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America’s Craziest Game Laws

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America’s Craziest Game Laws

There are some laws that couldn’t exactly be confirmed, like the fact that it’s illegal to shot a buffalo from the second story of a hotel in Texas.

I was driving down the county road a bit too fast—I’ll admit it—when I saw the red and blue lights behind me. Totally snagged. Imagine my relief when the trooper turned out to be a friend from my school days; we played ball together. After my stern warning regarding my speed, he asked about the .404 Jeffery I had on the front seat.

“It’s summer; what are you hunting now?”

Stone-faced, I quickly replied “Monk parakeets.”

As the officer shook his head and returned to the cruiser, I laughed to myself, having remembered that in New York State the monk parakeet has a year-round season. In all sincerity, I’m rather well versed in the ornithology of New York, but in all my years of surveying I can’t recall ever having seen a monk parakeet. Game laws can be like that; some are well thought out; others can be downright silly. I thought it’d be fun to take a look at some crazy game laws around the country.

1. I don’t know about you, but I am guilty of nodding off while sitting on watch for deer. Just don’t do it in North Dakota: it’s illegal to lie down and fall asleep with your shoes on. I’d surely be a repeat offender.

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2. I’d be willing to say that at one point in time or another in our early hunting careers, most of us have had and used a slingshot. I walked around with one in my back pocket all summer long; head down in search of the smoothest, roundest stones I could find. However, in Alaska, you’ll want to avoid the concealed carry of a slingshot, as it is a violation. Yup, you’ll have to obtain the proper license should you want to relive your youth.

3. Sasquatch. Bigfoot. Whatever you call him, he’s a source of myth and legend, even in the game laws. In the State of Washington, it is illegal to harass a ‘squatch, and in California it is illegal to hunt them. However, because of the legal definitions of huntable game in Texas, you may feel free to hunt him. I couldn’t verify whether or not it is legal to bait them with beef jerky. Here in New York, we can photograph Bigfoot, but we aren’t allowed to hunt him.

4. Here’s one for the small game crowd: In Wyoming, it is illegal to take a picture of a rabbit from January to April without an official permit. That sure puts a damper on the Easter pictures.

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