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Thread: Hunting with Large Bore High Velocity Air Rifle - Legal?

  1. #1
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    Default Hunting with Large Bore High Velocity Air Rifle - Legal?

    Hello,
    I've been having a debate with someone and was wondering if someone could point me in the right direction for documentation. We were talking about taking "big game" (caribou, black bear, deer, etc) with some of the large bore (.30 to .50) high velocity air rifles. I'm not talking about an old red ryder here. These air rifles fire a 230 grain projectile something like 1000 fps. I had heard recently of a person taking a black bear with one of these types of rifles.

    The person that I am talking to says it is illegal, I believe it is legal. The only thing in the regs that refers to anything close to this is as follows.

    You May Not:
    Take big game with a rimfire rifle, except you may use .22 rimfire cartridge to take swimming caribou in units 23 and 26.

    You May Not:
    Hunt big game with a muzzleloader. Unless it is a shoulder mounted long gun of at least .45 caliber or larger, rifled or smooth bore that fires a single projectile.

    I would call F&G but they are closed for the night. Anybody able to answer this one?

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  3. #3
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    well it WOULD NOT be legal for bison here in ak.... they have grain and foot per sec limits...

    but i dont see why not..
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    Default which end do you stick it in

    i personally have never heard of these rifles....but i would think that if you don't load it through the muzzle that the muzzleloader part of that would not apply.....
    "early to bed, early to rise, fish like hell, and make up lies"

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    Cool.
    Id give a try, but our extream temps, as in -0- and below nagate the airguns pressure consitancy and gas seals most of my hunting year, so it would be just a toy mostly untill summer, and then I'd preferr something with "Range".....but indeed cool.

    on their trans contenetal trip of 1803, Lewis and Clark carried and hunted with a smoothbore Garondoni air rifle, from Austria. They gave it rave reviews, seems like it was up to snuff with the BP muskets of the day.

    All "Laws" are "Dont!'s" , so it ist not against the law, then go for it and post .....
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  6. #6
    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    I have read about deer and coyote being taken with these. And read some of what Lewis and Clark had to say about there's. Seems they are very popular in countries that don't allow citizen ownership of firearms. Apparently China has a budding hunting community thanks too these guns.


    Thing is everything I've read indicates they aren't very good past about 50 yards. I've yet to see any hunting level guns for less than $600 so I'm left wondering why not just get a good inexpensive rifle? Guess it would be cool if I had money to burn but........
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKF View Post
    Hello,
    I've been having a debate with someone and was wondering if someone could point me in the right direction for documentation. We were talking about taking "big game" (caribou, black bear, deer, etc) with some of the large bore (.30 to .50) high velocity air rifles. I'm not talking about an old red ryder here. These air rifles fire a 230 grain projectile something like 1000 fps. I had heard recently of a person taking a black bear with one of these types of rifles.

    The person that I am talking to says it is illegal, I believe it is legal. The only thing in the regs that refers to anything close to this is as follows.

    You May Not:
    Take big game with a rimfire rifle, except you may use .22 rimfire cartridge to take swimming caribou in units 23 and 26.

    You May Not:
    Hunt big game with a muzzleloader. Unless it is a shoulder mounted long gun of at least .45 caliber or larger, rifled or smooth bore that fires a single projectile.

    I would call F&G but they are closed for the night. Anybody able to answer this one?

    I just google "big bore air rifles for sale" and there appears to be alot of information.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick P View Post
    Thing is everything I've read indicates they aren't very good past about 50 yards. I've yet to see any hunting level guns for less than $600 so I'm left wondering why not just get a good inexpensive rifle? Guess it would be cool if I had money to burn but........
    Hmmm? Not to doubt what you read, but physics doesn't lie. A projectile of a given mass traveling at a given velocity doesn't know whether it was fired by a gunpowder of a burst of air. Energy is energy. It will not peter out at 50yds based on the fact it was fired by compressed air. The power of these rifles are real.

    Also, through personal legal experience I can tell you that air rifles are considered firearms in the state of Alaska.

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    Default Lucky me...

    A few weeks back I was fortunate enough to shoot a Quackenbush .458cal

    It was very accurate...It shot "clover leaf" groups at 50 yards. The individual who was generous enough to let me shoot it had a good friend harvest a blackie this spring with one. It was a one shot kill. I believe he said it went 40yards and piled up.

    I think it would be a great "toy" to add to collection...Afterall, air will always be available!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKF View Post
    Hello,
    I've been having a debate with someone and was wondering if someone could point me in the right direction for documentation. We were talking about taking "big game" (caribou, black bear, deer, etc) with some of the large bore (.30 to .50) high velocity air rifles. I'm not talking about an old red ryder here. These air rifles fire a 230 grain projectile something like 1000 fps. I had heard recently of a person taking a black bear with one of these types of rifles.

    The person that I am talking to says it is illegal, I believe it is legal. The only thing in the regs that refers to anything close to this is as follows.

    You May Not:
    Take big game with a rimfire rifle, except you may use .22 rimfire cartridge to take swimming caribou in units 23 and 26.

    You May Not:
    Hunt big game with a muzzleloader. Unless it is a shoulder mounted long gun of at least .45 caliber or larger, rifled or smooth bore that fires a single projectile.

    I would call F&G but they are closed for the night. Anybody able to answer this one?
    Confirming regs this week but for the bigger picture in whole we don't see anything that sticks out aside from a few minor stipulations. We plan on hunting with some of these models this season 2013. Let you know how it goes.
    Alaska Outdoors Television ~ Outdoor Channel

  11. #11
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    Heres your answer....

    Long Version:

    5 AAC 92.085. Unlawful methods of taking big game; exceptions

    The following methods and means of taking big game are prohibited in addition
    to the prohibitions in 5 AAC 92.080:

    (1) with the use of a firearm other than a shotgun, muzzle-loading rifle, or
    rifle or pistol using a center-firing cartridge, except that

    (A) in Units 23 and 26, swimming caribou may be taken with a firearm using
    rim fire cartridges;


    (B) the use of a muzzle-loading rifle is prohibited unless the firearm is 45
    caliber or larger; and


    (C) the use of a muzzle-loading rifle equipped with a scope, during any
    permitted, registered, or special season hunt for muzzle-loading rifles only, is
    prohibited;


    Short Answer: Its ILLEGAL.....

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    What's Alaska's definition of a "firearm?"

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    5 AAC 92.080. Unlawful methods of taking game; exceptions

    The following methods of taking game are prohibited:

    (1) by shooting from, on, or across a highway;

    (2) with the use of any poison or substance that temporarily incapacitates
    game, except with the written consent of the board;

    (3) knowingly, or with reason to know, with the use of a helicopter in any
    manner, including transportation to, or from, the field of any unprocessed game
    or parts of game, any hunter or hunting gear, or any equipment used in the
    pursuit or retrieval of game; this paragraph does not apply to transportation of
    a hunter, hunting gear, or game during an emergency rescue operation in a
    life-threatening situation;

    (4) unless otherwise provided in this chapter, from a motor-driven boat and a
    snowmachine unless the motor has been completely shut off and the progress from
    the motor's power has ceased, except that a

    (A) motor-driven boat may be used to take caribou in Units 23 and 26;

    (B) snowmachine may be used in Units 22 and 23 to position caribou to select
    individual caribou for harvest, provided that animals are not shot from a moving
    snowmachine;

    (C) snowmachine may be used to take wolves in wolf control implementation
    areas specified in 5 AAC 92.125(2)
    , (3), (5), and (6);

    (D) snowmachine may be used in Units 18 and 19 to take wolves, provided that
    animals are not shot from a moving snowmachine;

    (E) snowmachine or ATV may be used in Units 9(B), 9(C), 9(E), and 17, except
    on any National Park Service or National Wildlife Refuge lands not approved by
    the federal agencies, to take wolves, provided that animals are not shot from a
    moving snowmachine or ATV;

    (5) except as otherwise specified, with the use of an aircraft, snowmachine,
    motor-driven boat, or other motorized vehicle to harass game or for the purpose
    of driving, herding, or molesting game;

    (6) with the use or aid of a machine gun, set gun, or a shotgun larger than
    10 gauge;

    (7) with the aid of a pit, fire, artificial light, laser sight,
    electronically enhanced night vision scope, radio communication, cellular or
    satellite telephone, artificial salt lick, explosive, expanding gas arrow, bomb,
    smoke, chemical (excluding scent lures), or a conventional steel trap with an
    inside jaw spread over nine inches, except that

    (A) a rangefinders may be used;

    (B) a killer style trap with a jaw spread of less than 13 inches may be used;


    (C) for the purpose of taking furbearers under a trapping license during an
    open season November 1 - March 31 in Units 7 and 9 - 26, artificial light may be
    used; and

    (D) a tracking dog handler with one leashed dog may use artificial light to
    aid in tracking and dispatching a wounded big game animal;

    (8) with a snare, except for taking an unclassified game animal, a furbearer,
    grouse, hare, or ptarmigan;

    (9) repealed 7/7/94;

    (10) from a motorized land vehicle, except that in those portions of Units 7
    and 15 within the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, a motorized land vehicle may
    be used to take game by a person with physical disabilities, as defined in AS
    16.05.940
    , who requires a wheelchair for mobility, under authority of a
    permit issued by the department and in compliance with Kenai National Wildlife
    Refuge regulations, and a snowmachine or ATV may be used to take game as
    described in (4) of this section;

    (11) with the use of a crossbow in any restricted weapons hunt that
    authorizes taking by bow and arrow;

    (12) with any bow designed to shoot more than one arrow at a time.




    I don't see anything in there that prohibits an air rifle. So, unless Alaska considers an air rifle a firearm, I think it would be legal.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by NRick View Post
    5 AAC 92.080. Unlawful methods of taking game; exceptions



    The following methods of taking game are prohibited:

    (1) by shooting from, on, or across a highway;

    (2) with the use of any poison or substance that temporarily incapacitates
    game, except with the written consent of the board;

    (3) knowingly, or with reason to know, with the use of a helicopter in any
    manner, including transportation to, or from, the field of any unprocessed game
    or parts of game, any hunter or hunting gear, or any equipment used in the
    pursuit or retrieval of game; this paragraph does not apply to transportation of
    a hunter, hunting gear, or game during an emergency rescue operation in a
    life-threatening situation;

    (4) unless otherwise provided in this chapter, from a motor-driven boat and a
    snowmachine unless the motor has been completely shut off and the progress from
    the motor's power has ceased, except that a

    (A) motor-driven boat may be used to take caribou in Units 23 and 26;

    (B) snowmachine may be used in Units 22 and 23 to position caribou to select
    individual caribou for harvest, provided that animals are not shot from a moving
    snowmachine;

    (C) snowmachine may be used to take wolves in wolf control implementation
    areas specified in 5 AAC 92.125(2)
    , (3), (5), and (6);

    (D) snowmachine may be used in Units 18 and 19 to take wolves, provided that
    animals are not shot from a moving snowmachine;

    (E) snowmachine or ATV may be used in Units 9(B), 9(C), 9(E), and 17, except
    on any National Park Service or National Wildlife Refuge lands not approved by
    the federal agencies, to take wolves, provided that animals are not shot from a
    moving snowmachine or ATV;

    (5) except as otherwise specified, with the use of an aircraft, snowmachine,
    motor-driven boat, or other motorized vehicle to harass game or for the purpose
    of driving, herding, or molesting game;

    (6) with the use or aid of a machine gun, set gun, or a shotgun larger than
    10 gauge;

    (7) with the aid of a pit, fire, artificial light, laser sight,
    electronically enhanced night vision scope, radio communication, cellular or
    satellite telephone, artificial salt lick, explosive, expanding gas arrow, bomb,
    smoke, chemical (excluding scent lures), or a conventional steel trap with an
    inside jaw spread over nine inches, except that

    (A) a rangefinders may be used;

    (B) a killer style trap with a jaw spread of less than 13 inches may be used;


    (C) for the purpose of taking furbearers under a trapping license during an
    open season November 1 - March 31 in Units 7 and 9 - 26, artificial light may be
    used; and

    (D) a tracking dog handler with one leashed dog may use artificial light to
    aid in tracking and dispatching a wounded big game animal;

    (8) with a snare, except for taking an unclassified game animal, a furbearer,
    grouse, hare, or ptarmigan;

    (9) repealed 7/7/94;

    (10) from a motorized land vehicle, except that in those portions of Units 7
    and 15 within the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, a motorized land vehicle may
    be used to take game by a person with physical disabilities, as defined in AS
    16.05.940
    , who requires a wheelchair for mobility, under authority of a
    permit issued by the department and in compliance with Kenai National Wildlife
    Refuge regulations, and a snowmachine or ATV may be used to take game as
    described in (4) of this section;

    (11) with the use of a crossbow in any restricted weapons hunt that
    authorizes taking by bow and arrow;

    (12) with any bow designed to shoot more than one arrow at a time.




    I don't see anything in there that prohibits an air rifle. So, unless Alaska considers an air rifle a firearm, I think it would be legal.
    Incorrect.

    You reading the general unlawful methods that apply to "game" in general. The regulation I posted applies to big game. The air rifle is most likely legal for small game, but not for big game.

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    (26) "firearm" means a weapon, including a pistol, revolver,
    rifle, or shotgun, whether loaded or unloaded, operable or inoperable, designed
    for discharging a shot capable of causing death or serious physical injury;

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    Quote Originally Posted by OneLunG View Post
    Heres your answer....

    Long Version:

    5 AAC 92.085. Unlawful methods of taking big game; exceptions



    The following methods and means of taking big game are prohibited in addition
    to the prohibitions in 5 AAC 92.080:

    (1) with the use of a firearm other than a shotgun, muzzle-loading rifle, or
    rifle or pistol using a center-firing cartridge, except that

    (A) in Units 23 and 26, swimming caribou may be taken with a firearm using
    rim fire cartridges;


    (B) the use of a muzzle-loading rifle is prohibited unless the firearm is 45
    caliber or larger; and


    (C) the use of a muzzle-loading rifle equipped with a scope, during any
    permitted, registered, or special season hunt for muzzle-loading rifles only, is
    prohibited;


    Short Answer: Its ILLEGAL.....
    I realize you posted the prohibitons for big game but it mentioned 5 AAC 92.080 so I thought I'd throw that up too. However, the big game stuff reads that you are prohibited from taking big game with the use of a firearm other than a shotgun, muzzle-loading rifle, or rifle or pistol using a center-firing cartridge.

    So, if an air rifle isn't a firearm, it wouldn't be prohibited by the above. Unless you can call it a shotgun or muzzle-loading rifle, in which case it would be legal.

  17. #17
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    The answer is ":no", here's your dealbreaker explained:
    The following methods and means of taking big game are prohibited in addition
    to the prohibitions in 5 AAC 92.080:

    (1) with the use of a firearm other than a shotgun, muzzle-loading rifle, or
    rifle or pistol using a center-firing cartridge, except that
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  18. #18
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    Actually Onelung answered my firearm question just before my last post. The air rifle would be a firearm according to Alaska.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by NRick View Post
    I realize you posted the prohibitons for big game but it mentioned 5 AAC 92.080 so I thought I'd throw that up too. However, the big game stuff reads that you are prohibited from taking big game with the use of a firearm other than a shotgun, muzzle-loading rifle, or rifle or pistol using a center-firing cartridge.

    So, if an air rifle isn't a firearm, it wouldn't be prohibited by the above. Unless you can call it a shotgun or muzzle-loading rifle, in which case it would be legal.
    Also, see the definition of firearm which I posted.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by NRick View Post
    Actually Onelung answered my firearm question just before my last post. The air rifle would be a firearm according to Alaska.

    If a person wanted to get it legalized they could certainly submit a proposal to the board of game. I think the technology has changed such that it may be viable.

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