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This was a pretty heavy hit thread in the General Archery section a couple days ago. Maybe a WCO can help out with this one?

A certain gentlemen on the board advised that you do the following when going into the woods after dark to track/recover a hit deer: Call a local WCO and tell them where you are going to be and that you are looking for a hit animal, so you can't be accused of poaching.

The topic then moved to laws as far as tracking an animal with a bow. I'd say that 99% of bowhunters take their bow (and quiver) with them into the woods after dark while tracking a deer just incase a follow-up shot is necessary. Is this illegal?

In summary, 1.) does the game commission want every hunter who tracks a deer in the dark to give them a phone call before hand? and 2.) Is it illegal to take your bow with you into the woods after dark to make a follow-up shot on an animal? If this IS in fact illegal, what is one advised to do if one walks up on a wounded deer after dark (besides slitting the throat)

Thanks
 

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slitting its throat is illegal..knives are not legal hunting weapons...

and slitting its throat after dark would be taking wildlife after legal hunting hours with a prohibited device..

if its wounded enough for you to get close enough to make an archery shot in the dark, or slit its throat, come back a few hours later or in the morning...it'll be dead right there...

tracking deer at night with a bow would be a no-no id say..shot your deer...take your bow and extra gear back to your truck, then proceed with tracking..give the animal time to expire and get your gear back to the truck so you dont loose it or have to lug it around all night..

im no WCO..but thats my thoughts...

calling ahead...ive never heard that one..might not hurt to call and let them know..even on sundays too..could look a little fishy if your dragging a deer out in the wee hours of the morning or sunday afternoon as the local DWCO strolls by....
 

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i wouldnt call that hunting with a knife..... it is wounded and you dont want the animal to suffer. I know many people that do that and i also think its the humane thing to do.

I would like to know the actual law about tracking with a bow though
 

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If you are in the field with a sporting arm after hunting hours trying to find a wounded animal you are hunting after hours, whether it is a firearm or a bow. Call the PGC if you need to look for a wounded animal after hours.
 

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Tracking with a bow, if its illegal, gets broken on a consistant basis then.

There have been members on here this year that have stated they have put another arrow into a buck once they caught up to it after dark and it was still alive and no one has said anything about it.
 

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This year when I shot my Buck I was close enough to the truck to take everything back and put away. wanted to kill time anyway.

Last year I left my Bow and tree stand at the base of my tree and went to retrieve my deer.So I wonder if it was illegal?? Bow 80 yards away at the tree base.Then I dragged the deer to the truck walked back and picked up my bow and tree stand.About 11pm I walk out of the woods with my Bow.Legal? / Illegal? I doubt a WCO would ticket me but you never know.
 

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me too. Im sure we have all heard of people slitting the throat.

My cousin had to do that once on a doe during the late season. He hit this doe and we tracked it through the snow. Come up on it and none of our smoke poles would go off. It was a miserable day, snowing, windy, and you could feel the cold damp air.

He ended up and cut its throat. I hated seeing that but what were we to do
 

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Let's get real guys. Who in the world would write you for slitting it's throat after dark. It tells me the deer was about dead if you could walk up to it and slit it's throat.
 

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The law is the law, I understand that, but this is one of a few game laws that drives me a little nuts.

It assumes that the hunter is doing, or will do, something unethical. It is not unethical to recover an animal that was shot and killed during legal shooting hours; it is unethical not to do so. Leaving the field to return your equipment to your base of operations or make a call is not practical in many situations.

Possession of a weapon should not in and of itself be considered evidence that someone is hunting unless corroborated by other evidence, such as possessing a loaded firearm or an arrow on the string. It is akin to saying that no one may drive a car because they “might” run a red light, or go to a bar because they “might” get drunk and get in a fight, etc.

Recovery of a legally killed animal is not “hunting”, it is post-hunting. If recovery after hours is “hunting”, then it should make no difference if you have a weapon or not, or whether you’ve called the PGC or not. Hunting after hours is against the law and the PGC may not grant you permission to break the law.
 

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I have more important things to worry about than something as trivial as slitting a deers throat with a knife.I really wonder about some people.
 

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fishkrane said:
I have more important things to worry about than something as trivial as slitting a deers throat with a knife.I really wonder about some people.

Then why are you on here posting about it? Go worry about those important things.
 

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fishkrane said:
I have more important things to worry about than something as trivial as slitting a deers throat with a knife.I really wonder about some people.
The thread wasn't about slitting a deers throat with a knife, it is about whether it's legal to track a deer after hours.

Tracking a wounded animal after hours is a completely different matter. An ethical hunter would immediately abandon pursuit as soon as he discovers that the animal is not dead, but only wounded, for two reasons. First, he knows that pushing the animal will only result in a complicated recovery or no recovery at all, and second, he knows that he may not legally dispatch the animal even if he should encounter it. The ethical hunter will leave the trail and pick it back up when he is as certain as he can be that the animal has either expired or can be legally hunted.
 

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loridr said:
The thread wasn't about slitting a deers throat with a knife, it is about whether it's legal to track a deer after hours.
I thought it was about tracking after hours with a "legal hunting weapon" and then firing another shot at the wounded animal after legal shooting hours to kill it.
 

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Original post

This was a pretty heavy hit thread in the General Archery section a couple days ago. Maybe a WCO can help out with this one?

A certain gentlemen on the board advised that you do the following when going into the woods after dark to track/recover a hit deer: Call a local WCO and tell them where you are going to be and that you are looking for a hit animal, so you can't be accused of poaching.

The topic then moved to laws as far as tracking an animal with a bow. I'd say that 99% of bowhunters take their bow (and quiver) with them into the woods after dark while tracking a deer just incase a follow-up shot is necessary. Is this illegal?

In summary, 1.) does the game commission want every hunter who tracks a deer in the dark to give them a phone call before hand? and 2.) Is it illegal to take your bow with you into the woods after dark to make a follow-up shot on an animal? If this IS in fact illegal, what is one advised to do if one walks up on a wounded deer after dark (besides slitting the throat)

Thanks
#2 does refer to finishing off an animal, but most of the question had to do with having a weapon and whether you must call the PGC.
 

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This is one of those one of those ridiculous laws that few hunters follow and my guess is no WCO will cite you for. Maybe a DWCO but not a WCO.

Imagine this……. you shoot at a deer with one minute left before quitting time. Now before you go check to see if you hit it you need to walk immediately to your truck and drop off your gun….LOL

Just don’t keep you gun loaded after shooting hours and you will be fine. I would bet that if you did put down your wounded deer after hours you would not get a citation if you could show the WCO you ½ mile blood trail.

These laws are written to help prosecute poachers not guys just doing the right thing. There are a bunch of game laws written this way because idiots try to use them as an excuse. The… I was hunting coyotes excuse……

I guess if you are walking to your stand before hunting hours you could be considered “hunting after hours”
 

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loridr said:
It is clearly illegal to finish off a wounded animal after hours, as well it should be.
LOL....

Sometimes what is ethical and what is legal is not one in the same
 

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You summed up my take on it pretty well with your first post.

As far as finishing off an animal, I guess I'm geared more to archery hunting where the best policy is to back off of an obviously wounded animal and look later. I've never had that situation rifle hunting, the few I've shot near dark with a rifle were DRT.
 
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