this policy.

    • Brian

      Georgia is the same way. You can hunt hogs here year around but only with a weapon that is allowed during a particular season. Therefore, after deer season we can only hunt hogs with a weapon that is allowed for hunting small game. Here that would be a .22 cal rifle, and a shotgun with the right load.

  • Crowman

    Jeez, California doesn't even come close to stupid laws like you people have been describing. Oh John from IL a piebald is a crow that has white mixed in with the black you can see pictures at As a crow hunter I killed one and donated it to Chico State University to be in their bird collection. Back to goofy laws we don't seem to have any that that I can complain about and I'm familiar with small game, birds and big game. It's good to finally say that California is the LEAST goofy state in this regards.

  • Larry Ehlert

    In Wisconsin we send over 400,000 hunters into the woods for 9 days straight with limited public hunting grounds and we generally have less than 10 accidents per year, heart attacks killing more than gun shots. Orange works, it's not a dumb law. If you want dumb, how about we can't shoot albino deer in Wisconsin? We want to keep the most genetically screwed up deer here to breed some more. …

  • j wright

    Here in NC we got a law that says it is illegal to allow DOGS to run grey foxes… u tell me,does ANYONE out there have a dog that can tell the difference between a red fox and a grey fox???? Oh yeah. We can't hunt on Sundays either.

  • tony sr

    here in mass theres no hunting on sundays, cant hunt w/a rifle and also a side arm is not allowed we have the laws in the state compared to some other state

  • steve p

    We do have a dumb hunting law in california. Were not allowed to hunt mountain lions. So these animals prowl around and devestate our deer population.Between these lions and over population it is very difficult to bag a quality buck.

  • Sherm

    This is a no-brainer – Lighted and florescent nocks are banned because they make it possible to draw 125# of pull, make it impossible to miss your target under 2 miles, dissipate all sting and limb noise, and lure Montana deer into the 2 mile kill zone.

  • Sherm

    Banning the use of camera during hunting season stops depraved hunters from selling illicit rut pictures to juvenile animals; proven to be the leading cause of mating outsie of the approved rut season.

  • Sanjuancb

    Considering modern shotshell and choke technology, banning buckshot for hunting deer is also stupid.

    Oklahoma also have a 1.25" case minimum for revolvers, but not for semi-auto handguns. So, I can legally hunt with a .40 S&W but a hot-loaded .44 Special that has considerably more energy is illegal.

    Welcome to the reality that is government.

  • steve

    Here in Iowa we can not s kill a white deer either. I am woundering what to do when we have a heavy snow an they are mostly white, we canot kill a mostly white one either. guess i will have to hope my arrow hits him hard enough to get the snow off.

  • Kelly

    The state of Tennessee enforces the square minimum requirement of what is referred to as "hunter" orange. This serves the same purpose as the Omaha orange stripe on the traditional ambulance. It is for the purpose of high visibility. This is for the general safety of the one displaying the colors as well as the ones close enough to see them. This law actually reduces accidents and have greatly reduced fatalities. I do not consider this a stupi law personally.

  • Caknarr

    How about in Ohio I can hunt squirrel with any cal. Rifle but I can’t use any rifle not black powder to hunt deer. So a 300 winmag pointed up in the sky at a squirrel in a tree is fine but not one pointed at the ground from a tree stand is not. Not that I would shoot a squirrel with a win mag, I’m just saying it is legal.

  • Wolfsbane

    #2 should be obvious. The technology exists to obtain real time images from drones. That technology can easily be used in trail cameras.

  • Daniel

    are lighted nocks legal in az for hunting

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