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Hook & Barrel
A Lifestyle Magazine for Modern Outdoorsmen

10 Weird Game Laws

Having regulations in place to govern hunting is a good thing. It was the lack of these that caused the great decline of American game animals in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Still, some laws are odd, or even downright weird. These are some of the weirdest game laws that American hunters must abide by. Check out these 10 weird game laws still on the books.

1. No Naps in NoDak

According to American Hunter, it’s against the law to fall asleep outside on the ground with your shoes on. That means no naps in the deer woods unless you first pull off those boots.

2. Albinos and Piebalds

Some states allow albino and piebald deer to be harvested. Others do not, such as Tennessee. When not allowed, these are almost always laws enacted by state legislators, and not biologists or wildlife agencies, as there are no scientific reasonings for banning the harvest of these animals.

3. No Spring Bunny Shots

Another American Hunter special, in Wyoming, it’s illegal to photograph rabbits from January to April without a permit. That’s weird.

4. Barring Bare-Handing Fishing

Again, per American Hunter, Indiana does not allow people to catch fish bare-handed. I guess that cuts out noodling for the entire state, eh?

5. No Sunday Sporting

Historically, a host of eastern states didn’t allow hunting on Sundays. That’s slowly going away, though, but a couple still have such a regulation in place (Maine and Massachusetts).

6. Cams Bad (Insert Caveman Voice) in the Beehive State

Trail cameras were recently completely banned in Utah. Not just cell cams. Not just on public land. But all cams on all lands.

7. Other Camera Laws

Other states allow trail cameras, but heavily restrict use of these. Montana is one such state. Cameras cannot be used during the season to aid in scouting or taking game.

8. Names on Arrows

According to SCI, and a number of online forums, New Hampshire hunters are now required to place their name and address on arrows and bolts. That’s certainly a unique requirement.

9. Half-Day Hunting

In most states, it’s permissible to hunt turkeys throughout daylight hours. But in Missouri, it isn’t. It’s in the minority by shutting down turkey hunting once the clock strikes high noon.

10. Bigfoot Hunting Rules

Some states make it abundantly clear that Bigfoot hunting is allowed. Oklahoma has even offered up a bounty on the beast (brought in alive) of nearly $3 million. Others have no rulings on it, making it perfectly acceptable. So, where permitted, follow your hearts, stone-cold killers.

Bonus: State-By-State Inconsistencies

In addition to the list above, there are many different state-by-state inconsistencies in certain categories. In some states, things such as antler restrictions, baiting, deer scents, certain weapons, specific calibers, and tracking (recovery) dogs, and more, are allowed practices. In other states, these are not only frowned upon, but all-out banned.

The differences between states (sometime even neighboring states), is due to numerous reasons. However, the most common reasoning is varying objectives and goals. Disease management is another factor. But it really points to an even bigger concern — hunters and lawmakers can’t always agree whether a practice is ethical, or not.

All things considered, there are many differences between states. And there are many game laws that are weird. But these are some of the oddest. Keep them in mind when traveling the country in search of game.

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