Regs question

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Regs question

Postby slicendice » Fri Nov 21, 2008 8:32 am

I was over on another board and a discussion came up about shooting birds on the water. The discussion led to someone looking up the MD regs in COMEX and posting the regs below. My question has to do with the section about hunting at night. Below, you'll see a reg saying it is illegal to possess a firearm or light in or in the vicinity of known resting/feeding grounds at night. This confuses me. Does this mean that one can't launch a boat an hour before daylight to get to their spot if the launch is a known resting/feeding area? Does this mean you can't set up your dekes on a field that geese are known to feed in (the X) until daylight? Does this mean that I can't go to an island where the fowl is known to roost/feed until it's light enough to see? No one on the other site would answer my question, so I was wondering what everyone here thought.

Md. NATURAL RESOURCES Code Ann. § 10-602 (2007)

§ 10-602. Hunting prohibitions


(a) "Nighttime" defined. -- Notwithstanding any other provision of this subtitle, "nighttime" means the time the Secretary of Interior of the United States adopts by rule or regulation.

(b) Nighttime hunting. -- A person may not hunt wild waterfowl in the State at nighttime in any manner whether from the shore or otherwise. A person may not possess at nighttime any gun or light used for hunting wild waterfowl in or near the vicinity of feeding and resting grounds. Any gun or light found in possession shall be prima facie evidence of intention of a violation of this section, and the light shall be confiscated and turned over to the Secretary.

(c) Waterfowl resting on land or water. --

(1) A person may not shoot a wild waterfowl resting on land or water.

(2) A person who wounds and cripples a wild waterfowl may shoot the waterfowl.

(d) Hunting from elevated position. -- A person may not hunt wild waterfowl from a position located more than 10 feet in the air.

(e) Firearm restrictions -- In general. --

(1) The only firearm that a person may use to hunt wild waterfowl is a shotgun fired from the shoulder.

(2) A shotgun used to hunt wild waterfowl may not be larger than a 10 gauge or loaded with shot not approved by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

(3) While hunting or attempting to hunt wild waterfowl, a person may not possess shotgun shells that are loaded with shot not approved by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

(f) Firearm restrictions -- Automatic loading or hand-operated repeating shotgun. --

(1) Subject to federal rule or regulation, the prohibition of this subsection does not apply to an automatic loading or hand-operated repeating shotgun with a magazine that is cut off or that is plugged with a one-piece filler incapable of removal through the loading end that reduces the capacity of the gun to hold no more than three shells at any one time in the magazine and chamber combined.

(2) A person may not hunt a wild waterfowl with an automatic loading or hand-operated repeating shotgun capable of holding more than three shells.

(3) A person may not possess a rifle or pistol while hunting wild waterfowl.

(g) Bow and arrow; crossbow. --

(1) A person may hunt wild waterfowl with any bow and arrow.

(2) A person may not hunt wild waterfowl with a crossbow.

(h) Dogs and artificial decoys. --

(1) A person may hunt wild waterfowl with the aid of a dog or with an artificial decoy.

(2) A person may not hunt wild waterfowl using a live decoy.
2013-2014 season totals
1 Bufflehead
1 Gadwall
1 Black duck
1 Hoody
3 Mergs
3 Cans
4 Geese
4 Wood ducks
1 Mallard
3 doe
1 buck
1 fall turkey
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Postby peteyg » Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:54 am

Sec of DOI defines nighttime as "1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise . . . ."

So, I guess technically, if you are out there during that period, yes, it is illegal. However, I would bet that this is not how this reg is defined, and I would need to research this more.

I can't see this being the case. The MD laws also say that you can begin shooting 1/2 hour before sunrise. If it were the case, you'd have to magically appear at that time. It simply cannot be the case.

I wouldn't be concerned. I'll be out tomorrow setting up at 1 hour before sunrise. I have never had any problems, and I don't expect any officials would either.

Pete
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Postby PSUbuzz » Fri Nov 21, 2008 1:31 pm

i agree, that section needs to be worded differently. I think a loaded firearm might be more what they were going for. I usually dont load up until a minute or two before LST just to keep me from the temptation of those early flyers. I know as far as deer and spotlighting is concerned, you cant have a firearm in the vehicle while spotting, maybe that is what they were leaning towards also, something along the lines of spotting waterfowl with a gun in your hand, i can see that being something they would want to prohibit
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Postby slicendice » Fri Nov 21, 2008 1:41 pm

I agree that I doubt that they'd every write anyone up for going to their blind in the dark or for setting up before Legal Shooting Times or for just having an unloaded gun in your possession. But that's definately not what the regs say. It doesn't mention unloaded firearms, just firearms or lights in general. Are there any LEO's on here that can shed light on this?
2013-2014 season totals
1 Bufflehead
1 Gadwall
1 Black duck
1 Hoody
3 Mergs
3 Cans
4 Geese
4 Wood ducks
1 Mallard
3 doe
1 buck
1 fall turkey
slicendice
hunter
 
Posts: 157
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:31 pm
Location: Waynesboro, PA

Postby Mikeguard01 » Fri Nov 21, 2008 11:17 pm

Interesting. :huh: I have never been checked before legal shooting time. DNR has also never checked me during prime hunting time. I see them on the water sometimes around 7:00 to 7:30 AM they just ride by and check me a couple of hours later. This could be due to a shift change. Of course that might be just my area and I know one officer is an avid waterfowl hunter who enjoys seeing what was bagged for that day.

Mike
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Postby HatterWayne » Sat Nov 22, 2008 6:46 pm

You guys are reading way too much into it . . . don't shoot, or attempt to shoot waterfowl during illegal time . . . and you'll be ok.

:-)
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Postby Cupped-n-Committed » Tue Nov 25, 2008 7:56 am

I think you are reading too much into it also. I would call Cumberland if I was you. I have and the guys/girls out there are very helpful. If one of the girls does not know she will have a warden call you back.

They do not explain this on the water swatting thing. The wardens told me you can not even fire a shot to jump them off the water, as it give to the appearance that your first shoot was just a missed water swat.

I have never heard of the not having gun in a feeding area before. Where else would you field hunt them, in a parking lot? I would just call Cumberland and they will tell you exactly what is the rule.
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Postby slicendice » Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:36 am

I realized that I was probably reading to much into it, I just wanted clarification. I mean if you read the law at face value, it not only says it's illegal, it says that just carrying a firearm is evidence of intent. That being said, below is a post from the before mentioned board and was posted by a former LEO.

"The law that prohibits possession of a light and gun near W/F at night is the result of the old market hunting practice of hunting at night with a light. If a person is heading to their blind with a spotlight/flashlight and a loaded gun and actively chases or shoots at birds then they are in violation. Heading to your blind with an unloaded/cased firearm is not a violation. Remember the first act of hunting is the act of loading your gun."
2013-2014 season totals
1 Bufflehead
1 Gadwall
1 Black duck
1 Hoody
3 Mergs
3 Cans
4 Geese
4 Wood ducks
1 Mallard
3 doe
1 buck
1 fall turkey
slicendice
hunter
 
Posts: 157
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:31 pm
Location: Waynesboro, PA

Postby Labs » Tue Nov 25, 2008 4:31 pm

slicendice wrote:I realized that I was probably reading to much into it, I just wanted clarification. I mean if you read the law at face value, it not only says it's illegal, it says that just carrying a firearm is evidence of intent. That being said, below is a post from the before mentioned board and was posted by a former LEO.

"The law that prohibits possession of a light and gun near W/F at night is the result of the old market hunting practice of hunting at night with a light. If a person is heading to their blind with a spotlight/flashlight and a loaded gun and actively chases or shoots at birds then they are in violation. Heading to your blind with an unloaded/cased firearm is not a violation. Remember the first act of hunting is the act of loading your gun."


If they are using the logic of old market hunting practices of night hunting with a light as reason for the change in the law, then you should be able to argue that logic to get them to remove the 3 shell limit in your shotgun...afterall, that was put in place for the market hunters before bag limits were established...since we now have bag limits, you should be able to remove this law the same way they are applying the law in question.....JM 2 cents...
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Postby slicendice » Wed Nov 26, 2008 9:01 am

Labs,

I wonder if it counts as night hunting if your gun is in 3 pieces? :wink:
2013-2014 season totals
1 Bufflehead
1 Gadwall
1 Black duck
1 Hoody
3 Mergs
3 Cans
4 Geese
4 Wood ducks
1 Mallard
3 doe
1 buck
1 fall turkey
slicendice
hunter
 
Posts: 157
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:31 pm
Location: Waynesboro, PA


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