Editors Blog

75 Dumbest Deer Hunting Regulations in America

What is the dumbest deer hunting regulations in your state? That’s a question I had this morning while trying to determine the point of some really stupid deer hunting laws that are on the books here in my home state of Wisconsin. Of course, I took to Facebook to see what our Deer & Deer Hunting fans thought. 

What are the dumbest deer hunting regulations in your state? Read through these responses, and then share yours with us! (photo by Steve Bartylla)

Here are just a sample of your responses to the “dumbest deer hunting regulation” question. I’ll admit that some of the answers surprised me!

Chaynse Guthery, Texas: We have a 13” rule to where the buck has to be 13” or wider to be able to shoot. I agree but I don’t because around where I live in texas we have a lot of old bucks that are on the decline and you could see a good buck score 140 with tons of mass and height but not enough width. So I’m 50/50 on it. The rule does help grow bigger bucks

David Hill, New York: You need to purchase a muzzleloading license to hunt with a crossbow, along with an archery license.

Mike Austin, Virginia: Running dogs. Had more dogs run through my property. This ruins hunting because you can’t keep your dogs off my property.

Tom Summers, New York: Where I’m from, we are a two-buck state I would like to be able to take both bucks during the regular archery season rather than one with bow and have to wait until the regular gun season for the second.

Taylor Carr, Wisconsin: There is no minimum age on rifle hunting anymore. So at any age, they can buy a tag and fill it as long as they pull the trigger. There were children under 1 who “registered” a deer last year.

Bill Stuhlinger, New York: It’s possible to shoot up to five antlerless deer along with two bucks. That’s just too many. Areas that I’m familiar with can not sustain that level of harvest. Two bucks and five antlerless is just a lot of deer in the freezer. More than anyone needs.

Luke Flynn, Illinois: Not being able to use rifles during gun season. The start of the season should be September and end in December, only a seven-day gun season that is split between two weekends, three weeks apart.

Dave Adams, Maine: No hunting on Sunday. For people who work Monday through Friday and don’t have vacation, that gives them 4 days to hunt all season.

Bob Farkas, Wisconsin: Having to wear 50 percent blaze orange (or the silly pink) above the waist in a tree stand. Once in a tree stand it should just be the head gear. No hunter has ever been mistaken for a deer in a tree, and the head gear is sufficient to be seen beyond an intended target.

Jeff Clorley, Pennsylvania: We have antler restrictions in NW PA where we need three up on one side, which is kind of annoying. Also, no Sunday hunting is probably the biggest annoyance.

Ryan Dixon, Illinois: No rifles except muzzleloaders in Illinois. Modern slug guns and muzzleloaders can achieve ballistics similar to big-bore straight-walled cartridges.

Bob Beaulieu, New York: Here in NY you pay for a muzzlloading license and a bow license. The problem is you don’t get separate tags. It’s a bow/ muzzlloading tag. Basically if you do both you’re getting screwed.

Justin Thompson, Missouri: They close archery season for 11 days during the modern rifle portion of the season. If you want to kill a buck during this time, which is typically the rut, you must buy a rifle tag even if you’re going to fill it with archery tackle.

Jeff Earlywine, Kentucky: My state should make real tags instead of a peice paper u have to try keep tied on deer and have the deer or turkey checked at check station there are a lot deer being poached.

Evan Jackson, Alabama: We can kill antlerless bucks and claim them as does.

Warren Riley, Indiana: Baiting prohibited. You can hunt a “kill plot” but have bait anywhere on your property or “contaminated soil” and it’s against the law.

Kyle Ware, Illinois: We cannot use rifles to hunt unless it’s a muzzleloader. Pistols may be used but only .36 and bigger and must be a revolver. Our firearm season consists of deer slugs, which I’m not complaining but still odd considering you can use whatever means to kill a other animals.

Chris Church, Alabama: You can hunt deer with any center-fire ammo, including .380 from a handgun but can’t use buckshot on a wildlife management area because it is not an “ethical kill.”


Nelson Roque, New Jersey: Season is way too long Beginning of September to middle of February. Allowed to take six bucks. Also, unlimited antlerless deer allowed in certain zones.

Robert Patterson, Virginia: Baiting deer in Virginia is “unethical” but right across the line in North Carolina, it is perfectly legal. If it isn’t ethical in one place how on earth can it be ethical anywhere else ?

Trent Halsey, Virginia: Dog hunting. All my neighbors use dogs, and I dont want to but yet they run all over my property.

Michael Hayes, Ohio: We can only tag one antlered deer in Ohio and if one antler is more then 3 inches long it is considered a buck. I think we should have the oppurtunity to tag a buck with a bow and one with a rifle.

Mark Wilbur, Illinois: They sell bait and minerals at every store in this state, but it’s illegal to put out 365 days a year. Why make available if you can’t use it?

James Call, Ohio: You can’t kill more than one deer per hunt (legally). You have to check a deer in before killing another. At least that’s what the game warden told me.

Steve Womack, Oklahoma: I wish in Oklahoma we would combine gun and black powder and call it any means with one buck tag between them. And one archery buck tag.

David Sanders, New Mexico: Why is it that they have a desperation doe youth hunt that ends the end of December and then the next day New Year’s Day start a buck-only bow hunt to me that makes no sense.

Steve Hoffman, Pennsylvania: Sunday hunting. Send your support to your local representative and let them know. There’s a movement to get HB-71 voted to remove that blue law.

David Wood: Food plots are legal, but a pile of corn is not, both are planted to attract deer, whats the difference. I dont use either one.

David Conkey, Ohio: Would rather see muzzaloder before gun season. Also push gun and muzzaloder back a few weeks to let bow hunters capitalize on the rut

Mitch Mosley, Florida: Not being able to hunt with a cross bow on public land unless you are disabled during archery season. Florida.

Kevin Fisher: Having to place transportation tag on the animal. As long as it is filled out and on your person it should be ok.

Hank Richey, Michigan: In the Upper Peninsula of Michigan we can’t use a crossbow during the late bow season. While it is open in the lower peninsula all now season

Mitch Boerger, Ohio: You have to put paper tags on deer in Ohio. And if it’s raining, it’s a pain. Wish they’d just go back to metal tags.

Jason Thompson, Iowa: Having to buy a tag for myself to take son hunting after buying him a tag for youth season when I have no intention on hunting that season.

Eric Riese, Wisconsin: The special youth hunt. because it takes place when the rut is starting. Should be a month earlier and doe only

Dillon Green, Washington: Not being able to put a scope on a black powder rifle and not being able to have electronic devices on your guns or bows.

Brian Czarnecki, Wisconsin: My state has no age requirment for a hunting licence. It’s a joke just another way for the DNR to make money.

Matthew Little, North Carolina: A lot of our public land is being over run by mountain bikers. Cutting trails and tearing up the woods.

Dave Bradford, New York: No deer hunting til actual time of sunrise and sunset in western N.Y.

Ronald Short, Virginia: No baiting allowed. However, you can hunt over food plots.

Jamie Loker, Illinois: I live in Illinois, run by liberals, so most of our game laws are silly.

John Goble, Michigan: No deer harvest registration required here in Michigan.

Kevin Wenrich, Pennsylvania: No Sunday hunting. #1 by far.

Mike Hill, Washington State: Illuminated nocks not allowed.

Zach Silverstein, South Carolina: No Sunday hunting on public land!

Zack Mccurren, Missouri: Crossbows allowed for perfectly fit and capable people during archery season.

Eric Gazdik, Pennsylvania: No Sunday hunting. The most absurd law in all of hunting.

Michael Lee Langer, Wisconsin: Albino deer are “safe” because they’re “cool.”

Jim LoPiccolo, New York: Crossbow is considered a muzzloader in New York.

James Call, Ohio: No more than three shells allowed in your gun during deer gun season in Ohio.

Mat Ambrose, Wisconsin: Not being able to leave a tree stand or blind up overnight on public land.

Jamie Robinson, Kentucky: Crossbows should be allowed during the entire season not just during a crossbow season. Kentucky.

J.R. Sorter, Iowa: We get 2 buck tags a year in Iowa. The method of take should be up to the hunter.

Evan Plankenhorn, Kansas: None. Im happy to follow all rules and regulations in my state.

Roger Williams Jr., Texas: The 13-inch wide rule with no cull buck tag.



Joshua Busch, Ohio: Ohio likes to screw up bow season by putting the youth gun season in for a weekend during the rut.

Buck Mansfield, Pennsylvania: Bucks have to have three points on one horn to count.

Daniel Obennoskey, Texas: Our doe restrictions are ridiculous. We have one week to kill a doe.

Phil Justice, Virginia: No baiting allowed for urban archery when the whole purpose is to reduce the city deer population.

Jamie Crigler, Nevada: Our season begins in August with archery — too early in my opinion.

Tim Brusseau, North Dakota: Only being able to apply for hunting license online now in ND.

Clayton Shaffer, Ohio: Call-in system, which is basically the honor system.

Ron Evans, Arizona: We can’t use attractants/bait and also cannot use lighted nocks.

Gray Phillips, Maine: No hunting on Sundays.

Troy Lee Harwell II, North Carolina: Our Sunday laws stating can’t shoot between the hours of 9 a.m. and 1p.m.

Brian Van Nostrand, Florida: Antler restrictions in Florida … really  … Florida.

Richard Anderson, Texas: High fences should be banned!

Nathanael Villalba, California: Lead-free ammo required for big-game hunting.

Dillon Smedley, Idaho: No complaints.

Michael Strickland, Montana: No complaints.

Ben Godfrey, Vermont: Can’t shoot spike horns.

Dennis McDonald, New Jersey: Can’t shoot coyote year round.



Deer & Deer Hunting invites you to our new Saturday Night Deer Camp, only on Pursuit Channel.

Saturday Night Deer Camp is a primetime block of shows kicked off each week with the award-winning Deer & Deer Hunting TV. Hosted by Dan Schmidt, Gordy Krahn, Mark Kayser and Steve Bartylla, the show is in its 14th season and covers everything related to deer hunting, from tactics and strategy to gear, biology, great hunts and more.

Following DDH TV, you can watch Destination Whitetail, The Given Right with Kenneth Lancaster and then Land of Whitetail. These four shows make Saturday Night Deer Camp your must-watch viewing this year.

Check your local listings for Pursuit Channel. It’s also available now on AT&T U-Verse, Channel 1644, among other networks.