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Old November 25, 2009, 08:56 PM   #1
Join Date: May 23, 2008
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NY deer season: can you target practice while its deer season?

I was informed today of a "law" that I find a bit suspect. This was relayed to me by a close relative today: My parents own about 70 acres in upstate NY, in a rural county, I am not allowed to target practice on their land, during deer season. This is because it is considered "menancing the deer".

Is there such a rule from the hunting regulations for NY state (I was not able to find any such rules)? This "law" was relayed to me by a relative who ran into a guy who hunts about 2 properties over from my parent's property. He was pretty ****** that I was capping off 100 rounds for about an hour or so one afternoon this past week because it was scaring the deer. I'm like, "so what? It's private land and I'm not shooting past the property line." If I went onto my parents land with a dirtbike and rode around the property for an hour, would I be accused of menacing game? Dirtbikes would certainly scare the deer.

interested on hearing feedback from anyone with knowledge about this so called menacing law.
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Old November 25, 2009, 09:06 PM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
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No. There is no such law. I believe that you are not allowed to "carry into the field" a rifle in non-rifle areas, or even in rifle areas without a big game license or shotguns while in possession of slugs without a big game license during the deer hunting season. I can't find the my actual reg book at the moment and the website is, er, less than complete in many areas.

The regulation that he is probably taking about concerns the definition of hunting. There were a few episodes in the past wherein anti-hunters were going into the woods with pots and pans, trying to make as much noise as possible to keep people from shooting deer. The antis were eventually charged for "hunting without a license" because the definition of hunting is New York includes the language of "worry, harass or chase whether or not it results in the taking of an animal" (ad-lib there).

However, shooting at targets on private property that you have permission to be on would not fall under that restriction, nor would it be considered to "carry into the field."

Ah, I found it... here are the pertinent laws. Note that it could be construed to mean what the fellow is saying, but I can assure you that it does not.

To hunt-means to pursue, shoot, kill or capture (other than trap) wildlife and includes all lesser acts that disturb or worry wildlife whether or not they result in taking. Hunting also includes all acts to assist another person in taking wildlife.

Possession of Firearms
During the open season for deer, it is illegal to:

possess shotgun shells loaded with slug or ball, unless holding a valid license or permit to take deer or bear, or
possess a rifle larger than a .22 rimfire (muzzleloading rifles excepted) in areas where rifles are banned for taking deer.

Go wandering around the woods and you'll have problems. Stay in an obvious target shooting range/area and obviously be shooting at targets and you'll be fine.

To really be sure, go spend the $35 (or whatever) on a license and you won't have to worry at all.
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Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; November 25, 2009 at 09:16 PM.
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Old November 25, 2009, 09:09 PM   #3
Doc Intrepid
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Same situation in national forests and BLM land - it is not illegal to pin up a target and shoot at it during hunting season (assuming appropriate safety precautions are taken).

You may annoy the crap out of a whole lot of hunters, but it isn't illegal.
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Old November 25, 2009, 09:21 PM   #4
Join Date: May 23, 2008
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yeah that's what I thought, that it isn't illegal....because if it's private land, you can make as much "noise" as you want. Riding a dirt bike for a couple of hours on my parents land would be as much as menacing as shooting up 100 I was suspect of this "menacing" law.
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Old November 26, 2009, 11:17 AM   #5
Uncle Buck
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I would suspect that riding the dirt bike is much more 'menacing' to deer than target shooting. Target shooting you are in one area, the dirt bike, I would hope, takes you to many areas (unless my nephew had been working on it).
Sounds pretty much like the rules here in Missouri. If you are hunting, you better have a license and during deer season, unless your rifle/shotgun is loaded with a specific type of ammunition.
I would also believe that you would be more readily accused of harassing the deer with the motorbike than target shooting. I went to pick up some brass at a local range and when I got there, a guy was trying to sight in his new scope. During the process, three does walked right by his target.
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Old November 28, 2009, 08:42 PM   #6
Dr. Strangelove
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Same situation in national forests and BLM land - it is not illegal to pin up a target and shoot at it during hunting season (assuming appropriate safety precautions are taken).

You may annoy the crap out of a whole lot of hunters, but it isn't illegal.
Be careful, I realize it may be different in other ares, but in the southeast, it is illegal to target practice outside of an authorized range on National Forest land. WMA's have the same regulations here in GA.
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