Hunting Laws and Responsibilities

Law enforcement agent and wildlife manager warden

Hunting laws

Hunting laws may change on a yearly basis. It is important for all hunters to update themselves regarding bag limits, season dates, and other important wildlife issues. State guides are usually published annually. They are offered free of charge when you purchase your hunting license. Other resources for hunting regulations, places to hunt, and species-specific information include:

  • Official state publications

  • Wildlife agency websites

  • Hunting access guides or booklets

  • Mapping software

  • Contact with agency personnel

These resources provide information regarding the following:

  • How to obtain a license

  • Hunting season dates and hours

  • Hunting implements – legal means and methods

  • Hunter orange requirements

  • Bag limits and other restrictions on taking game

  • Permit and/or stamp requirements

  • Tagging, transporting, and reporting requirements

  • Trespass laws

Hunters should obtain copies of the regulation guides each year and study them before going afield. They should contact a conservation officer or their nearest wildlife agency office if a law is unclear.

Hunting regulation pamphlet

Hunters responsibilities

Every person has the responsibility to conduct themselves in a lawful manner and to see that those around them do so as well. Responsible hunters should set a good example for others to follow. Obeying the law helps to ensure we are safe, responsible hunters and to secure the conservation of wildlife. This is the only way to guarantee that future generations of hunters will have the opportunity to hunt as well. Knowing the laws will provide a better understanding of why the law is in place.

Report Violators

Every hunter who witnesses someone breaking the law has a responsibility to report the crime. They should contact a conservation officer or wildlife agency.

It may seem difficult to report a hunting violation when the person who has committed the crime is a member of your own hunting party or a relative. A hunter's personal code of ethics will determine what to do. Violators should at least be made to realize that their actions were wrong. They must also understand that such wrongdoing may hurt the reputation of hunting.

Hunters should understand that helping another person break the law and/or cover up a crime may cause them to be charged with the crime itself.

Report the infraction as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be for the authorities to investigate the incident.

Hunters responsibilities