A friend of mine informed me he just acquired a new dog. It’s a
Wirehair Dachshund that he is going to train to track wounded deer.
He caught this bug from a friend of his that has a similar dog that
has been trained to recover wounded big game. His only problem is
that it is illegal to use this dog’s skills in his home state.
I pondered the reasons behind this law. Wouldn’t it be a good
idea to find wounded big game animals? Not to some I guess. There
must be a fear that these dogs might chase a deer, bear, moose or
other big-game animal that wasn’t wounded. Or maybe they would be
used to find the big game before its actually shot. Then I wondered
why the law can’t be amended to allow a dog to be used to track a
wounded animal with hefty penalties if this was abused. In the
states that do allow this it doesn’t seem to be a problem and
owners of these dogs enjoy this popular sport where its
This conundrum got me to thinking about other goofy state laws. I
have a buddy in Wisconsin that invited me to hunt coyotes. I’m not
a resident of Wisconsin which means I have to purchase an expensive
furbearing permit if I want to hunt coyotes in that state.
Wisconsin must love their coyote hunters to put such a crazy
restriction on the books and keep all of us non-residents from
hunting what must be their favorite wild dog. You would think they
would welcome the out-of-state revenue they would receive by
letting non-residents come there to hunt their over-populated packs
of coyotes, and I’m still trying to figure out why such an ignorant
regulation is in the books.
Which drove me to do some further study on other states and what
crazy laws they have on their books.
In Utah it is illegal to fish from horseback. They must figure
you’re going to be able to extend that cast by getting up higher on
the back of a horse. It would probably be tough to land the fish as
well since you would have to drag the fish out of the river if you
didn’t want to get off the horse. Idaho actually took this crazy
rule one step further and included camels and giraffes that you
cannot fish off the back of. Someone must have decided to usurp the
horse rule and brought in some exotics to fish from.
In New Jersey it is illegal to knit while fishing. Someone must
have been worried that you would be so busy creating a sweater that
you wouldn’t tend to your rod. Thanks goodness this rule doesn’t
pertain to Minnesota or my kid’s gifts wouldn’t be ready by
In Pennsylvania you cannot catch a fish by any body part but the
mouth. I pictured someone bobbing for salmon then realized this
meant you can’t snag and must hook the fish in the mouth. I hope
someone else got mixed up by this wording.
In Kansas you can’t use a mule to hunt ducks. I tend to believe
that a mule would make a lousy decoy. Or maybe it means you can’t
ride up to a pond and start blasting from the back of that mule. We
all know how efficient it is to sneak up on a group of nesting
ducks with a mule.
And then there are those states that don’t allow hunting on Sunday.
I remember my dad taking me and my brothers out to chase pheasants
after Sunday services, because they let us hunt on Sundays in Iowa.
Bet you can guess what we were praying for when we were in church
My research turned up loads of outlandish rules regarding hunting
and fishing that are on the books. What surprised me is some of
these regulations aren’t that old. All of them are just plain
ridiculous and how they got there baffles me. Like the rule in New
York that says you cannot use any “overt physical action” intended
to frighten fish. Anytime I take to the water the fish are in a
state of fear. It looks like I am illegal in that state if I have a
rod in my hand.