Before you even think about stepping outside, learn the biggest new hunting laws for this season:
1. Silencers are now legal for hunting in North Carolina:
In July, North Carolina passed a provision that will allow hunters to use silencers for their firearms. The new law is yet another indication that the national opinion on silencers is changing – North Carolina is the 40th state to legalize their use – largely due to their ability to prevent the needless hearing loss experienced by hunters.
2. It is now a misdemeanor to toss usable meat in Illinois:
A new law in Illinois requires hunters to use all of the edible meat on the animals they kill. This will help to prevent unceremonious dumping of animal carcasses and will encourage hunters to find use for every piece of an animal they can, whether that leads to their dinner table or to a charity donation.
3. Report your meat whenever you hunt turkey or deer in Alabama:
Alabama’s new Game Check program, which will go into effect for the 2013/2014 hunting season, will require hunters to report every turkey or deer they kill within a 24 hour period. If hunters ignore the regulation, they will be faced with a fine.
4. You can’t hunt with a crossbow in New York anymore:
New York crossbow enthusiasts won’t like this one. Thanks to a new provision in this year’s New York Hunting and Trapping Guide, crossbows are no longer welcome in New York State.
5. Iowa makes bobcat hunting legal in six more counties:
Looking to hunt a different type of game? Iowa just expanded bobcat hunting regulations to include six more counties, including Audubon, Crawford, Dallas, Iowa, Muscatine and Poweshiek. Bobcat hunting is now legal in 41 of the state’s 99 counties.
6. Hunting on Sundays may soon be legal in Pennsylvania:
Thanks to a lawsuit between the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Hunters United for Sunday Hunting (HUSH) organization, Pennsylvania hunters may soon be able to add Sundays to their hunting season schedule. HUSH argues that the Sunday ban leaves most Pennsylvania hunters with only Saturdays as viable hunting opportunities.
7. Virginia says no to deer bait:
Unlike most other states, Virginia has a number of very specific rules in place regarding the use of bait and other attractants in deer hunting. Hunters not only have to stop placing bait on September 1, but must also remove previously-placed attractants, no simple task. To keep things easy, if you’re ever hunting in Virginia, skip the deer bait entirely.
These may not include every single new law on the map, so remember to read your local regulations and rules before you head out this season.