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Thread: Hours for Legal Shooting Light

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    Default Hours for Legal Shooting Light

    I am curious to know whether or not there are set hours for legal shooting hours for big game animals. This is obviously a situation where common sense plays a big role, if you can't see it through the scope, don't shoot it, or I guess I should say don't shoot at it. I have hunted in other states when I was younger that had hour restrictions. For example, one half hour after sunrise to one half hour before sunset. The waterfowl regs have legal light tables for each region but I have looked all throughout the regs and have found nothing for big game. My next step is to obviously call ADF&G and AST but figured I would ask you all on here as this place has always proven to be a good source of information. Thanks in advance for the replies.

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    Member winibezold's Avatar
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    don't hold it to me, but my view of the regs is if you can see shoot, any time. that being said, there is specific text that states no light may be cast on the animal, such as flashlights, spotlights, lasers. i think its probably got to do with summer hunting and such when you could hunt up north for 24 hrs a day.

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    Agree with Winibezold. In Alaska, waterfowl are the only game that have legal shooting hours, and that's probably only because they are federally regulated. We have longer twilight than other states, and the length of the twilight varies throughout the year and throughout the state. For instance, in Juneau in October, it's probably starting to get pretty hard to see 30 minutes after sunset, but in the Brooks Range in August, there's still enough light to shoot 2 hours after the sun goes down, at which point it starts getting light again. So they leave it to the hunter (OMG!!!) to make the determination on whether there is enough light to shoot. I'm glad (my read of) the regs do not set legal shooting hours... except for waterfowl... which again are federally regulated... and the federal gov't knows best... of course... especially when it comes to "helping" states manage their resources... like halibut... Where was that sarcasm icon again?? I'll stop -Gr
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    I.E. ; Say you're out on your hunting trip, you're crashed out, it's late at night with a bright full moon. You hear something, then step out of your tent and clearly see a bull moose feeding in the pond next to your tent. If you can clearly determine that it's legal without the use of any artificial light (anything other than moon or sun light), then you can shoot it. That's how I read it. That's how most everybody I know reads it. When talking with a retired Alaska F&G officer, he said it's cool. This actually happened to a coworker of mine in an antler restricted area.

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    Here in the Arctic, hunting by Moonlight on a world cast in white snow is pretty well light up. White animals are hard to see, but darker ones, including Caribou are seen for a mile or more often. One of my favorite times to howel in Wolves as well, and use a shot gun, when I could. You can get pretty close in whiteout cammo, but they can see you too.

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    You all have confirmed exactly what I was thinking and how I interpreted the lack of information in the regs regarding this. I should have also clarified in my original post that what I meant was as long as you can see it without the use of artificial light which is obviously illegal and IS spelled out in the regs. I didn't even think about the moonlight though. Makes sense though if on a clear night with a big bright moon an animal walks out and is clearly identifiable as a legal animal that you should be able to take it legally. Thanks again all and happy hunting!

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    I called ADF&G and they confirmed that basically as long as you can see it (without the use of artificial light) and clearly identify it as a LEGAL animal, you can shoot it regardless of time of day or night. I would still be interested to see if I get the same response from AST.

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    Quote Originally Posted by selliott97 View Post
    You all have confirmed exactly what I was thinking and how I interpreted the lack of information in the regs regarding this. I should have also clarified in my original post that what I meant was as long as you can see it without the use of artificial light which is obviously illegal and IS spelled out in the regs. I didn't even think about the moonlight though. Makes sense though if on a clear night with a big bright moon an animal walks out and is clearly identifiable as a legal animal that you should be able to take it legally. Thanks again all and happy hunting!
    I know at least two people (I guess now three if you include Stranger) whose preferred method of varmint hunting is by moonlight in the winter. I know a guy who says at least a couple times a winter, he and his buds will go out on a clear full-moon night, pull an all-nighter, and drive all over the place shooting coyotes. Not necessarily my thing, but he says it's a lot of fun, and it's completely legal.
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    The thing about good quality optics are their light gathering ability.....especially with the larger objective lenses. So with that in mind even when you think it's too dark to make out your target, put a good scope or set of binos on it and you'd be surprised at what you can see. Years ago I was totally blown away when I tested my new Swaro 7x42 binos when it was too dark to see down the end of the driveway with my naked eye. So that's what's nice about the reg.........if you can see to shoot it without any fake light then take the shot. Quality optics are worth their weight in gold...!!!
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    Shooting light hours do apply to waterfowl hunting. I know it seems like a no brainer but it would suck to read this thread and think it applied to all hunting in AK then get busted.
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by selliott97 View Post
    I called ADF&G and they confirmed that basically as long as you can see it (without the use of artificial light) and clearly identify it as a LEGAL animal, you can shoot it regardless of time of day or night. I would still be interested to see if I get the same response from AST.
    AST should be saying the same thing because that is what the law is. The only shooting hour restrictions are on waterfowl.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anchskier View Post
    AST should be saying the same thing because that is what the law is. The only shooting hour restrictions are on waterfowl.
    AST did confirm the same information. I received a phone call from the troopers a little bit ago regarding this. Although the State Troopers have the authority here, If I can't get in touch with a Wildlife Trooper right away I will leave a message and call Fish & Game.

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