That cool new rangefinder scope may be illegal for hunting...

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Trey Veston, Oct 20, 2021.

  1. Trey Veston

    Trey Veston Member

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    Just a reminder that as technology increases for hunting rifles and optics, that some of these new technologies may be illegal to use for hunting.

    My brother was looking at a new scope that was electronically paired to a range finder so that when looking at an elk, all he had to do was sight on it with his range finder, which would then transmit the data to his scope and the scope would automatically adjust the POI based on his caliber and load and the distance.

    He hunts in Idaho and thought it would be the greatest thing since sliced bread for long-range shots on elk and deer.

    Nope. He found out that Idaho F&G specifically prohibits the use of any scope with an electronic device incorporated into it for big game hunting.

    "With any electronic device attached to, or incorporated in, the firearm or scope; except scopes containing battery powered or tritium lighted reticles are allowed."

    https://idfg.idaho.gov/sites/default/files/seasons-rules-big-game-2021-laws.pdf

    Might want to make sure you aren't spending big bucks for a scope that may get you in trouble with the game warden in your state. I understand many states have similar laws.
     
  2. Alex Clayton

    Alex Clayton Member

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    Seems kind of sad to me that they would not allow this. After all it seems that if someone is going to be taking game at distance it would be better to have more "clean kills" than wounded animals?
     
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  3. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    I went through 2 different sniper schools in the military where range estimation was done with the mil dot reticle.
     
  4. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Sometimes it takes time for laws to catch up with technology. Many laws written years ago had a specific purpose in mind. But something new comes along and the way the law is written it is illegal even though there is no good reason for it. It may take some time, but these things usually get worked out and common sense prevails.

    For example, most of the laws forbidding 22 centerfires from being used for big game were written before 223 existed. The purpose of the law was to ban 22 Hornet. That has changed dramatically in recent years with most states now allowing 223. Last count I had there were only 4 states where centerfire rilfes were otherwise legal banned 223. There are a few states that are shotgun/muzzle loader only. Or with specific short range rifle cartridges.
     
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  5. marksman13

    marksman13 Member

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    Probably originally intended to prohibit thermal imaging and night vision scopes from being used to kill game animals at night. Good thing to keep in mind when hunting in different states though.
     
  6. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Perhaps it's Idaho's F&G's way of saying "Don't try shooting past your abilities.", but more likely marksman 13 is right.
     
  7. Alex Clayton

    Alex Clayton Member

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    Sadly WAY too many hunters are guilty of that. When I was a hunter the one thing that raised my blood pressure too high was running into others who said they "only got a couple good shots at" some game. Some may not mean it the way it sounds but, too many mean it just as it sounds. They see game and take a shot "at it" and "hope" to make a hit. Of course no way to do anything about it but, I hated to hear it. :fire:
     
  8. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Maybe there is no one paying them to write laws that favor that position.

    From the link in the OP.

    One has to wonder how much reward politicians gain from allowing some “unfair” advantages while eliminating others.
     
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  9. Trey Veston

    Trey Veston Member

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    You read it wrong.

    That section says it is legal to have electronic collars on your hunting dogs. Pretty common. My dad's bird dog has an electronic collar and most folks who use dogs for bear and cougar hunting use tracking collars.

    At the top of the section you quoted...

    It is unlawful to:

    • Take big game with the aid of radio telemetry; use of telemetry equipment with hounds or other sporting dogs is allowed.
     
  10. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Maybe they should call the range finder a “sporting device”.

    They seem to think an optic that is helpful with use of electronics somehow eliminates fair chase and the sporting nature of the hunt they want to preserve but letting the dogs loose and tracking them with the use of electronics is just fine.

    Why?
     
  11. JDeere

    JDeere Member

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    Yes sir, I was not in the military but have learned to use Mil dots. The use of Mil dots takes time and practice to get use to. Range finders make life easy in todays world without the learning curve.
     
  12. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    MDC doesn't allow any item that projects light onto game (laser), and some rangefinders are exactly that. So, a built in could be illegal here.

    Laws do take time to change, we didn't have a sharp stick season but it got included finally. Now it's the prohibition on Shockwave "shot"guns. Where do they fit in? And how, for hunting based on old "fair chase" concepts?

    As for the scope reported by the OP, if it can range find, adjust, could you then allow the scope to fire the weapon only on target? Now imagine the soldier just pulling the trigger to activate and then sweeping the beaten zone? It would discharge on every led target with impact as it passed to the next. Shotgunners would love it! Perfect rounds on clays! On the battlefield it could interrogate friend or foe, or just go rogue with infra red as the identifier.

    A crutch for the unskilled? How far do we really let this go?

    Now tell me that pull and scan scope isn't being tested for the military already, and somebody already has one on a drone.
     
  13. Trey Veston

    Trey Veston Member

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    It's gone much, much further than that...

    https://www.pcmag.com/news/robot-dog-gets-outfitted-with-sniper-rifle

    00kXG6JEs6JvyFiySo21yfa-1.1634138675.fit_lim.size_1600x900.jpg

    "But it seems for now the robot has to function with the help of a human operator. According to S.W.O.R.D., the robot’s main advantage is how a human soldier can remotely control and fire the sniper rifle from a distance, keeping the soldier out of harm’s way. "
     
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