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A Hunting Trip of a lifetime in the Wenaha Tucannon Wilderness! Headin West Hunt Consulting

Author Topic: Hunting duck and elk?  (Read 1354 times)

Offline sumpnz

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Hunting duck and elk?
« on: November 14, 2017, 07:16:36 PM »
I've been hunting elk out by Willapa for a few years now.  Where I hunt I run into tons of ducks.  Most years I could probably limit out on ducks 1-3 of the 4-5 days I'm usually out there for elk, and could probably get at least a couple ducks each of the rest of the days if I had my shotgun with me.  And that's without really even trying to get close enough to the ducks.  There are enough duck hunters shooting dozens of shells all morning long that I don't think that adding to that would really make a significant difference to my elk success.  In 5 years out there I have yet to see any elk (even cows) in the morning.  Between me and my buddies and (this year) my kid we've got 2 bulls and 2 cows in those 5 years of hunting, all of them between 3-4PM.  So for next year I'm thinking about hunting ducks in the mornings when I never see elk anyway and then late morning or early afternoon switch over to elk.

However, what I'm trying to make sure I do is not get into some kind of trouble with the gamies by doing both.  As I understand it, if I have my rifle and elk tag on me I'm "hunting elk" even if I'm really hunting ducks.  As such I'd have to wear my blaze orange and otherwise be following the elk hunting rules.  However, a 20ga (which is what I have for shotguns, even with slugs) isn't legal for elk.  It's legal for deer, but 12ga is the minimum for elk.  If I have my elk rifle, tag, am wearing orange, can I legally have a 20ga on me to shoot ducks? 

On the flip side, is there anything about hunting ducks that would make also carrying a rifle for elk illegal?  Even though it's rifle ammo, is having lead core rifle rounds on me while hunting ducks legal?

Can I (or would I have to) go back to my vehicle after finishing hunting ducks, swap out the shotgun for a rifle, swap duck licenses/stamps for elk tag, and put on the orange in order to swap from hunting ducks to hunting for elk?  Or can I have it all out in the field and make the change in the field (I think the answer to this is no, but that uncertainty is why I'm asking)? 

Offline bobcat

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Re: Hunting duck and elk?
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2017, 07:24:38 PM »
First, I always have all of my hunting licenses and tags on me. I'm hunting what I'm hunting, not whatever licenses I happen to have in my possession. I keep all my licenses and tags together and would not leave one and take another. You could have your rifle with you while duck hunting. I see no reason why that wouldn't be legal. You're not hunting ducks with it so there's no issue. Just like you could have a handgun with you while duck hunting, it doesn't mean you're hunting ducks with it. I sure wouldn't wear orange if you're hunting ducks. Just having an elk license in your possession doesn't mean you have to follow the rules as if you were hunting elk at that moment.

Offline Bob33

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Re: Hunting duck and elk?
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2017, 07:24:53 PM »
The federal lead shot restriction for waterfowl does not apply to centerfire ammunition:

"While possessing loose shot for muzzle loading or shotshells containing other than the following approved shot types..."

Common sense indicates you should be able to carry a shotgun and rifle concurrently while hunting either for ducks or elk.  It's possible some enforcement officers may not see it that way.

If you are hunting elk you would need to wear orange. If you're hunting ducks in camo and come around a bend and shoot an elk without having orange on, you would be in violation.
Nature. It's cheaper than therapy.

Offline sumpnz

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Re: Hunting duck and elk?
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2017, 07:33:34 PM »
The federal lead shot restriction for waterfowl does not apply to centerfire ammunition:

"While possessing loose shot for muzzle loading or shotshells containing other than the following approved shot types..."

Common sense indicates you should be able to carry a shotgun and rifle concurrently while hunting either for ducks or elk.  It's possible some enforcement officers may not see it that way.

If you are hunting elk you would need to wear orange. If you're hunting ducks in camo and come around a bend and shoot an elk without having orange on, you would be in violation.

If I'm hunting ducks in full camo/ghillie suit and a legal elk saunters out of the tree line within range you're saying I'd be perfectly legal to set aside the shotgun, quickly throw on an orange vest, shoulder the rifle and fire?

Offline Bob33

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Re: Hunting duck and elk?
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2017, 07:48:43 PM »
The federal lead shot restriction for waterfowl does not apply to centerfire ammunition:

"While possessing loose shot for muzzle loading or shotshells containing other than the following approved shot types..."

Common sense indicates you should be able to carry a shotgun and rifle concurrently while hunting either for ducks or elk.  It's possible some enforcement officers may not see it that way.

If you are hunting elk you would need to wear orange. If you're hunting ducks in camo and come around a bend and shoot an elk without having orange on, you would be in violation.

If I'm hunting ducks in full camo/ghillie suit and a legal elk saunters out of the tree line within range you're saying I'd be perfectly legal to set aside the shotgun, quickly throw on an orange vest, shoulder the rifle and fire?
In my opinion that is completely legal.
Nature. It's cheaper than therapy.

Offline Tinmaniac

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Re: Hunting duck and elk?
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2017, 08:01:52 PM »
Orange on,legal animal,open area,shot with the rifle no problem I can see.I'm not a cop but there is at least one here maybe he will chime in.

Offline sumpnz

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Re: Hunting duck and elk?
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2017, 08:27:59 PM »
The federal lead shot restriction for waterfowl does not apply to centerfire ammunition:

"While possessing loose shot for muzzle loading or shotshells containing other than the following approved shot types..."

Common sense indicates you should be able to carry a shotgun and rifle concurrently while hunting either for ducks or elk.  It's possible some enforcement officers may not see it that way.

If you are hunting elk you would need to wear orange. If you're hunting ducks in camo and come around a bend and shoot an elk without having orange on, you would be in violation.

If I'm hunting ducks in full camo/ghillie suit and a legal elk saunters out of the tree line within range you're saying I'd be perfectly legal to set aside the shotgun, quickly throw on an orange vest, shoulder the rifle and fire?
In my opinion that is completely legal.

Good to know.  I do think I'll ask the question of the WDFW folks in Region 6.  If I get a response I'll post it up here.  As you said initially it's possible a LEO might have another opinion.  While it might not save me from a ticket in the field it should get it dismissed by a judge if I have an email from WDFW concurring with you on the matter.

Offline bobcat

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Re: Hunting duck and elk?
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2017, 08:38:23 PM »
Seriously I have no idea what they could possibly write you up for. 

Offline ryanj

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Re: Hunting duck and elk?
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2017, 07:29:24 AM »
 make sure where you are hunting ducks is not a fire arm restricted area. Because alot of willapa bay area is. good luck hunting  :tup:

Online Stein

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Re: Hunting duck and elk?
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2017, 07:57:56 PM »
Seriously I have no idea what they could possibly write you up for.

 :yeah:

Offline sumpnz

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Re: Hunting duck and elk?
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2017, 08:03:22 PM »
So, got a response from WDFW from Region 6 (covers Pacific County).  I'd have to leave the rifle behind while duck hunting, or wear orange while duck hunting if I have the rifle.  At least in the opinion of the Sargent that the person who responded to my email consulted with.  That may or may not be totally correct per the regulations, but if I don't want to get a ticket that's what I'll have to do.  Could I beat a ticket like that in court?  Probably, but that would cost me in both time and $$ for a lawyer, and could cost me the chance to hunt at all at least for the rest of that season if they decide to confiscate the guns.

I'm not sure the other guys will want to hunt ducks out there anyway (1 at least would probably rather sleep in or whatever).  Might just leave the rifle at the campground and plan on coming back there in late morning when the ducks stop moving around as much and make the swap there.  Not loving the idea of leaving a gun in a vehicle.  Seems like a high chance of it getting stolen.  Campground though is pretty secure, and I can lock it in the cabin.

Online Stein

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Re: Hunting duck and elk?
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2017, 08:12:52 PM »
I generally support law enforcement, but when they say you need to wear orange while duck hunting I may have to rethink my position, at least for that sharp mind.

Say you are big game hunting and have a shotgun - say for grizzly protection as is common in some places.  If you happen to also have a duck license would you get a ticket if the gun wasn't plugged?

Personally, if I got a ticket claiming I was hunting elk with #4 steel shot while sitting next to a pond, I would take the time off of work to go talk to the judge about that one.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2017, 08:18:33 PM by Stein »

Offline sumpnz

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Re: Hunting duck and elk?
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2017, 08:19:04 PM »
I generally support law enforcement, but when they say you need to wear orange while duck hunting I may have to rethink my position, at least for that sharp mind.

Say you are big game hunting and have a shotgun - say for grizzly protection as is common in some places.  If you happen to also have a duck license would you get a ticket if the gun wasn't plugged?

With buckshot and/or slugs I'd think you be fine.  With non-toxic birdshot loads?  Probably going to get a ticket.

Offline Bob33

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Re: Hunting duck and elk?
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2017, 08:35:42 PM »
I don't agree but it's nice to know they replied and gave you an answer. Happy hunting and good luck.
Nature. It's cheaper than therapy.

Offline bobcat

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Re: Hunting duck and elk?
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2017, 09:13:37 PM »
More often than not, it seems when someone asks the WDFW a question like that, they get the answer wrong. And they are wrong. I doubt any game warden would actually write you a ticket for the scenario you described.

 

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