Minimum legal calibers for big game hunting

Discussion in 'The Hunting & Fishing Forum' started by hstout1143, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. hstout1143

    hstout1143 Well-Known Member

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    I was reading Airborneguy's thread ".223 for deer" and it got me wondering what the minimum legal caliber is for each state. I did a quick search and found a list someone put together. I was surprised to learn that over half allow .22 caliber centerfire. Some only state "centerfire", by that I could use my .221 fireball, I don't think I could hunt deer with that round, it doesn't have enough bullet weight for me. The list is not mine and I haven't verified the entries. So if you see something that isn't correct then let me know where you found the correct info and I'll change it.

    Alabama- centerfire rifle or pistol using mushrooming ammo
    Alaska- http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=hunting.firearms
    Alberta- .23 and up centerfire
    Arizona- centerfire
    Arkansas- http://www.agfc.com/hunting/pages/huntingregulationsdeer.aspx#Legal Hunting Equipment
    California- centerfire rifles, centerfire handguns with min. 4" barrel
    Colorado- .24 and up, 70grn or larger bullet/ minimum of 1000ft/lbs at 100 yards
    Connecticut- .243 and up if legal in your area
    Delaware- shotgun/muzzle loader
    Florida- centerfire
    Georgia- .22 and up centerfire
    Hawaii- Any rifle with at least 1200 ft/lbs of ME. This would start at around .223 I think
    Idaho- Centerfire (cannot weigh more than 16 lbs?)
    Illinois- Shotgun/ML/Pistol only
    Indiana- http://www.eregulations.com/indiana/hunting/deer-regulations/
    Iowa- .24 or larger centerfire only for antlerless season in part of the state.
    Kansas- http://www.kdwpt.state.ks.us/news/Hunting/Hunting-Regulations/Deer/Legal-Equipment
    Louisiana- .22 and up centerfire
    Maine- .22 magnum rimfire and up!
    Manitoba- Centerfire, but it says .23 and below not recommended. Does not say illegal though.
    Maryland- ME of at least 1200 ft/lbs
    Mass- Shotgun/ML
    Michigan- centerfire in certain areas
    Minnesota- .220 and up centerfire
    Mississippi- No restrictions that I could find
    Missouri- centerfire
    Montana- No restrictions
    Nebraska- Rifles with 900 ft/lbs or more at 100 yards
    Nevada- .22 centerfire and up
    New Hampshire- centerfire
    New Jersey- shotgun or muzzleloader
    New Mexico- centerfire
    New York- centerfire
    North Carolina- No restrictions
    North Dakota- .22-.49 centerfire
    Nova Scotia- .23 and up
    Ohio- Shotgun/ML
    Oklahoma- centerfire with 55 grn or heavier bullet
    Ontario- centerfire
    Oregon- .22 centerfire and up
    Pennsylvania- centerfire
    Quebec- 6mm/.243 and up
    Rhode Island- shotgun/ML
    Saskatchewan- .24 and up
    South Carolina- centerfire
    South Dakota- rifles with 1,000 ft/lbs or more ME
    Tennessee- centerfire
    Texas- centerfire
    Utah- centerfire
    vermont- No restriction
    Virginia- .23 centerfire and up
    Washington- .24 centerfire and up
    West Virginia- .25 rimfire and up and all centerfire
    Wisconsin- .22 centerfire and up
    Wyoming- .23 centerfire and up
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014
  2. Airborneguy

    Airborneguy Well-Known Member

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    Awesome list! This should be a sticky for sure.

    FYI, muzzleloader is legal in NJ.
     

  3. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Up until a few years ago, Tn was 24 cal or larger center fire or shotgun using rifle slugs only. They have changed it to any centerfire ammo. And any centerfire pistol as long as the barrel is at least 4 inches.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013
  4. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Hell, in them states that only require "centerfire", you could use a 17 Remington.

    Huh. How 'bout dat. I was looking for a pic of 17 Remington, for those of y'all unaware of it, and discovered that there was BUNCHES of 17 centerfires. Most of them smaller than the Remington.

    http://www.saubier.com/smallcaliber/which17.html
     
  5. carver

    carver Moderator Supporting Member

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    Louisiana back in 78, or 79, changed, or rather added, one word to their "Legal Caliber" law. It used to read that deer could be taken with "any caliber .22 or above". In 78, or 79 the state added the word "Centerfire". From that day till this, the .22LR, and .22Mag were no longer legal to hunt deer with. Y'all might be interested in this one. http://www.louisianasportsman.com/l...ports&event=view&action=full_report&id=155173
     
  6. agedhunter

    agedhunter Active Member

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    In the last year or so Minnesota changed to .220 center fire or larger.
     
  7. hstout1143

    hstout1143 Well-Known Member

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    I had no idea there were so many .17 rounds, the only one I'd heard about was the .17 bee.
     
  8. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    How about a 14? Still centerfire, so would be legal in many states.

    http://www.saubier.com/smallcaliber/russlucas.html

    >There have been two deer killed with a 14 that I know of. I do know of a man in S.C. that intentionally plans shooting a deer with his. If you do the math, the little bullet hits with the power of a 357, but still I think its a little un-ethical. (they are big on ethics here in Montana, and I guess a little rubbed off on me).

    One deer was run over by a car, and the guy following just happened to have a contender chambered in a 14 in his trunk. The state police were called, but the officer didn't want to do the paperwork associated with firing a round from his revolver. So, the guy volunteers to shoot it with the 14. He said he backed up to get it's head in the scope, shot, and instantly killed it. Said the trooper was severely shocked.

    The other was a spike that walked out on a private range while a 14 shooter was sighting in his new 14. He had just got it on the paper at 50 yards, when this spike walked out at 65 yards. He said that he just put the crosshairs on his neck and pulled the trigger. The deer went down with what he explained as a whiplash motion, stone dead. He said that the 17.5 grain bullet just pulverized everything in the neck, especially the vertebrae. I guess its all in the shot placement. <
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013
  9. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I don't understand the weight limit of the firearm in Idaho.:confused:
     
  10. DixieLandMan

    DixieLandMan Member

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    Alabama is centerfire rifle or pistol using mushrooming ammo.
     
  11. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Maybe someone went out with a Gatling Gun, which, since it is crank operated, is not a machine gun, and with the barrels rifled, would have to be a "rifle".

    Apparently someone did something with an extremely heavy rifle, and when caught, used the defense, "There's no law against it", so they passed one.
     
  12. WHSmithIV

    WHSmithIV Well-Known Member

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    Idaho doesn't have a weight restriction that I know of. Additionally, we do have black powder only season for muzzle loaders.
     
  13. al45lc

    al45lc Active Member

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    I could be wrong, but I was told Idaho's weight restriction was to prevent the use of .50 BMG.
     
  14. AL MOUNT

    AL MOUNT Active Member

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    Makes sense to me, cuz you know some dumb bubbas gonna try it...:rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013
  15. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    i have a 218 bee, while it's not much bullet. it is so darn accurate I could do eyeball shots with it. :)
     
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