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How to Understand Hunting Regulations

Learn how to understand hunting regulations from big game hunter "Killer Keith" McDonald in this Howcast hunting video.


Hello. I'm Keith McDonald, nicknamed Killer Keith. Been hunting my whole life, 45, 50 years of deer hunting, bear hunting, moose hunting, turkey hunting, you name it, I've hunted it. I'm a licensed Maine guide. I've hunted Alaska. I've hunted Canada. I've hunted Newfoundland. I've been everywhere, everywhere hunting.

They have a law book, which is a brief version of all the laws and so you'd go through that and check for where it gives you the hours and the dates of the hunting is legal. It tells you your bag limits. How many birds you can get, how many deer, how many turkeys, whatever. Whatever you're hunting it, gives you all of the limits of those. It has your seasons, the bag limits. So you'd have to go through that briefly. The problem being is a lot of laws, hunting laws or any laws can be interpreted by different people different ways. So when in doubt call the game wardens, talk to a game warden, talk to experienced hunters. Sometimes you may talk to experienced hunters and get two different answers. So when in doubt, check with the game warden. Make sure you're not breaking the law because every state's different. You might one law, you might go down to the southern states and hunt deer with dogs, chasing them. You try it in Maine and you're in trouble. Or you could, in some states you can bait deer. In Maine you can bait bear but you can't bait deer. So you got to know the laws.

There are different laws you go by and one of the things about hunting is the unwritten law in hunting. Let's say you and I are out deer hunting and the deer jumps up and I throw my rifle up and fire and it stumbles but it doesn't quite go down, it keeps, takes off running and it gets about two jumps away and you shoot it and it piles up. It's dead. Whose deer is it? You killed it. Legally, technically the person that shot it then. But it's an ethic. It gets into the ethics end of it. So the first person to put a kill in it that would result in them harvesting the animal, it should be theirs. If you're hunting with me and I put a shot through the deer's lungs and you get lucky enough to get another bullet into it before it dies, I don't really care. If you want the deer it's yours.

People say okay they know the laws but the minute they're out alone and they look at their watch, it's ten minutes, five minutes past legal shooting and there's a deer standing there and they look around, they bring their gun up, and they look through the scope and say, 'I can see that deer. It's only five minutes past legal. There's nobody around.' That's when ethics starts coming in.

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