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Author Topic: Legality of air rifles for hunting  (Read 20246 times)

Offline high country

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Re: Legality of air rifles for hunting
« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2015, 08:05:25 AM »
So if the air was released due to the ignition of a primer.......

Online Bob33

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Offline dreamunelk

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Re: Legality of air rifles for hunting
« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2015, 09:35:13 PM »
If you want air guns to be legal for certain species request it.  It really is that simple.  The next time the wdfw is asking for input on season settings and rules.  Make an intelligent request.  Even better research some other states rules and use those as an example.  With a few requests it will likely end up on the one of the surveys.  Get enough hunters to say yes and it will go likely get approved.  To ensure it gets approves have multiple people show up at a commission meeting requesting it.   I know the wdfw would side with hunters if good rules based on evidence from other states where used. 
There are many situations where animals as large as deer can be taken safely and ethically with airguns.  Hopefully some will realize that airguns could be a useful tool in reducing urban deer and turkey populations. 

Offline Loki_762

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Re: Legality of air rifles for hunting
« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2015, 08:11:11 PM »
Zombie thread, I know.

Air rifle for unclassified game, including some squirrels.

Note the game management plan link at the page below.

http://wdfw.wa.gov/help/questions/356/I+heard+about+hunting+unclassified+wildlife.+What+do+I+need+to+purchase+and+what+type+of+weapons+can+I+use+to+hunt+them%3F
Well hot damn.  Gonna have to take the Marauder for a stroll through the woods! Thanks for the link!
Chris
Never argue with an idiot - first they bring you down to their level, then they beat you with experience.

Offline bowhunterwa87

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Re: Legality of air rifles for hunting
« Reply #19 on: October 14, 2015, 08:14:41 PM »
I take my sam yang 909s 45 out all the time. Good fun and takes unclassified animals with ease. I wish we could use them for big game. I know you can in many states for deer.

Offline ztirffritz

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Re: Legality of air rifles for hunting
« Reply #20 on: November 12, 2015, 01:14:46 PM »
As a hunter education instructor, this question comes up from time to time.  I asked WDFW to clarify this for me.  Following is an an email sent to all WDFW enforcement officers in Washington, on which I was cc'd.

To All,
 
Over the past few months, I have been asked by several different Hunter Education Instructors about whether or not it is legal  to use “Pellet Guns” for hunting?    The reason that I am sending this to the field, is that again, I have had several of these instructors say that they have had a “mixed bag” of responses from our officers (Yes, No & Maybe) during the classes when this question has come up.  So, I want  to make sure that everyone has the right answer and gives a standard uniform response when they are at a Hunter Education class (or are asked in the field). 
 
The answer is;  “No” pellet guns are not legal to hunt with and this comes from two sources;
 
WAC 232-12-047
Unlawful methods for hunting.

(1) It is unlawful to hunt any big game with:
     (a) A fully automatic firearm.
     (b) A centerfire cartridge less than 22 caliber for cougar.
     (c) A centerfire cartridge less than 24 caliber for any other big game.
     (d) A shotgun, provided that a 20 gauge, or larger shotgun, using shells loaded with slugs or buckshot size #1 or larger, may be used to hunt deer, bear, and cougar.
     (e) A shotgun for any other big game, except that a 12 gauge or 10 gauge shotgun using slugs may be used.
     (f) A handgun during a modern firearm season that does not meet the following criteria: Have a minimum barrel length of four inches, per manufacturer's specification, and fire a centerfire cartridge.
     (g) Any rimfire cartridge.
     (2) It is unlawful to hunt game birds with a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells.

     (3) It is unlawful to hunt game birds or game animals, except bullfrogs, in a manner other than with a firearm, a bow and arrow, or by falconry, except in those designated areas where crossbows are allowed.

     (4) Rules pertaining to crossbows:
     (a) It is unlawful to hunt big game animals with a crossbow with a draw weight less than 125 pounds, a limb width less than 24 inches, a draw length less than 14 inches, and a trigger safety that does not work properly.
     (b) It is unlawful to hunt big game animals with any arrow or bolt measuring less than 16 inches in length and weighing less than 350 grains.
     (c) It is unlawful to hunt game animals or game birds with a crossbow that weighs more than 15 pounds.
     (d) It is unlawful to hunt big game animals with any arrow or bolt that does not have a sharp broadhead and the broadhead blade or blades are less than seven-eighths inch wide.
     (e) It is unlawful to hunt big game animals with a broadhead blade unless the broadhead is unbarbed and completely closed at the back end of the blade or blades by a smooth, unbroken surface starting at maximum blade width and forming a smooth line toward the feather end of the shaft, and such line does not angle toward the point.
     (f) It is unlawful to hunt big game animals with a retractable broadhead.
     (5) Hunters with disabilities may use a crossbow with a special use permit as conditioned in WAC 232-12-054.
     (6) It is unlawful to hunt game animals or game birds with a shotgun larger than 10 gauge.
     (7) It is unlawful to hunt game birds with a rifle or handgun, with the exception of blue grouse, spruce grouse and ruffed grouse.
     (8) A violation of this section is punishable under RCW 77.15.400, 77.15.410, or 77.15.430, depending on the species hunted.
And;
 
RCW 9.41.10      defines a firearm:

(7) "Firearm" means a weapon or device from which a projectile or projectiles may be fired by an explosive such as gunpowder.


A pellet gun does not utilize an “explosive” to fire the projectile, it is fired by compressed air so it is not a firearm. 
 
Thanks & Be Safe,
 
 
Sgt. Eric Anderson
WDFW  Enforcement
Olympia, WA
(360) 902-2426 Office
(360)640-0493 Cell

I've been trying to navigate this subject and I've run into a bit of a legal conundrum.  The code quoted above lists the firearms that it is illegal to hunt with.  Airguns are not firearms...ergo this code does not apply to airguns.  There is wording in WAS 232-12-242 that states that a minimum .24cal centerfire firearm is to be used during modern firearm big game seasons.  That means that airguns are explicitly excluded from big game hunting by WAC 232-12-242, but, by omission, not excluded from small game hunting.  The reason I bring this up is that I was trying to fill out the petition to modify the hunting regs because I want to be allowed to hunt game animals with my airguns.  I can not find any WAC code that explicitly restricts or excludes airguns from small game hunting.  That doesn't mean that it isn't in there somewhere, but the code quoted above isn't it and I have not yet found any relating to small game.  If there's someone who's really well versed in the WAC and RCW codes who can set me straight, I'm all ears as I want to get the code amended so that I'm not dodging rules with loopholes.  I'd like to see the code re-written to expressly include air rifles...for big and small game.  I think it's ridiculous that I can legally hurl a falcon at a rabbit but I can't shoot it with an air rifle.
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Online Bob33

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Re: Legality of air rifles for hunting
« Reply #21 on: November 12, 2015, 01:21:46 PM »
Generally speaking it is not legal to use an air rifle on game birds or game animals, large or small.

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/WAC/default.aspx?cite=232-12-047

(3) It is unlawful to hunt game birds or game animals, except bullfrogs, in a manner other than with a firearm, a bow and arrow, a crossbow, or by falconry.
Nature. It's cheaper than therapy.

Offline ztirffritz

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Re: Legality of air rifles for hunting
« Reply #22 on: November 12, 2015, 01:30:50 PM »
Generally speaking it is not legal to use an air rifle on game birds or game animals, large or small.

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/WAC/default.aspx?cite=232-12-047

(3) It is unlawful to hunt game birds or game animals, except bullfrogs, in a manner other than with a firearm, a bow and arrow, a crossbow, or by falconry.

Thanks...I've been reading over the WACs too long.  Somehow I missed that.  That's exactly what I needed.
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Offline Eugene

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Re: Legality of air rifles for hunting
« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2016, 11:02:00 AM »
How about this page? http://wdfw.wa.gov/help/categories/Hunting/General+Hunting+Rules/?page=2 question #30 - "To hunt unclassified wildlife, you need a valid big game or small game license. You can hunt unclassified wildlife year round with no bag limit and with any weapon. For instance, you can legally hunt unclassified wildlife with an air rifle. Please review the Small Game, Furbearers, and Unclassi ..."

Online Bob33

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Re: Legality of air rifles for hunting
« Reply #24 on: February 19, 2016, 11:14:57 AM »
How about this page? http://wdfw.wa.gov/help/categories/Hunting/General+Hunting+Rules/?page=2 question #30 - "To hunt unclassified wildlife, you need a valid big game or small game license. You can hunt unclassified wildlife year round with no bag limit and with any weapon. For instance, you can legally hunt unclassified wildlife with an air rifle. Please review the Small Game, Furbearers, and Unclassi ..."
Airguns are legal for unclassified wildlife. For game birds and game animals, they are not.

http://wdfw.wa.gov/help/questions/92/Is+it+legal+to+use+pellet+guns%2C+air+guns%2C+or+sling+shots+to+harvest+game+birds%3F
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Offline Gringo31

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Re: Legality of air rifles for hunting
« Reply #25 on: February 19, 2016, 12:25:13 PM »
But you apparently need a big game or small game license to "hunt" the following..


Gophers
Mice
Rats
Moles
Voles
Shrews

and

Ground Squirrels
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Offline Gringo31

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Re: Legality of air rifles for hunting
« Reply #26 on: February 19, 2016, 12:27:46 PM »
Remember Crows are small game.....

So, better not waste one and don't use your air gun. :chuckle:
We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.
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Offline Kittman

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Re: Legality of air rifles for hunting
« Reply #27 on: February 19, 2016, 12:54:49 PM »
Lewis & Clark expedition would not have thought twice about taking down a Whitetail deer with the air gun they had at that time.

http://beemans.net/Lewis%20&%20Clark%20Airgun.htm

http://beemans.net/lewis-assault-rifle.htm

Lots of info of the past- Enjoy!

Online Bob33

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Re: Legality of air rifles for hunting
« Reply #28 on: February 19, 2016, 12:55:21 PM »
Remember Crows are small game.....

So, better not waste one and don't use your air gun. :chuckle:
They're technically a "predatory" bird.

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/WAC/default.aspx?cite=232-12-004
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Offline Gringo31

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Re: Legality of air rifles for hunting
« Reply #29 on: February 19, 2016, 01:01:09 PM »
Appreciate the info Bob.

But here's my question.  If there is a season on them, then a license is required.  Why is a crow different than a starling in the game regs and what happens if you shoot a crow during season (not in the act of depredation) and let it lay?
We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.
-Ronald Reagan

 


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