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Thread: Is it legal to spotlight for deer in any other state besides PA?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
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    Central PA
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    701

    Is it legal to spotlight for deer in any other state besides PA?

    Here in PA, we are allowed to "spot deer". That is, we go out at night, drive around with a 2 million candlepower spotlight and look for deer. As long as you don't have a weapon and stop at 11PM it's perfectly legal and pretty popular in the fall and winter across PA.

    I've lived in some other states where it is strictly prohibited. When I lived in KS I asked the Dept. Wildlife and Parks if it was legal and they said, "there is no law that says you can't, but you'd better have permission off the landowner and be ready to answer some serious questions if an officer stops you."



    Just wondered if "spottin' for deer" is legal or popular anywhere else.


  2. #2
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    I went out in fact tonight shining! Wisconsin....

  3. #3
    You shine a light out of a car here in Ohio and you'll be in jail(LOL)No can do in the Buckeye State
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  4. #4
    I'm not sure if it's legal or not in Oklahoma nowadays, but when I was younger (12-15 years ago) me and my cousin would go out shining deer. We even got snagged by the game warden a couple of times. After asking what we were doing and checking our truck and seeing we had no weapons he always just told us to be safe and let us go on our way....

    I never have and never will kill a deer under a light, but after seeing without a doubt the largest deer I have ever seen in my life under a light it sure is tempting...
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  5. #5
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    Jul 2003
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    bellevue,mi
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    You can here in Michigan also but the the season is closed from 11/1 to 12/1. and your only allowed to shine to 11:00pm

  6. #6
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    Mantua, NJ
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    Yeah it is legal, but IMO they should put a ban on it.
    Dave

  7. #7
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    Sep 2004
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    Western NY
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    It is legal in NY. I am not sure what restrictions there are.

  8. #8
    we can do it in NH, except during Sept 1- Dec 31, that is just before archery opens to just after archery (and all others) are closed. During that period you can not spot.

    --Bob

  9. #9
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    Sep 2004
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    Louisiana
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    I La. its called harrassing wildlife big fine. In Ms.its called vewing wildlife but can only be done on private land.

  10. #10
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    As Jay man said its legal in NY, but you can't have a weapon in the vehicle, or if you do it must be broken down and locked either in a case or trunk etc.

    As others have said, even though it is legal, be prepared to get pulled over 3-4 times a night.
    NYS Certified Bowhunting Instructor
    New York Bowhunters Inc. - County Rep

  11. #11
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    Sesser, Illinois
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    Thumbs down

    NO! In Illinois, it is called wildlife harrassment, and if you have a weapon in the vehicle, I beleave they can also add other charges onto that. I think this also includes using your headlights for other than normal driving down the road.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    Twin Cities, MN
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    You can here in MN. You must quit by 10 pm. You can have a weapon in the car, but it has to be cased and 1 of the following:

    a) in the trunk
    b) in the rearmost part of your vehicle if you do not have a trunk (if you have an SUV for example)

    It's fun to go out & see what kind of critters are roaming around after dark, but I would not mind if they banned it altogether.

  13. #13
    Originally posted by dbowers
    Yeah it is legal, but IMO they should put a ban on it.
    Why should they ban it??? What is wrong with shining a light on deer???
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  14. #14
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    Ok now, here's the scoop in Colorado...........you cannot hunt "wildlife" while using artifical light. Possession of a weapon that is loaded, has cartridges in the magazine or is strung and uncased is prima facie evidence.......right out of the Big Game hunting brochure..........oops thats not completely right is it mr game warden.....am I not able to HUNT AT NIGHT WITH LIGHTS for coyotes, fox and bobcats....why yes you amy my son says the game warden....hum.....need better definiton of wildlife in the brochure I guess???????????

  15. #15
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    it is called wildlife harrassment
    The deer could care less about the light. The only thing it bothers are the locals who think you are poaching their deer. Thats the reason I don't do, even though I know I could. No sense in doing something that could give somebody a reason to call you a jacker, etc.

    I did go with some buddies in college a few times and it was alot of fun. Saw quite a few good bucks.
    NYS Certified Bowhunting Instructor
    New York Bowhunters Inc. - County Rep

  16. #16
    In NJ you can shine lights on deer but you can't have a weapon in your car that's capapable of killing a deer. From what I've been told though that means even if it's an unusable weapon, for example if you have a bow in your vehicle even if there's no strings on it and it's missing a cam, you're busted. And if there's a gun anywhere in your vehicle you'r busted. But with NJ if you're shining a 2 million cadlepower light in the woods, in most places you're probably also shining it at someones house as well .
    We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. -Aristotle

  17. #17
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    KY

    It use to be legal in KY but in the mid to late 90's they finally banned it..Ofcourse you couldnt have any type of weapon in the truck/car but you could shine back then...Then they outlawed it and called it Wildlife Harrasment....Me and my old hunting buddy use to go out almost everynight at like 1:00 am and hit all the local feilds and stuff...We also use to take the video camera with us, you wouldnt believe some of the deer we got on tape. We got a 12point that was running the farm right behind my old house that I think would have scored in the 180's as a typical...It was by far one of the largest bucks I have ever seen walking in person. We hunted him for years too and never could catch up to him. We got dozens & dozens of bucks in the 140 to 150 range on tape over the years spotlighting feilds at night. People in the neighborhood that we showed the tapes to would never believe half the deer were filmed around there until they saw a road or barn in the area that they knew. It was a good way for us to know in the preseason what big deer were running on which farms we could hunt back then.
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  18. #18
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    Camp Verde,Texas 78010(Kerrville area)
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    Shing & Spotlight is very popular sport down South here

    in Fact they call Spotlight One eyed Beagles


    they always get thier deer

  19. #19
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    Unhappy Nightvision w/o Illuminator Legal in KY

    It was legal in Ky until a couple years ago. I purchased a $2K nightscope to compensate only to find out they're illegal due to the illuminator casting a light ray.

    I emailed the KDFW and asked if they are legal without using the infrared illuminator such as on a moonlit night. They said that was acceptable as the rules were written.

    You have to use Gen 3 night vision before you'll be able to see much without an illuminator. Mine works fine as long as you have some moonlight.

    I think the law was written because of complaints from homeowners getting lights cast at their homes more than "harassing wildlife". I hope the rule gets changed. It's tough enough locating a B&C in eastern Ky without agriculture to concentrate the deer.
    tbailey

    "When I disagree with a rational man, I let reality be our final arbiter; if I am right, he will learn; if I am wrong, I will; one of us will win, but both will profit." Ayn Rand, from the book, Atlas Shrugged

  20. #20
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    Jun 2004
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    S. Indiana
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    its legal here in indiana. we go about 4 times a month. can't have any weapon in car, but can shine all night if we want!

  21. #21
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    Oct 2004
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    Illegal here in Florida....get this...they call it Wildlife Molestation

  22. #22
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    Colorado
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    Then how do they get away with hunting Gators at night with a bow...on tv all the time on the outdoor channel??????????????????????? ?????????????????????????????? ????????????????

  23. #23
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    definately illegal in Ontario, doesn't interest me anyway.
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  24. #24
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    South Dakota
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    Spotlighting is legal in South Dakota, just have to quit by 10 PM, during the hunting seasons!!

  25. #25
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    Shining is not illegal in Mississippi. It is illegal if you have a gun in the vehicle with you, regardless of whether you had it out or not. I asked a game warden about it once, and that was his reply. They prefer that you don't especially around another residence because then they receive a call about it and they are required to respond to the call. Basically he said you can do it, but don't just drive around throwing a beam up in other people's yard.
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