View Full Version : Caliber Restrictions
February 8, 2006, 07:45 PM
Are there many states or even maybe individual counties that have a minimum caliber requirement? Or is it based on the type of game that is being hunted? A friend of mine from WV asked me this same queston today and I didnt have an answer. I assume he was talking about the western states, but i think moose in Maine might qualify.
He has hunted mostly in WV and PA and I have only hunted bear and deer in PA. Thanks in advance.
February 8, 2006, 08:02 PM
Here in Indiana we have to use shotguns(slugs) for deer. They just started letting people use 410 slugs, whick is the minimum, a couple years back. The min was 20 guage but I think they changed it to get more youth involved. You can hunt deer with hand guns here and I think there is a length requirement for the bullet and the min is 357 mag. I'm not sure on the max. Theres no requirement on coyotes or foxes. You can use what ever you want. I know in Arkansas you can only take a fox with a .22 cal or smaller rimfire. I have hunted mulies in WY and the min is 243.
February 8, 2006, 09:03 PM
California has a pretty lenient policy for big game rounds. For big game, a hunter has to use a centerfire cartridge shooting soft point, or expanding bullets.
With the hunting situation here, the state might as well allow pointy sticks to take big game.
February 8, 2006, 09:09 PM
Colorado requires a .243 or larger center fire round for big game.
Without looking I think 85 grs is the minimum bullet weight.
February 8, 2006, 09:39 PM
Here in New Hampshire the only restriction is that it be a centerfire using expanding bullets. Near as I can tell it applies for all big-game hunting, including moose.
We do have restrictions on shotguns however. Nothing less than 00 buck for deer, single ball for bear and moose. Makes it tough the night before Youth weekend asking all the guys, "Are you planning on deer hunting with that 20 gauge buckshot? Sorry, because you can't."
February 8, 2006, 10:00 PM
Florida requires a centerfire for deer. Alabama requires centerfire rifle or shotgun with slug or buckshot. Tennessee requires .24 centerfire or larger.
February 9, 2006, 12:18 AM
WA requires .24 caliber centerfire of larger. Idaho allows any non full-auto centerfire weighing less than 16 lb, but nothing smaller than #00 for shotguns.
February 9, 2006, 07:22 PM
Thanks for the info, especially the stuff on WY and CO.
February 9, 2006, 07:31 PM
Wyoming says its illegal to shoot big game with a 22 centerfire but okay to use .243 for elk. Makes sense to someone in Cheyenne I guess.
I've seen South Dakota 'lopes dropped in their tracks with 220 Swift. Barnes X and Nosler Partition bullets available for this deadly cartridge.
February 13, 2006, 01:47 PM
Kinzua--I believe that EVERY state has some restrictions on cartridge for different game species. Some states vary the restrictions by in-state area.
In what specific states' rules were you interested?
The standard wisdom is to contact the game conservation department of the state in question--seems good to me. I certainly would not take a particular weapon/load to a particular area of any state, and hunt with it based only on advice from the I'net.
February 13, 2006, 07:51 PM
Roger that Smokey Joe! If I ever to get to go on my dream hunt in CO or WY I will definately do my homework on the rules and regs. I appreciate all the replies, thanks for helping with my outdoor education!:)
Guess I should have been a little more clear in my first post. oops!
February 14, 2006, 05:04 PM
I HUNT WASHINGTON STATE HERE IS THE PARAGRAPH OUT OF THE REGULATION BOOK
1. Modern Firearm Regulations
Rifles—Elk, deer, and bear may be
hunted with a minimum of 24 caliber
(6mm) centerfire. Cougar may be
hunted with 22 caliber centerfire rifle.
Rimfire rifles are not legal. Handguns
must have minimum barrel length of 4
inches per manufacturers specification,
and fire a minimum 24 caliber
Shotguns—Deer, bear, and cougar
may be hunted with 20 gauge to 10
gauge shotguns shooting slugs or #1
or larger buckshot. Other big game may
be hunted with a 10 or 12 gauge
shotgun using slugs.
HERE IS A HANDY CONVERSION CHART TO SEE WHAT CALIBER SIZE IS IN MM AND VISE VERSA 1 inch = 1.00 Caliber = 25.4mm
Caliber x 25.4 = size in mm (Example: .45 caliber x 25.4 = 11.43 so .45 caliber = 11.43mm)
Metric designation / 25.4mm = size in Caliber (Example: 9mm / 25.4 = 0.35433 so 9mm = approximately .35 cal)
February 16, 2006, 11:32 PM
I find that most hunters don't really consider using a 9mm handgun for deer hunting even if it technically is within the caliber requirement. Some states require 357 mag or larger. But of course, this is a combination of "power" and bullet diameter. In PA of course, you can not use an auto handgun for any kind of hunting.
February 17, 2006, 12:00 AM
From Oregon’s website:
ARMS AND AMMUNITION REQUIREMENTS
Hunters shall only use: (1) Any .24 caliber or larger centerfire rifle that is not fully automatic to hunt bighorn sheep, Rocky Mountain goat, or elk. Semiautomatics shall have a magazine capacity of no more than five cartridges.
(2) Any centerfire rifle .22 caliber or larger that is not fully automatic to hunt pronghorn antelope, black bear, cougar (mountain lion), or deer. Semiautomatics shall have a magazine capacity of no more than five cartridges.
(3) Any rifle that is not fully automatic to hunt western gray squirrels.
(4) For hunting seasons designated as rifle hunts, hunters shall use only firearms legal for that species:
(a) A person hunting deer with either a western Oregon deer rifle tag or eastern Oregon deer rifle tag shall use a legal centerfire or muzzleloading rifle, a shotgun, or a centerfire handgun.
(b) A person hunting elk with any elk rifle tag shall use a legal centerfire or muzzleloading rifle, a shotgun, or a centerfire handgun.
(c) (5) Hunters shall not use military or full metal-jacket bullets in original or altered form.
Hunters shall use:
(1) Any shotgun, including those with rifled barrels, with number 1 or larger buckshot or slugs to hunt pronghorn antelope, black bear, cougar (mountain lion), or deer.
(2) Any shotgun, including those with rifled barrels, using slugs (single projectile) to hunt elk.
(3) Any shotgun to hunt western gray squirrels.
During controlled muzzleloader only seasons:
(1) Hunters shall use any long gun that:
(a) Is fired from the shoulder;
(b) Is loaded from the muzzle;
(c) Has an open ignition system;
(d) Is a single shot except for muzzleloading shotguns that may be double barreled;
(e) Has only open or aperture (peep) sights.
(2) Hunters shall use only round ball, conical lead or lead alloy bullets whose length does not exceed two times the diameter.
(3) Hunters shall use only flint or percussion caps as a source of ignition.
(4) Hunters shall use only loose or granular black powder or black powder substitutes as propellants.
(5) Any .40 caliber or larger muzzleloader as described in OAR 635-065-0705 (1-4) to hunt pronghorn antelope, black bear, cougar (mountain lion), or deer.
(6) Any .50 caliber or larger muzzleloader as described in OAR 635-065-0705 (1-4) to hunt bighorn sheep, Rocky Mountain goat, or elk.
(7) Hunters shall use only number 1 or larger buckshot or bullets as described in OAR 635-065-0705 (2) for hunting deer, black bear or cougar (mountain lion).
(8) Hunters shall use only single projectiles as described in OAR 635-065-0705 (2) for hunting pronghorn antelope, elk, bighorn sheep, or Rocky Mountain goat
(9) Hunters may only use a legal muzzleloading firearm as described in OAR 635-065-0705. During centerfire firearms seasons where muzzleloaders are also a legal firearm, hunters may:
(a) Use any .40 caliber or larger muzzleloading firearm to hunt pronghorn antelope, black bear, cougar (mountain lion), or deer.
(b) Use any .50 caliber or larger muzzleloading firearm to hunt bighorn sheep, Rocky Mountain goat, or elk.
(c) Use any muzzleloader ignition type (excepting matchlock), any sight, any propellant, or any bullet type.
Hunters shall use:
(1) Any centerfire handgun .22 caliber or larger that is not fully automatic to hunt pronghorn antelope, black bear, cougar (mountain lion), or deer.
(2) Any centerfire handgun .24 caliber or larger that is not fully automatic to hunt bighorn sheep, Rocky Mountain goat, or elk.
(3) Any handgun that is not fully automatic to hunt western gray squirrels.
(4) Hunters shall not use military or full metal-jacket bullets in original or altered form.
February 17, 2006, 12:05 PM
Holey Sheep Sh*t! They Let You Guys Hunt With A .22 In Oregon. Wow. Thanks For The Info On The Oregon Hunting Regulations. That Is Really Interesting. We Have The Same Game Here In Washington. Its Funny That The Caliber Restrictions Are Different. We Have To Deal With A Large Slew Of Anti Hunters In The Seattle Area That Influence The Laws. There Is Also Way Less Access To Hunting Areas In Western Wa Than There Used To Be Thanks To Those A Holes! So I Hunt In Eastern Wa Where The Rednecks Rule And Theres Less Whiney *******. Thanks.
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