Legal to hunt with?


December 17, 2012, 05:40 AM
Someone mentioned to me that only specific caliber pistols are allowed to be used when hunting? Does that mean that only certain caliber can be used to hunt with? OR certain guns can be carried for protection when hunting? (which ones)

I also am wondering about hunting with a pistol, does anyone one know the caliber required to hunt with in Florida? or other states?

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December 17, 2012, 06:57 AM
Check here I looked around bit and didn't find anything, but I'm sure it is in there if there are any restrictions. If you don't find the answer there I'm sure there is a number you can call.

Every state is different. In Georgia any centerfire handgun is legal now. We used to have a set of very complex, unenforceable laws that were dropped a few years ago.

December 17, 2012, 12:34 PM
Boy Scout: I hunt with a pistol in Fla. I never use anything smaller than a .357 Mag. in a revolver but have killed deer with a Rem. XP-100 in .250 Savage (a rifle cartridge). So I believe it is any centerfire. Check to make sure.
However, you may not carry a pistol with you while hunting during Archery season unless you have a concealed weapons permit and have the gun concealed. You may not use it to "finish off" a deer shot with an arrow.

December 17, 2012, 01:26 PM

December 17, 2012, 04:52 PM
Depends what state you're in, what you're hunting, etc., but most would recommend nothing less than .357 mag for deer/hog-sized game.

If you're talking about carrying a sidearm for self-defense while hunting though, in most states there are no restrictions as long as you have a CCW permit.

December 17, 2012, 06:38 PM
While the 357 is a sensible minimum, many states have very complex laws where even that may not be legal. They are not in Colorado. Here in GA the old law said any handgun with at least 6" of barrel, adjustable sights, and 500 ft lbs of energy at 100 yards. I have no idea of FL law and would check because many states still have those quirky details.

Thatn law was completely unenforceable. How does anyone prove your handloads meet the minimum in the field. A Ruger in 44 mag with a 5.5" barrel would be illegal while a 6" 357 mag with hot handloads was.

The law was thankfully simplified.

December 17, 2012, 10:44 PM
This comes directly from the MCD web site here in Missouri.........

(B) Muzzleloader: muzzleloading or capand-
ball firearms, .40 caliber or larger, not
capable of being loaded from the breech.
(C) Any legal method: archery and muzzleloader
methods; atlatl; crossbows; shotguns;
handguns or rifles firing expandingtype
centerfire ammunition; and air-powered
guns, .40 caliber or larger, charged only from
an external high compression power source
(external hand pump, air tank, or air compressor).

December 18, 2012, 01:50 PM
Florida regs state that rimfire cartridges can't be used for deer.......theoretically you'd be legitimate if you stoked up that baby Browning .25 auto to drop your buck.........just another example of the forward thinking Florida Game Management (non) system.

December 19, 2012, 10:53 PM
Legal weapons here in Alabama are centerfire rifles or pistols firing expanding bullets, muzzleloading rifles and pistols of minimum .40 caliber, bows, crossbows, and spears.

So my .45 firing a FMJ is illegal but my .380 Ruger LCP with an expanding bullet is a legal deer gun. Not adequate but legal.

December 20, 2012, 12:13 PM
Here in Kansas we regulate handgun big game hunting by bullet diameter and cartridge case length. Used to be that while hunting big game, you could not have in your possession a gun that was not legal for taking that game. As of this year we permit the holder of a concealed carry permit to carry whatever he/she wants while hunting, but you still cannot use a handgun to shoot the deer/elk unless the gun meets the big game hunting regulations (example: you can have a 9mm with you but you can't use it to shoot your deer).

December 25, 2012, 05:14 PM
The legal minimum here is .357 mag. It varies by state.

December 26, 2012, 06:23 PM
So it appears that any centerfire caliber is legal in FL. What is legal is not necessarily what is a good choice although would not be breaking any law. My rule of thumb is 357 mag or greater and I consider the 357 mag to be marginal and generally recommend something more powerful. Keep your shots under 50 yds with 357 mag SP's or solids and you should be fine with a proper hit.

Previously, many states required a 357 mag or larger with a 6" barrel for deer hunting. But those laws have changed. That was the case in TN, but legal does not mean it is good choice.

December 28, 2012, 09:33 PM
Nothing wrong with a 357 on deer; as long as you don't stretch the range too much and use the proper load. Friend of mine's taken many deer with a Colt Python with heavier Hornady XTP bullets (180 gr.? IIRC) in a stiff handload. Never lost a deer, but then, they were all taken at bow range cause he gun hunted from his bow spots. He was also very picky about shot placement and had the self-control to know when to pass up a shot. The geniuses of the NY state Dept of Environmental Conservation also allow any centerfire pistol which is described as: "Any centerfire pistol or revolver. Barrel length may not exceed 16 inches". Looks to me as if even a 25 ACP handgun would be a legal, but stupid, choice. Seems to be a reflection on those that make these types of regulations.

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