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Old June 3, 2007, 07:03 PM   #1
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Email from Ohio Department of Natural Resources

I sent this e-mail to the ODNR a while ago and was wanting your opinions on the subject.

I was wanting to know some of your justifications as why rifles shooting
handgun ammo during statewind gun season are illegal. My hangun shoots
the EXACT same bullet as my muzzleloader and my muzzleloader shoots them
faster. And a rifle will shoot this same bullet slower than a
muzzleloader. So what gives? Is it gun capacity? Because the Ruger
Deerfield rifle holds less cartridges than revolvers, but revolvers are
legal. This makes absolutely no sense to me. Thank You.

This was their responce.

Thank you for you interest in Ohio deer hunting. The rifles
chambered for presently allowable handgun calibers have brought about
much debate. From a ballistic standpoint comparison with modern day
muzzleloaders, you are correct in saying that the modern muzzleloader is
superior. They are limited to one shot in comparison to most rifles
chambered in presently allowable handgun caliber. Some of these rifles
could be plugged but not without the assistance of a gunsmith and
expense. Hunter incident statistics are beginning to show the reduction
of incidents because of the three shot limitation on long guns. This is
very important to us. We have very few incidents involving handguns and
see very few handgun hunters in the field. The use of present handgun
calibers in a repeating style long gun will increase muzzle velocity &
feet per second of travel but as stated remain less then some modern day
muzzleloaders. The state must consider the safety of the public and the
simplicity of the law when setting legal firearm guidelines and both
these areas are challenging. The debate about rifles vs. handguns vs.
muzzleloaders vs. shotguns is personal preference depending on what
article you have read or professional organization you are affiliated
with. The state is given the task of considering the options and making
a decision and that does not always set well with everyone. In essence
we must establish a guideline somewhere. Now that is not to say that
the use of a rifle in presently allowable handgun calibers will never
occur in Ohio. We would encourage you to attend one of the five
Wildlife Open house set for March 4, 2007 and propose a change to
allowable firearms for deer hunting. You can determine the Wildlife
district office in your area by the Hunting digest and call them about
meeting location for the open house. Thank you for taking the time to
inquire about this law and hope to see you at the open house!

I was gonna write back but figured I'd just be wasting my time. Any Ohio hunters wanna get on board with me? If you do, please start sending the ODNR e-mails. Here is the link
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Old June 3, 2007, 11:54 PM   #2
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Personally, I think they responded beyond what they would be required. All they need to do is reference the law or hunting guidelines. Change is a slow thing and their allowing handguns is a good thing from my standpoint. Go to the meeting and voice your opinion. If there is an Ohio gun forum, join it, voice your beliefs, and maybe you can get a large number of license holders to attend the meeting.

A little story for you. I live in Tennessee. I grew up in PA. I often travel between the two states and spend time in PA on my old home stomping grounds. I got my CCW permit in TN and the one internet source at that time ( indicated that my permit would be honored in PA. I saw later that it was not honored and I was breaking the law in PA when I carried. It seemed arbitrary that TN honored the PA permit, but not vice versa when TN requirements are much more strict than PA's to get the permit. So, I called the PA attorney general's office to verify the info on I had and they confirmed at that time that the TN permit was not honored (ie. no reciprocity agreement). They instructed me to contact the TN attorney general's office to try to have them make an official request. I called and they didn't hardly give me the time of the day when PA was very nice to me. Long story short..... 6 months later there was an agreement in place. Was it because of my call? I don't know. But the coincidence is interesting.

The moral of the story is talk to ODNR. Voice your opinion. Call your local state rep and ask them to check into it if they believe it has merit. Attend the meetings. Get support for your cause. Maybe the regulation will be changed.
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Old June 4, 2007, 06:26 AM   #3
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My friend and I were just talking about this the other day. I have a 45-70 TC Encore that I would love to shoot during deer season, but I have to turn it into a pistol set-up before I can do so. He and I's solution to this matter was single shot rifles only. Of course that would mean NEF and Harrington & Richardson guns would start going crazy, but it is a good solution. As to handgun calibers I could see that working too. Marlin makes some pretty awesome rifles in cowboy style calibers, I think that would be decent too. I could see how we could justify that, the round isn't going to get any better just because it is in a rifle.
TC Encore -6mm Rem Rifle; Ruger 10/22; Ruger 10/22 Ultimate; Stoeger Condor 20; ; Remington 1100 12; Stoeger 22 Luger; Taurus PT1911; Ruger SR40c
God gave us the gift of life. It is the most precious gift ever. To be unarmed is to be helpless to protect that gift; that is outright irresponsible. - Ted Nugent
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Old June 4, 2007, 07:24 AM   #4
Art Eatman
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What's not clear to me is the state's cause for concern about the selection of firearm. Is it because they believe the state is so built up that any rifle of long-range capability is dangerous to people near their houses?

Since it is well-known that a .357 pistol can kill hogs and deer, I don't see where "clean kill" is any issue.

Offhand, it seems to me that the hunters of Ohio would be better served if the wildlife folks would go out of state to learn of others' experiences and knowledge. For instance, any idea of a three-shot limitation is silly, since people have had five or more shots available since way back in the 1800s.

You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!
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Old June 4, 2007, 07:26 PM   #5
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Agree with 22-rimfire

I have to agree with 22-rimfire; the author of the response went well beyond what one would typically get from a government employee. I know, I am one.
The author probably agrees completely with mrawesome, but has to repeat the official position, which was probably based on the opinions of a political appointee knowing little or nothing about hunting and exposed mainly to those in opposition. I read the author's last lines as suggesting there are others questioning the same restriction and urging participation in order to get it changed. He/she can't come right out and say they agree personally; and, unless their supervisor is a little dense or also agrees, he/she may have gotten a mild butt-chewing for going so far (if anyone higher up bothered to read it). Good luck in getting the restriction lifted.
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Old June 4, 2007, 11:06 PM   #6
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For those that might not know, I wanted to insert a copy of the firearm requirements for deer hunting in Ohio. This is from the ODNR web site.

"Gun Season and Youth Deer Gun Season:

10, 12, 16, 20, 28, or .410 gauge shotgun using one ball or one rifled slug per barrel (rifled shotgun barrels are permitted when using shotgun slug ammunition); or muzzleloading rifle .38 caliber or larger; or handgun with 5-in. minimum length barrel, using straight-walled cartridges .357 caliber or larger, or longbow, crossbow (draw weight limitations same as for Archery Season).

Shotguns cannot be capable of holding more than three shells. This means you may not hunt with a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells, unless it is plugged with a one-piece filler which limits the capacity of the gun to three shells. The filler must be such that it cannot be removed without disassembling the gun."

These regs have been in place for a long time. I assume, the 3-shot plug deal for shotguns is a carry over from the small game hunting limitation. Allowing handguns is relatively new. Center fire rifles have not been allowed for deer hunting in Ohio for a long long time.

If I lived in Ohio, I would just hunt with a revolver and skip the shotgun entirely. The other interesting item I observed is that handguns may not be concealed during hunting season and you are only allowed to carry one firearm while hunting during gun season. So, technically, you have to make darn sure that the handgun is not concealed even unintentionally due to a heavy coat. PA started there "Sportsman Permit" deal which allowed handguns to be concealed during hunting season since it often happens anyway even if you are not trying to. Concealed carry permits most likely alter this requirement (?). The one gun rule means you can't carry the handgun with you when using slugs (shotgun).
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Old June 4, 2007, 11:36 PM   #7
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The plug law started about 4 years ago. That's another law that makes no sense to me. I can use a revolver holding 6 cartridges, but if I go with a shotgun, it can only hold 3

But I don't really care about the shotgun law cause all I hunt deer with is my smokepole and SRH.

It just makes no sense to me why a revolver shooting a 44Mag is OK, but using a rifle shooting a 44Mag is not. Sure the rifle will raise the FPS by a couple hundred FPS. But thats irrelevant when comparing the ballistics side by side.

Now take this 240gr .429" diameter slug, wrap a sabot around it, and cram it down my smokepole. 2400fps Compared to 1600 out of the hangun and 1800 out of the rifle.

But I'm working on changing these laws.

What pisses me off the most is these laws were probably written by people who have never hunted in there life.

Don't even get my started on bottleneck rifle cartrides LOL.
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Old June 5, 2007, 07:23 AM   #8
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Ohio was one of the early states to allow black powder hunting as I recall. I am glad to see that inlines are legal for use for deer hunting. The inlines blurr the distinction that the ODNR is trying to make with rifles, I think. But I guess since they are single shots, it is okay for them.

I didn't know that the plug law for deer season is relatively new. I appreciate you telling me. Maybe it is their way of trying to regulate the larger capacity shotguns relative to hunting???

I feel that the state should give the hunter a bit more credit concerning safety and allow rifles period. Sure, have a minimum caliber, that seems okay to me.

The 357 minimum seems about right for me. My state dropped the minimum which I don't agree with. I guess TN was giving hunters some credit for being able to select a reasonable caliber for deer hunting and still allow the carry of concealed smaller caliber handguns as a backup or for protection (via the handgun permit for concealed carry).
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Old August 11, 2007, 08:33 PM   #9
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Funny thing

The funny thing about the rifle law in Ohio,It's only regulated for deer,migratory birds and turkey.Only "suggests" using proper caliber for small game.Legally you can use a 30-06 for squirrels.
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Old August 11, 2007, 09:29 PM   #10
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What's not clear to me is the state's cause for concern about the selection of firearm. Is it because they believe the state is so built up that any rifle of long-range capability is dangerous to people near their houses?
My guess is yes, that is exactly what they're concerned with. Whether it's legitimate or not, I don't know. They want to limit the velocity, so the bullets don't carry as far. But the muzzleloaders are the allowed exception to this, since they are limited to one shot. They ALSO want to limit the number of shots (they said the rule of 3 or less has in fact - they believe - reduced the number of "incidents" - presumably meaning injuries. How they correlate this I don't know - perhaps they have recorded incidents of a hunter firing off 2 or 3 shots at a deer, and someone was wounded on the 2nd or 3rd miss, instead of the first miss.). Rifles in handgun calibers have BOTH more velocity than handgun rounds, AND the high capacity - and they are difficult to PLUG - say, a levergun - how do you plug it? They don't want people breaking the rules and carrying 8 rounds in their .44 mag levergun, but they also don't want to create a burden on people who trying to jerry-rig some kind of plug. The proposed idea of allowing SINGLE SHOT handgun-caliber rifles is a good one, and one which they *ought* not to be able to articulate a valid objection to. Maybe next year. Or the next. Baby steps - keep writing them.
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Old August 11, 2007, 11:21 PM   #11
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the three shot limit was ...

an overreaction to Columbine, prior to that ther was no limit.
I hunted property in Astabula cty, mid 80's.
My 97 winchester using the 65mm Brennekes slugs would hold seven.
Old Dick Celestse and his crowd forced that on the sportsman.
It was a "sop" to the anti's and a continuation of the Migratory bird restriction.
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Old August 16, 2007, 08:39 PM   #12
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Baby steps - keep writing them.
I have FirstFreedom. And I encourage every Ohio hunter to do the same.

I think this will be an easy nut to crack. Surely reason has to triumph over insanity.
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Old August 17, 2007, 10:19 AM   #13
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Surely reason has to triumph over insanity
Don't forget, you are dealing with a government agency...
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Old August 17, 2007, 08:46 PM   #14
m-g willy
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What gets me is the mag cap. The muzzleloader shooting a 44 cal. at over 2000fps. is safer than a rifle fireing the same bullet at 1600-1800fps.
Whats the differance if it's the first or 100th bullet that hits ya!
We already have a hunter safty course required before you can get a hunting permit.
I think we should be allowed to use any rifle chambered for the same legal pistol ammo.

I also think anyone using a flintlock should be allowed to hunt during the primitive bow season!
You can shoot one of them--( primitive bows )--with the trigger release and sights with all the pullys and cables and some with a butt stock a lot faster than you could get a second shot off with the flintlock!

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Old August 18, 2007, 03:31 PM   #15
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Indiana will allow PCR (pistol caliber rifles) for deer hunting for the first time this year. It was not an easy thing to get passed but it is there now. You might try checking out some of the Indiana hunting websites and see some of the pro and con arguments that went in to the crafting of the new law.
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