Surprising hunting regulations in America

Rights, Crime

As a writer for, Sam Manuel provides readers with up-to-the-minute gun updates, including information on important – and sometimes unexpected – hunting regulations. Hunting is primarily regulated on the state level, and the laws can vary significantly from one place to another.

In New Hampshire, for example, archers and crossbow hunters must have their name and address on their arrows and bolts. In Oregon, all hunters must cover their bodies at least 50 percent from the waist up with hunter orange-colored clothing. And in Kansas, it is illegal to shoot quail, pheasants, or any wild game bird unless that bird is in flight.

Don’t be lured by attractor scents

Manuel explains that one of the most surprising restrictions on hunting is the widespread ban on real urine attractants. “Several states – including Pennsylvania, Alaska, Vermont, and Virginia – have banned urine-based lures to effectively cut down on the number of chronic wasting disease (CWD) cases,” he notes. CWD is a deadly neurological disease which affects deer population across North America, and scientists have connected it to the feces and urine of infected animals.

No bunny pictures, please

“A big part of hunting is tracking, and no tool is more common than the camera,” says Manuel. “Nevertheless, there are restrictions to keep in mind.” Montana, for example, prohibits the use of electronic aids, such as trail cameras. “And in Wyoming,” says Manuel, “it’s illegal to photograph a rabbit without a permit from January to April.”

Blue laws still exist

Many of us are aware of laws that restrict liquor sales on Sundays. But such so-called blue laws – vestiges of America’s puritan heritage – extend beyond the sales of demon rum. Eleven states limit hunting on Sundays, and four ban it completely. According to Manuel, these are arguably the most restrictive hunting laws in America. “Places like Virginia and the Carolinas only allow [Sunday hunting] on private property, while it is completely prohibited in Maine and Massachusetts,” he says. Some states permit only archery hunting of deer on Sunday, forbidding Sunday deer hunting with firearms.

Suppressed suppressors

Suppressors reduce the sound of a gunshot and protect hunters from hearing damage. Despite the benefits they offer, suppressors are illegal in nearly a dozen states. “This law is especially strange because suppressors are extremely important to the shooter’s safety and well-being,” says Manuel. “Hearing damage is a very legitimate concern which can be easily mitigated by the use of suppressors.”

Should not, could not, in a car

“There are tons of laws across the county restricting hunters form shooting while aboard a vehicle,” says Manuel. In Mississippi, it’s illegal to hunt from a motorized vehicle or boat. However, “some states offer permits allowing handicapped hunters to shoot from a standing vehicle,” says Manuel.

Hunting within the law involves more than just obtaining a license. Before you set off to bag some game, arm yourself with the hunting regulations of your state.