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Author Topic: Predators & lights  (Read 13610 times)

Offline bearbait

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Predators & lights
« on: May 21, 2007, 09:17:03 AM »
Can,t really figure out the legality of using spotlights at night for predators (Coyote and bobcat) in the regs.  Where can I find out the real scoop, or do's anyone really know?  How about the use of amber or red lights?

Offline PolarBear

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Re: Predators & lights
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2007, 11:25:30 AM »
The use of lights (red or spotlights) is legal for coyotes, raccoons, etc as long as it is within legal seasons and NOT during an open deer or elk season.  I got that straight from my friend at the WDFW.  I shoot quite a few songdogs at night with my red spotlight.
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Offline Krusty

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Re: Predators & lights
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2007, 02:30:12 PM »
On page 61 of the new game regs it covers night hunting.

Bobcat, raccoon, and coyote may be hunted at night... then it should read; ONLY... during the established raccoon and bobcat seasons.

Night hunting is unlawful in any area currently open for a centerfire deer or elk season, during the months of September, October, or November.

Be very careful of this... the Advanced Hunter Program allows some very long centerfire seasons (in areas like the Clockum).

But it also can be a benefit. In areas like the Snoqualmie Valley, closed to the use of centerfire rifles, is lawful to hunt throughout the deer season (with an approved firearm).

____________________________________________________________

The use of colored lenses is a widely misunderstood subject.
Generally speaking a colored lens is used to "dim" a spotlight, not so a coyote "can't see it".
The coyote is being blinded by the light, regardless of color.

Contest hunters originally (in the late 50's and early 60's) began using colored lights, when animals became "light shy"... and these colored lenses were used in a "flipper" (or a flapper) configuration.
The colored lens dimmed the light while looking for eyes, and a target was "burned" with white light for the shot.

In places like Texas, where spotlighting from raised platforms in the back of a moving truck has caused animals to be extremely light shy colored lenses were again used, but in a "static" configuration... meaning they don't open revealing the white light.
Winning or losing lots of money isn't one of the negatives of target recognition problems (faced by sport hunters), so having a burn light is not as important (though I don't see why they don't use technology that could help if it's available).

Some modern contest hunters, following the latest trend in lights, are using "superposed" lights... A spotlight with more than one bulb/element.
A soft (often colored) wide angle light is housed along with a bright white "pencil spot", and wired to a two stage trigger.
This way they have a sweeping light less likely to spook shy critters, and a burn light for the shot.

_____________________________________________________________

The real issue we face with night hunting, is education. We have to take the risk of finding a game officer, or police officer, who isn't "schooled up" on the laws pertaining to night hunting.

If you are night hunting, here's a piece of advice from me.
Don't use a rifle you'd miss if it were held in police custody while you await your day in court.
Don't have anything in your vehicle you'd miss, or that could make your troubles worse (like deer grunt calls or antlers for rattling, any food that could be considered (bear) bait, or even your big game transport tags).
Carry copies of the regs, and WAC codes pertaining to night hunting, and be prepaired to educate law inforcement (in a VERY polite way).

The game laws are very unclear, and even game officers have trouble interpretting them, which can lead to a conflict that will take steps through the chain of command to resolve.
The wheels of WDFW justice turn very slowly, just waiting to have them figure out you did nothing wrong, and return siezed property, can take months.

Good luck out there in the dark.

Krusty
Sarcasm; just one of the many services I offer.

Offline boneaddict

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Re: Predators & lights
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2007, 03:34:27 PM »
I personally want to wire my backyard to flip a switch to light up the whole hill behind my house.  That will fix them bugger. :chuckle:
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Offline high country

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Re: Predators & lights
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2007, 09:28:54 AM »
call the enforcement guy in your area, talk to him and you will get his answer. I interprt it as legal outside any big game season, but it is all up to the enforcement officer.

Offline Machias

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Re: Predators & lights
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2007, 11:29:12 AM »
I hunt at night a BUNCH, never had any issues the past 13 years.  I also coon hunt with dogs at night, never even met a warden at night.  It is perfectly legal to use lights at night for bobcat, racoons and yotes, there is no interpretation, other then it's legal, DURING ESTABLISHED RACCOON AND BOBCAT SEASONS, as long as there are no modern firearms deer or elk season's open.  How's that Krusty :)

Red lenses, the nice thing about red lenses is how much they make the eyes look like HUGE bouncing red fireballs as they are running in!  :):)
« Last Edit: May 30, 2007, 08:01:37 PM by Machias »
Fred Moyer


History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.

Offline Krusty

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Re: Predators & lights
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2007, 02:36:04 PM »
I totally disagree with the statement that it is legal anytime outside of modern firearm (deer or elk) season.

To start, raccoons and bobcats have an established season, to hunt them outside of that season, day or night, is unlawful.

I have already quoted it, but here it is again "Bobcat, raccoon, and coyote may be hunted at night during established bobcat and raccoon seasons..."

Every time I have written the WDFW regarding this (or anything else), I get an e-mail back which directly quotes the wording in the reg booklet, certain key phrases pertaining to my question were highlighted in red text.

When I asked for a clarification on year round night hunting of coyotes, the words "coyote may be  hunted at night during established bobcat and raccoon seasons" were the ones highlighted.

Fred,

I haven't had the same luck as you, I have run into trouble, not only from WDFW agents but local law enforcement too.
The WDFW currently has some of my belongings, even though after a Captain's Review I was found not to have violated any laws.

I actually was following the procedure four other WDFW agents had told me to, when the fifth agent decided he saw the law differently than his co-workers.
Calling one guy and asking him is a huge gamble.

On the other side of the coin, just because you don't get in trouble if you are hunting out of season (or night hunting out of season), doesn't make it lawful.

Law enforcement (WDFW) is handled VERY differently Region by Region.
Your side of the hill is a lot lower key.

You can run around all brave, like the WDFW isn't a big scary monster, but I am scared. ;)

Krusty
Sarcasm; just one of the many services I offer.

Offline Ray

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Re: Predators & lights
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2007, 03:11:57 PM »
Interesting Topic. I don't discredit or make any objection to your experiences Krusty. In fact I respect them as something to be aware of. However I must indicate that under the WAC 232-28 this portion is directly under the heading which states "HOUND HUNTING DURING THE DEER AND ELK HUNTING SEASONS".

Verbatim from http://apps.leg.wa.gov/WAC/default.aspx?cite=232-28&full=true
Quote
HOUND HUNTING DURING DEER AND ELK HUNTING SEASONS


It is unlawful to hunt any wildlife at night or wild animals with dogs (hounds) during the months of September, October, or November in any area open to a modern firearm deer or elk season. The use of hounds to hunt black bear, cougar (EXCEPT by public safety cougar removal permit (WAC 232-12-243) or a commission authorized hound permit (WAC 232-28-285)), and bobcat is prohibited year round.


This would seemingly imply that it is related to hound hunting. Not necessarily to all night hunting. Is there more information that I am missing?

Offline Machias

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Re: Predators & lights
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2007, 03:12:15 PM »
Krusty I didn't say anything about hunting at night year round for yotes.  I agree with you, you must hunt during the open season, re-read my post.  I hunt ALLOT at night for yotes, coon and Roberts, never had any issues.
  
"You can run around all brave, like the WDFW isn't a big scary monster, but I am scared."

My friend if you knew what has happened to me in the past with the WDFW, LOL,  you would not have made that comment.  I have seen the WDFW in action first hand.  However, if the law states in black and white that what I'm doing is legal and they confiscate my property they will be sued.  Nothing all brave about asserting my right against unlawful detention and prosecution or the unlawful search and seaizure of my property.  Ignorance of the law works both ways, it's not an excuse for either side.

"On the other side of the coin, just because you don't get in trouble if you are hunting out of season (or night hunting out of season), doesn't make it lawful."

I'm not sure where you were getting me advocating unlawful hunting?
Fred Moyer


History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.

Offline Machias

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Re: Predators & lights
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2007, 03:16:31 PM »
The section is dealing with two issues normally conducted during the same time frame, i.e. Night Hunting and Hound Hunting:

Night Hunting and Hound Hunting 
During Deer and Elk Hunting Seasons
Bobcat, raccoon, and coyote may be hunted at night during established bobcat and raccoon seasons, EXCEPT that: It is
unlawful to hunt any wildlife at night or wild animals with dogs (hounds) during the months of September, October, or
November in any area open to a centerfire rifle deer or elk season.
The use of hounds to hunt black bear, cougar or bobcat is prohibited year round except during commission authorized
hunts. There is no longer a hound license.
Fred Moyer


History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.

Offline Ray

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Re: Predators & lights
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2007, 03:40:14 PM »
Thanks for setting my crooked brain straight.

Offline Krusty

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Re: Predators & lights
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2007, 04:56:12 PM »
Fred,

Did you not say "it's legal as long as there are no modern firearms deer or elk season's open."?

Modern firearm deer and elk seasons are not open in June. ;) Bobcat and raccoon seasons are not open. And neither is night hunting.

"As long as" is too ambiguous.

I didn't mean to imply you were advocating unlawful hunting, but it would be really easy for someone to misread and misunderstand what you wrote.

To me, the night hunting, and the use of hounds needs to be addressed seperately, in the regs.
It seems they tried to do so, by seperating the paragraphs, but they always try to cut corners.
In this case, just so they don't have to write the months down twice, or because they share a time frame, they have severely confused the issue.
On your line of thinking, why didn't they combine modern rifle deer season, with duck season... they happen around the same time? :)

One section, headed "Night Hunting", should read;
Bobcat, raccoon, and coyote, may be hunted at night, only during established bobcat and raccoon seasons, EXCEPT that: It is unlawful to hunt any wildlife at night during the months September, October, or November, in any area open to a centerfire deer or elk season.

Then a completely different section, headed "Hound Hunting", should be relating to hounds;
Coyote and raccoon can be hunted with hounds during the established bobcat and raccoon seasons, EXCEPT that: It is unlawful to hunt wildlife with dogs during the months of September, October, or November, in an area open to a centerfire deer or elk season.
The use of hounds to hunt black bear, cougar, or bobcat, is prohibited year round, EXCEPT: During the commision of authorized hunts.

there is no longer a hound hunting license.

It makes ABSOLUTELY no sense to me, to combine, and thereby confuse, what should be two seperate sections.

Maybe you just look "so brave", because I am so chicken? ;)

Krusty
« Last Edit: May 30, 2007, 06:55:06 PM by Krusty »
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Offline billythekidrock

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Re: Predators & lights
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2007, 05:20:31 PM »
Ok guys, can we stick to facts and not "Should read". I am having a hard time keeping up already.




Offline Ray

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Re: Predators & lights
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2007, 05:23:25 PM »
I tend to agree with Krusty that there seems to be some ambigous sections in the WAC which can be easy to misinterpret :-)  But at the same time I don't want anything changed because when things change nowadays it seems like you're always sacrificing something unrelated along the way.

Offline Krusty

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Re: Predators & lights
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2007, 06:51:03 PM »
Willie,

I'm sorry if you are having trouble keeping up.

So are you saying you like the regs and the WACs exactly as they are written, and don't see anything that needs to be changed?

I do not see the connection between night hunting, and hound hunting.
Not legally, and not in practice.

(*my brother just informed me that many coons hunters hunt with dogs, and at night)

Even if this is the case (night hound hunters), I don't see where it benefits us, to have the rules (of night hunting, and hound hunting) intermingled.

Ray,

I don't see what we could lose, that wouldn't be worth it, for some clarity in the regulations.

In a recent article, from the Grange News, they said re-writing the fishing and hunting regs, so they were easily understood by the common man, was among their top legislative priorities.
The Washington State Trapper's Assoc, and the National Trapper's Assoc, have tried desperately to clear up language left over from before I-713 changed trapping in this state.
And Ducks Unlimited, Trout Unlimited, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and Pheasant Forever, have also all lobbied for clarity.
That's a lot of big organizations, all with the charge of "lookin' out for us", that believe we do need change (and spending a fair amount of OUR money trying).

Krusty
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