HomeOutdoorsAvoid These Commonly-Made Hunting Violations in 2020

Avoid These Commonly-Made Hunting Violations in 2020

by Jennifer Shea
(Photo by Kirill KukhmarTASS via Getty Images)

Hunting seasons are upon us, and that means hunters have a myriad of rules and regulations to track. 

Game and fish departments in Alaska, Wyoming, and other states are warning hunters in advance this year. They want hunters to stay up to speed on the regulations for whichever species they plan to hunt.

Hunting afoul of the law

“Most hunters follow hunting laws and regulations,” Wyoming Game and Fish law enforcement coordinator Aaron Kerr told Buckrail. “Occasionally, some folks inadvertently or intentionally run afoul of the law. The most common hunting violations can be easily avoided by paying attention and double-checking regulations.”

So, to keep you out of trouble, here are some of the typical hunting violations that game officials notice every year, and how to avoid them:

Easily avoided violations

Improperly tagging game animals. Each game license comes with a carcass coupon that includes tagging instructions. You can remove it while you’re transporting the carcass to keep from losing it, but you must have it with you at all times. Make sure you cut out the date and month of the kill on the coupon and sign it as well.

Neglecting to remove all the edible meat of big game animals, or all the meat of wildfowl. Hunters can give the meat to someone else – there are regulations that cover this – but you can’t just leave a dead animal behind. (Wolves and wolverines and some bears are exceptions to the edible meat rule.)

Leaving part of the animal behind on a public road. Once you harvest the animal, put its guts, hides and bones out of sight of roads and trails. Leaving that matter behind on public thoroughfares is illegal in most places. 

Shooting from a vehicle. It is against the law to go after any game species from a motor vehicle. That includes ATVs and snowmobiles. However, there may be an exception for some hunters with a disabled hunter permit.

Shooting from public roads. It is also against the law to shoot from, across or along public roads. That includes the road surface, the areas between fences on public roads or highways and the area 30 feet perpendicular to the road surface on unfenced roads. Two-track trails on public land are not counted as public roads.

Leaving food for animals or feeding them. You may not deliberately give food to moose, bear, wolf, fox or wolverines. That restriction also covers leaving garbage behind so as to attract the animals.

Trespassing. When hunting on private land, hunters must have permission from the landowner to be there. Officials suggest getting the signature of the landowner or agent of the landowner as proof that you have permission to pass through or hunt on the property.