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Old June 21, 2013, 09:12 AM   #1
btmj
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shooting at / over water

When I was a kid, I remember being told that it was against the law to shoot at or over a body of water, except for a shotgun. I was told this by my Grandfather, who seemed to be an expert on such things, at least in the eyes of a 12 year old boy.

I recently tried to verify this, but I could not find any such prohibition in Missouri conservation regulations, or in Missouri statute.

Perhaps what my Grandfather told me was "shooting at a lake is a really bad idea, if I ever catch you doing it I will !#$%&*"... and in my boy-brain it got translated to being illegal...

What is the status on shooting rifles and handguns near a body of water? Obviously a bad idea, but illegal?
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Old June 21, 2013, 09:30 AM   #2
Doyle
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Probably very dependant on local regs. Definately nothing on a national scale prevents it (other than common sense).
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Old June 21, 2013, 09:32 AM   #3
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Quote:
Perhaps what my Grandfather told me was "shooting at a lake is a really bad idea, if I ever catch you doing it I will !#$%&*"... and in my boy-brain it got translated to being illegal...
Shooting across a large body of water with a rifle is a bad ideal, as a bullet can skip across the water, I think this may have been what your Grandfather was referring to.

Quote:
What is the status on shooting rifles and handguns near a body of water? Obviously a bad idea, but illegal?
As for shooting near a body of water, frog hunters have been doing that for years in Missouri.
I believe it's still a legal method of hunting frogs in Missouri.

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Old June 21, 2013, 10:58 AM   #4
southjk
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For an idea of what they can do here is a video of tracers being fired in a lake.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2Gd5yg6-0g
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Old June 21, 2013, 11:03 AM   #5
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Last time I read the CA Hunting Regulations it was unlawful to fire across a body of water, a roadway or within 350 feet of a habitable building/outbuilding. Have not checked recently but can't imagine them making it legal.
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Old June 21, 2013, 01:27 PM   #6
kilimanjaro
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It's illegal on any federal BLM or National Forest land, to shoot into, along, or across any road or body of water.

Ricochet and other people are the reasons. A safe backstop is required. Can't control where a ricochet will go.
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Old June 21, 2013, 04:21 PM   #7
Koda94
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Here is the federal law that I am aware of:

Title 36 - Parks, Forests, and Public Property
Chapter II - Forest Service, Department Of Agriculture
Part 261 - Prohibitions
Section 261.10 - Occupancy and use.
The following are prohibited:
(d) Discharging a firearm or any
other implement capable of taking
human life, causing injury, or damaging
property as follows:
(1) In or within 150 yards of a residence,
building, campsite, developed
recreation site or occupied area, or
(2) Across or on a National Forest
System road or a body of water adjacent
thereto, or in any manner or place
whereby any person or property is exposed
to injury or damage as a result
in such discharge.
(3) Into or within any cave.

The above text can be found on page 2 of this 2 page PDF:http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-201...-sec261-10.pdf
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Old June 21, 2013, 04:54 PM   #8
cryogenic419
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Camp Perry's backstop is Lake Erie. They have a five mile area where no boats are allowed. That's a military base so if there are laws governing this I'm sure they are exempt.
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Old June 21, 2013, 05:37 PM   #9
Garycw
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shooting at / over water

Quote:
Originally Posted by cryogenic419 View Post
Camp Perry's backstop is Lake Erie. They have a five mile area where no boats are allowed. That's a military base so if there are laws governing this I'm sure they are exempt.
I've boated there many times and near the impact zone border. There is a big buffer between the border and where the bullits may fall. The coast guard and camp perry marine patrol monitor the edge of the zone and they will remind you real quick if you've crossed it. I've never heard of any accidents or near misses.
As far as shooting in water I like to shoot off my deck into a pond which is 200-300 below. There's no or little chance of shipping. It is fun to skip across water though if you know your backstop is clear. I've done it with 22's on mountain ponds or lengthwise on remote rivers
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Old June 21, 2013, 05:40 PM   #10
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shooting at / over water

Quote:
Originally Posted by southjk View Post
For an idea of what they can do here is a video of tracers being fired in a lake.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2Gd5yg6-0g
I thought I heard someone hollering on the other side of lake on second round spray
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Old June 21, 2013, 06:05 PM   #11
kilimanjaro
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Yeah, I heard it too. Second batch got 'em, though.
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Old June 21, 2013, 06:07 PM   #12
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shooting at / over water

LOL. Yep!
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Old June 21, 2013, 06:07 PM   #13
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Re: shooting at / over water

Quote:
Originally Posted by Garycw View Post
I thought I heard someone hollering on the other side of lake on second round spray
After the second volley I heard a younger voice (young boy?) exclaim "woah!" from behind the shooter and cameraman. I believe they had spectators safely behind them.

I just listened to it again and head kids laughing after the first volley as well.
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Old June 21, 2013, 06:15 PM   #14
Garycw
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shooting at / over water

Ok hunter lets say it was behind him and it was laughing. Well go with that.
Anyway it is fun to shoot at or on water, just not in some cases or locations. At certain angles bullits will skip like flat rocks
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Old June 21, 2013, 06:41 PM   #15
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Wonder if all those rounds skipping over Lake Erie, at Camp Perry, makes the Canadians nervous.

When I was a kid, we used to shoot at anything that floated at a water filled quarry.
But it had high walls around it.
Great fun with our .22s.
And they did skip real good, too.
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Old June 21, 2013, 06:47 PM   #16
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shooting at / over water

Quote:
Originally Posted by g.willikers View Post
Wonder if all those rounds skipping over Lake Erie, at Camp Perry, makes the Canadians nervous.

When I was a kid, we used to shoot at anything that floated at a water filled quarry.
But it had high walls around it.
Great fun with our .22s.
And they did skip real good, too.
I believe the way the range is set up they drop into the lake at a arc. Seems like a lot of lead in the lake though over time I've been there, but never been at the range line. There may be a bank too and the lake catches just what may go over?
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Old June 21, 2013, 06:58 PM   #17
g.willikers
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Here's an interesting explanation of the range, how far the bullets travel over water at Camp Perry, and the precautions that are taken:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7S9ODwzcUZw
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Old June 21, 2013, 07:28 PM   #18
Garycw
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shooting at / over water

Thanks for the video. I was always more than careful to stay out of the impact zones. I usually go east of there and stayed closer to the islands. I wonder if there has ever been any impacts with boats? A small wooded sail boat could be missed on radar and visual. At the range that they are likely to hit the lake I wouldn't think they'd have much skip energy left it them.
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Old June 22, 2013, 03:31 PM   #19
kilimanjaro
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Just watched a documentary on Okinawa 1945 and the Kamikaze
40mm and 5-inch were skipping all over the ocean.
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Old June 25, 2013, 12:01 PM   #20
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I heard " dont shoot into the water because of the lead poisoning the water" but that was so long ago I really dont remember who said it. I think it was in reference to a pond on near a range.
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Old June 25, 2013, 01:52 PM   #21
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Quote:
I heard " dont shoot into the water because of the lead poisoning the water" but that was so long ago I really dont remember who said it. I think it was in reference to a pond on near a range.
I've left a lot more lead sinkers in the water than I have bullets. I suspect most people have done the same thing.
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Old June 25, 2013, 03:31 PM   #22
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I've left a lot more lead sinkers in the water than I have bullets. I suspect most people have done the same thing.
Yep, so have I, along with sinkers, lead head jigs, spinner baits, all types of artificial baits weighted with lead.

I believe the ricochet reason is the main reason for not shooting across water.

I know I've killed many a frog with a 22, however we were not shooting across the water.

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Old June 26, 2013, 05:29 PM   #23
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When I worked for the state, a coworker's son almost went to jail over the potential outcome of a water ricochet. The son was shooting turtles in a pond with a friend. They were well away from the road and houses. Despite that, one of the .22LR projectiles ricocheted and traveled either 3/4 of a mile or a mile (surprised me) to hid a elementary school age boy in the head, causing a severe injury. Luckily for all concerned, the kid recovered after some hospitalization.

I would bet that the son uses a .410 shotgun next time. He was reportedly VERY freaked out when the police picked him up to answer some questions. I am uncertain how they were sure he was the one who fired the ill-fated shot.
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