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General Hunting Regulations — Prohibitions

September 18, 2008

It is illegal to:
    • Hunt in state parks (except as otherwise designated), in safety zones in state forests or wildlife management areas and in Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.
    • Shoot, hunt or trap upon the fenced, enclosed or posted lands of another person without having in possession written permission from the landowner.
    • Have a crossbow with a nocked bolt, a loaded firearm
or a firearm with an attached magazine from which all shells have not been removed in or on any vehicle or conveyance (including ATVs) or its attachments. You can have a loaded clip or magazine in the vehicle as long as it is not in or attached to the firearm. Exception for
concealed weapons permit holders.
    • Carry an uncased or loaded firearm in the woods, except during open firearms hunting seasons. It is legal to hunt unprotected species of wild animals, wild birds and
migratory game birds during the open season in fields, waters and marshes.
    • Hunt with a fully automatic firearm.
    • Hunt small game in counties having a bucks-only season during the first three days of this season. It is legal to hunt waterfowl during this period on lakes, rivers and waterways during the open waterfowl season, to hunt bear in specified counties, and to hunt coyotes.
    • Hunt deer, bear or boar between 30 minutes after sunset and 30 minutes before sunrise or with an electronic call.
    • Be afield with a gun and bow, or with a gun and any arrows, except for concealed weapons permit holders
    • Carry an uncased gun or crossbow in or on a vehicle
between 5 p.m. and 7 a.m.  from Oct. 1 − June 30; and between 8:30 p.m. and 5 a.m. from July 1 − Sept. 30.
    • Carry an uncased or loaded gun after 5 a.m. on Sunday in counties which prohibit Sunday hunting except as provided in the trapping regulations.
    • Shoot a firearm within 400 feet of a school or church, or within 500 feet of a dwelling, or on or near a park or other place where people are gathered for pleasure.
    • Hunt while under the influence of alcohol.
    • For anyone younger than the age of 15 to hunt on public land or the lands of another unless accompanied by a licensed adult, at least 18 years of age, who remains near enough to render advice and assistance.
    • Hunt or fish with a modified bow without a special permit issued by the director.
    • Get out of a motor vehicle along a public road and shoot a bow or firearm unless you are at least 25 yards from the vehicle.
    • Shoot at or to shoot any wild bird or animal unless it is plainly visible.
    • Shoot at a deer or boar while it is in water.
    • Hunt or conduct hunts for a fee where the hunter is not physically present in the same location as the wildlife
being hunted.
    • Use or take advantage of artificial light in hunting,
locating, attracting, or trapping wild birds or wild animals while in possession or control of a firearm, whether cased or uncased, bow, arrow, or other implement suitable for taking, killing or trapping a wild bird or animal. However, lights may be used for taking raccoon, skunk and opossum provided the lights are not attached to or used from a vehicle or other land conveyance. Coyotes may be hunted using amber or red-colored artificial light in open season. No person shall be guilty of using an artificial light to look for, at, or attract a wild bird or animal, unless in possession of a firearm, whether cased or uncased, bow, arrow, or other implement suitable for taking, killing or trapping a wild bird or animal, or unless the artificial light (other than the headlamps of a vehicle or other land conveyance) is attached to, a part of, or used from a vehicle or other land conveyance.
    • Smoke wildlife from its den or place of refuge except as provided by law or regulation.
    • Hunt with a crossbow or have a crossbow afield except that Class Y and Class YY permit holders may hunt with a crossbow in established archery seasons.
    • Catch or kill, or attempt to do so by seine, net, bait, trap, deadfall, snare, or like device, any bear, game bird,
protected bird or mammal, or wild boar.
    • Bait or feed bear.
    • Hunt or shoot at wild animals or birds from an airborne conveyance, from a vehicle or other land conveyance, from a motor-driven water conveyance, or from or across a public road, unless specifically authorized to do so by law or regulation. You may shoot from a motorized watercraft if the motor has been completely shut off and progress from the motor has ceased.
    • Use poisons, chemicals or explosives in taking any furbearing animal, game animal, game bird or protected
song and insectivorous bird, provided that groundhogs may be controlled on private land by landowners, their resident children or resident parents, or a resident tenant
from April 1 through September 30.
    • Use shot larger than No. 4 or solid ball ammunition, except for .22 caliber or smaller rimfire during the buck deer season in the four counties closed to the buck season.
    • Hunt between 30 minutes after sunset and 30 minutes before sunrise with any firearm larger than .22 caliber rimfire, a shotgun using solid ball ammunition or shot shells larger than a No. 4 shot.
    • Dispose of animal carcasses by dumping along any public road or highway.



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