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Big Game Bowhunting Deer

Stupid Hunting Regulations I Just Can’t Stand

by Melissa Bachman   |  November 18th, 2011 18

I’ve been lucky enough to travel across the U.S. and hunt a variety of states, but with that, I’ve encountered several hunting regulations I just don’t understand.

No Lumenoks?
First, as I traveled to Montana for my first hunt this year, I had to pull all my Lumenoks off my arrows.  Granted, I have bright pink blazers and wraps, but without a Lumenok, it is extremely difficult to see where your arrow hits upon release. The idea of knowing exactly where you hit an animal only aids in the recovery of the animal.

Lumenoks allows you to make the correct decision on length of time to wait, saving many animals from being jumped too early to only run off and expire somewhere where they will never be recovered, therefore spoiling all the meat. It in no way helps a hunter take more game, but simply allows for a more successful recovery. You tell me why on earth something like this would be a bad thing. It’s not just Montana, but Colorado, Oregon, Washington and maybe a few other states still have this regulation. I hope they will soon wake up and realize they are doing wildlife and bowhunters a disservice.

As bowhunters, our ultimate goal is always a successful recovery and meat in our freezer for the rest of the year. I’m not sure why the states need to make regulations that make your chance of recovery lower especially because it in no way aids you in the taking of game.

Tracking Dogs
The second regulation I don’t understand is also on the same recovery lines. The question is why states still resist allowing tracking dogs in a recovery situation. A big misconception is that if they allow tracking dogs, there will be dogs running rampant through the woods chasing wildlife. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In states that allow tracking, they usually require the dog to be on a leash and no weapons present. This is not meant as a way to track down a wounded buck but simply a way to recover a dead animal.

Last year in Montana, for example, I shot a beautiful whitetail at 10-yards, but never found a drop of blood. Eventually after making circles around my stand through the woods, I stumbled upon the buck. I followed his path back to the tree and didn’t find a drop of blood. I penetrated both lungs, but because it was such a steep angle, my arrow didn’t exit and all the blood pooled up inside him. He only made it 80-yards, but it was extremely thick and I felt lucky to even stumble upon him. Pretty hard to believe you can have a double lung shot and still have trouble finding your buck, but it happens. This is a perfect example of when a tracking dog would have been helpful; a buck could have been lost had I not been extremely patient and taken my time.

As a good bowhunter, my first reaction is to always re-nock another arrow, and secondly, to watch that buck as long as possible. Sometimes this is easy, but there are certain states where the timber is just too thick to get a good read on where the buck went.

One outfitter I hunt with in Illinois has had huge success with having a tracking dog  named Scout in camp. His owner, Alan Wade of Bogalusa, La., has done extensive training with Scout. Last year alone, Scout went on 24 tracks and because of him, 21 of those bucks were accounted for. Not only does that save the meat, but it also prevents hunters from taking two deer because they were unable to find their first buck.

Tracking dogs have become extremely popular in many states. However, there are still a few states that are dragging their feet in allowing dogs to be used to help in the ethical recovery of big game. One organization that has done a lot to promote, educate and inform the public on the blood tracking dogs in the United Blood Trackers. They organize blood tracking workshops, sponsor testing opportunities, and most importantly, provide people with information and advice to help establish the legal and ethical use of blood tracking dogs in their own states. As bowhunters, we want every deer recovered, so I strongly support both Lumenoks and blood tracking dogs as tool in the recovery process when needed.

What are some stupid regulations you’ve ran into?

  • Ron Keegan

    Melissa is correct, tracking dogs on leads and lumenoks only add in recovery and should be allowed.

  • Jeff

    I hate that Connecticut does not allow hunting on Sundays

  • Schwaaa

    Blue laws in Maine and Massachusetts too. You can by liquor and lottery tickets but not spent a day afield with my sons.

  • Will

    Virigina Doesn't Allow Sunday Hunting either . . . drives me nuts!

    • Gary

      VADGIF has their head so far up their arse it's not funny but that's to be expected when it's run by politicians.

  • Shane Simpson

    How can they even enforce a "no tracking dog" law? Maybe I'm just taking my dog for a stroll through the woods. Who would ever know?

  • Justin Gannon

    To touch on the luminok thing, in Oregon you're not only not allowed to use them, but nor are you allowed to use ANYTHING electronic, including sight lights. Also here in Oregon we are not allowed to use expandable broadheads on anything but small game (squirrels, rabbits, etc.) The reasoning for this, to me, doesn't make sense. Many of these expandables have much larger cutting diameters than standard broadheads. Not only that, but most expandebles don't throw your shot like traditional broadheads do, which in turn make it easier on the hunter because they don't have to resight in their bows before season, and they can make more accurate shots that will also put the animals down faster and more humanely. I don't get it, but I'm just hick that loves to hunt so what do I know? haha

    • Ivan Price

      You are the voice off the hunting public .As an American you have the right, and some would say the responsibility, to effect change on laws and regulations that govern a passtime that you have passion for. Who better than the woodsman to make a difference?. If leadership in your state does not satisfy the bowhunters there, they need to know that. It is a heck of a lot easier to reason with them if there are more voices in common, even if they are not in complete agreement. Ultimately, the voice of reason wins.

  • ryan hale

    indiana you can hunt when ever monday through friday , adn you can get some big bucks.. last year i shot a 13 pointer 168 1/4 inches of atlers not bad …??!!!??

    • ryan hale

      amd saturday and sunday

  • HippiWitch

    In Missouri, we have a point restriction on bucks. They have to have at least 4 points on one side to be a legal shooter. Although, I do understand the reason for this, to make bigger racks, it also really hurts hunting. For example, I had 4 different bucks this year that I saw had decent racks but I could not count the points for one reason or another. had to let all of them walk. This prevented me from getting a buck during gun season. It also prevents us from harvesting an older buck that has bad genes for racks. An example of this is one of my friends had an older buck that had a nice, large rack, but it was only a six pointer. It is not going to grow any extra points. And, it is populating the gene pool with its bad genes. We will never be able to harvest him and he will continue to pass on his bad genes. Like I said, I appreciate the effort the DNR is making to make Missouri a better state for big bucks, but there needs to be some kind of ballance.

  • Chris B

    Just a comment from across the Atlantic.Can only agree with you on the stupidity of these regulations.

    I am from Denmark, and here it is actually mandatory to acquire the help of a registered track dog within 6 hours after the shot, if you are not able to locate the deer. We have a nationwide dog register of approved track dogs. The dogs are used at traffic hits as well. The register is working smoothly and reduces the unsuccessful searches to an absolute minimum.

    About the Lumenoks – I have not tried them – but from what I can see from various videos, they make it fairly easy to see where you hit the animals. Would love to try them out, so if you have any spare, do not hesitate to send a few;-)

  • Sam

    You guys/gals should read the hunting laws here in CA! Absolutely rediculous!!! No night hunting, no illuminated reticles of any kind, no baiting, no hunting during the rut, very limited doe hunting, no trapping or snares… The list goes on and to add insult to injury there is hardly any good public land to hunt on and way too many people here.

  • Fed Up Hunter

    You people want some screwed up hunting laws and tight regs? Come to Ontario, our hunting regs are tighter'n a frog's ass…And that's water tight.

  • Fed Up Hunter

    And try to get a license late in the season…Private vendors are issued like 15 apiece and you'll be damn lucky if ServiceOntario doesn't stymey you or manage to conventiently "run out" Because, ya know, the government prints the damn things and charges us 50 bucks for them…Ain't no way they can print more eh?

  • mike/ cooper

    NY allows us to track Cooper made some hunters very happy with his finds. All of these deer would have gone to waste but we found them. He is something to watch when he is tracking. You cant fool the dog nose…

  • parrotbill

    I wanted to buy a range finder for bow hunting, so I was looking over Florida Hunting Regulations under "Prohibited methods and equipment for taking game" and this one stood out as stupid and crazy to me because it doesn't mention other types of Hunters. This regulation singles out bow hunters only, a law banning one type of hunting equipment, has to be banned across the board for all hunters or it is not constitutionally sound.

    I don't understand why Florida wouldn't want all hunters to have all the tools necessary to make a good clean humane kill every time when taking wildlife. It's not like we will take more than our bag limit with better equipment. Here's the link and law…

    "Hunting with bows equipped with sights or aiming devices with electronic computational capabilities or light projection (laser) features during the archery season"

    Three things stand out to me on this rule against range finders on bows…

    (1) It doesn't include gun or any other kind of hunters
    (2) Is it only in bow season, could I use a bow mounted range finder, bow hunting in gun season, or could I use it in the off season for shooting Hogs?
    (3) Could I use a hand-held range finder that isn't mounted on the bow in any season?

    This regulation has so many holes in just one short line that it makes me question the mentality of the person who wrote it. We need to start electing people with just a little common sense, or stuff like this will keep happening!

  • wgriffin

    I think this all goes back to the days of archery being primitive. I started with a recurve and cedar shaft arrows. Still use them once in awhile. The laws have not changed to keep up with technology. As for the dogs, this is a case of everyone suffering because of the lawlessness of a few. I knew some folks who would pick up stray dogs and turn them loose under the pretense of tracking wounded deer. Can't fix stupid !

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