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· Super Moderator
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I archery hunt so I know darn well it is so dark fifteen minutes before the end of shooting hours there is no way for anyone to know if they are even shooting at a legal deer that is more then five or ten yards away unless they would be using a light to do so. So, it would be legal to dispatch a deer until the end of shooting hours as long as you don’t need a light to do so.

Anyone out there using a light to track down and kill wildlife, even if previously wounded, is running the risk of some serious game law violations that could cause you to loose the deer, several hundred dollars and your future hunting privileges. Each case will be looked at on its own merits but tracking and killing deer through the use of artificial light can be a very serious violation of the law.

A wise and scrupulous hunter will stop hunting when it gets to the point they don’t have time to recover anything they would shoot within legal hunting hours. If hunters aren’t capable of recovering their game within the legal limits of the law, with these extended hunting hours, then I strongly suggest we go back to shooting hours ending at sunset like it used to be. That way hunters will have about a half hour to track and finish off any wounded deer within legal hours without needing a light to do so.

I hunt a long ways from my vehicle and generally do look for and recover my harvests before I take my bow back to my vehicle, even if I have to use a light to follow the blood trail. But, if that deer jumps up on the trial I quit and take everything back to the vehicle and give it at least a couple hours to lay down and die. I might go back later and pick up the trail again, if it looks like the weather is going to be an issue, but I don’t take my bow or any other weapons with me. If the deer still isn’t dead I leave and come back the next morning with my bow to track it down and finish it off.

Only once in all of my years did I ever have to finish a deer off the next day and I never had to shot one after legal hours to recover it. In short I have been a round both hunting an wildlife law enforcement for a long time and I am not buying all of these what it excuses for people to justify carrying their bows while being out there with lights at night. Each case I encounter will be closely looked at before I decide if they need charged, but rest assured they will be under serious investigation with a potential for serious charges.

Dick Bodenhorn
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