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View Full Version : Is it legal to shoot a deer walking in water . .


MCG DAWG
04-27-2005, 06:11 PM
. .like in a swamp? Not swimming mind you, but walking in 6-12 inches of water.

Got sent a video of guy shooting at a doe in about a foot of water, missed the first shot, hit her in the neck and flopped her head over heels with the second. Not sure where it was filmed. Just wondered if it would be legal in Georgia.

Primarily huting on top of a mountain with only a small stream on it has precluded me from worrying about such a situation.

huntnnut
04-27-2005, 06:34 PM
According to your description, it would be perfectly legal to shoot the deer here in GA if I'm not badly mistaken.

fredw
04-27-2005, 06:46 PM
the Georgia regulations say:

It is unlawful to take a deer by any means while it is in a lake, stream, or pond.

I don't know how the LE folks would interpret the law.

SWAMPFOX
04-27-2005, 10:08 PM
Florida law prohibits killing "swimming" deer. That presupposes a certain water depth, I guess. I know that after a heavy rain storm there are a lot of open pine flatwoods here that become "ponds" for a day or two.

GeauxLSU
04-27-2005, 10:49 PM
This question has come up before. The text is listed above. Seems clear to me. In water, illegal to shoot. Says nothing about depth or duration of existence of water.
But of course, I suspect there is a motivation around the regulation that is not relevant to the described scenario. However, if I pulled the trigger, I'd do so knowing I was taking a risk.
Hunt/fish safely,
Phil

red tail
04-27-2005, 10:56 PM
I think I would let it clear the creek.

Buzz
04-27-2005, 11:01 PM
Hard to say in the case of the video. The law (as stated above) states "It is unlawful to take a deer by any means while it is in a lake, stream, or pond." A swamp or some sort of slough or marsh is neither a lake, stream, nor pond.

It think you would not be following the law though to shoot one in the scenario you described.

Larry Rooks
04-28-2005, 10:49 AM
I hope so, at least walking in the swamp area, as many areas aorund me during the wet season, you have to walk thru water to get to the stand.
I saw on one of the Primos hunting videos where one was smacked as it walked in above ankle deep water, and old Cuz had to wade out into knee deep water to get it. Guess each state may have a different rule

bubbafowler
04-28-2005, 11:07 AM
ive shot deer in the swamp before, thats where i like to hunt. I see absolutely no difference in shooting a deer in 3 inches of water than shooting one on dry land. That law is in place, so ive been told, to keep the hunting from not really being fair chase, IE waist deep water where it cant run fast, or Swimming. Just my .02, its legal.-- Bubba

Jasper
04-28-2005, 12:25 PM
the Georgia regulations say:

It is unlawful to take a deer by any means while it is in a lake, stream, or pond.

I don't know how the LE folks would interpret the law.


Hmmmmmm, makes me wonder. Is there a difference between a stream and a creek? If you were hunting near a small creek, 6 or 8 feet wide, 8 inces deep and a deer was standing in the water drinking- would it be illegal to shoot it?

Interesting scenario I've never thought about. I knew you couldn't shoot one that was in a pond or actually swimming, but I suppose "in a stream" could mean "standing in a creek"

Branchminnow
04-28-2005, 12:28 PM
A DNR ranger once told me not to interpret the law or read anything into it even though we may think its legal when the ranger gets the ticket book out that is illegal.

bubbafowler
04-29-2005, 01:10 AM
TH i agree completely, except for hte deer swimming. I think it should specify a depth, because even in knee deep water it inhibits a deer from running. I think as long as it doesnt inhibit it, then it shouldnt matter--Bubba

Snakeman
04-29-2005, 02:14 PM
What difference does it make, whether the deer can run or not? You don't spook the deer first, and then shoot at it as it is running. (This brings up a whole 'nother thread about why you shoot deer while they're standing still, but shoot ducks, doves, and quail while they're moving)

Maybe the law has something to do with recoverability (is that a word?). A wounded deer in water will leave no blood trail, and may even fall into a pool deep enough to hide the deer completely.

Stick with what the rule says, and don't try to make up your own interpretation of it.

The Snakeman

Snakeman
04-29-2005, 07:44 PM
T...I agree, it does happen when deer are shot on dry land, but the possibility increases when they are already in water......

The Snakeman

huntnnut
04-29-2005, 08:43 PM
Stick with what the rule says, and don't try to make up your own interpretation of it. The Snakeman

Sorry Snakeman, though when they have a rule as vague as that one is, one must interpret it to the best of their ability.

When they say stream I interpret that to mean a river not a little creek that you or I could step across or step in and it not go over our ankles.

I interpret the law to mean while the deer are in a potentially deep body of water whether swimming or entering/exiting the body of water.

I seriously do not believe the intent was to keep someone from shooting a deer just standing in a little water. That would be ludicrous

killNgrill
04-29-2005, 09:23 PM
I once heard that a deers stomach should not be touching the water in order to shoot. I dont think that is the law, but it seems a little reasonable i guess. Still i doubt i would shoot at one in that situation.

SWAMPFOX
04-29-2005, 10:08 PM
I wonder if this law may have a connection with dog hunting...I have seen deer ahead of a pack of hounds head for a lake, jump in and swim to safety on the other side. Be interesting to know if any northern states--Maine, Tennessee, Indiana, Michigan-- have such a law.

Snakeman
04-30-2005, 09:40 AM
Sorry Snakeman, though when they have a rule as vague as that one is, one must interpret it to the best of their ability.

When they say stream I interpret that to mean a river not a little creek that you or I could step across or step in and it not go over our ankles.

I interpret the law to mean while the deer are in a potentially deep body of water whether swimming or entering/exiting the body of water.

I seriously do not believe the intent was to keep someone from shooting a deer just standing in a little water. That would be ludicrous
(Huntnnut, this isn't aimed specifically AT you, just using your thoughts to get it started)

What's vague about it? It seems pretty cut and (not) dry to me. "It is unlawful to take a deer by any means while it is in a lake, stream, or pond." What some folks want is to interpret the regulation to fit THEIR situation. If the regulation set forth specifics (ie 24" deep, 6' wide, etc), then some folks would argue that their specific body of water was "close enough" at 25" deep, or 6.5' wide.

If you're standing before a judge, or magistrate, holding a citation for shooting a deer that was standing in a creek, and your defense starts with "I do not believe the intent of this regulation.....", or "it's a stupid law", there's a better than average chance that you're going to be leaving the courtroom with a lighter wallet.

If the "stream" (creek) is small enough for a person to step across or in without getting their ankles wet, why not let the deer get across it before pulling the trigger? It will only take a second, then you won't have to worry about anyone's interpretation of the regulation.

The Snakeman

deerking
04-30-2005, 12:27 PM
You need only to go to Websters to answer your questions in reference to O.C.G.A 27-3-42............

Lake.......N. (1) a large inland body of water, usually fresh water.(2) a pool of oil or other liquid.

Stream...N.(1)a current of water,Specifically a small river(2) a steady flow,as of air,light,etc.,

Pond.....N.(1)a body of water smaller than a lake.

Creek....N(1)a bend, a small stream


Any body of water is covered in these definitions, whether temporary or otherwise...........(slough, 1" deep creek, 20' deep stream, 100' deep river, flooded timber would also be a BODY OF WATER and is covered in the definition of a pond in that it is a BODY of water smaller than a lake., swamps are also covered in that they are a body of water smaller than a lake. the exception would be if it was on a rise or high spot within a swamp and not IN the water.)

The only clarification needed is in the definition of a stream and more specifically definition number (2)........a steady flow, as in air, light, etc.. Now this can have some legal technicalities that you might have overlooked. A steady wind would be considered a STREAM. Constant sunlight would be considered a STREAM..................that may need some clarification in the legislature. Now, surely this wasn't the intent, and within the law, the definition may be clearer. But, I can't find where the legislature defined lake, stream or pond in the code section.

For all of you who would say that it should be legal to shoot a deer in a 1"-6" deep creek because that wasn't the intent of the law........how do you know if you're not the one who originated the law?

I have a feeling that when you were a kid growing up and you were around a creek(no matter how deep) and your dad told you not to get IN the creek and you came back with wet feet, he let you know what IN the creek was......... :whip: were there any more times when you didn't know what IN the creek was? :huh:

Common sense should prevail in most of these cases..............except where there is a lack of.

Paddle
05-08-2005, 03:12 AM
Good post deerking.....Feet in water don't shoot!! Clear enough for me the first time I read it.

dominantpredator
05-08-2005, 11:06 AM
I decide when and where I will pull the trigger. I take the laws into account. If it is fair chase and I want to shoot that buck I will. That is me and I am not going to let any of you try to tell me other wise. If I want to shoot that buck he is dead if I can put the shot together. As far how the laws read, all I can tell you is if it is fair chase it is legal for me. My laws or set of values may differ from yours and theirs. But I will never knowingly take an animal that is swimming or other wise stuck in a water hole.

huntnnut
05-08-2005, 11:50 AM
I'll take my chances also as far as shooting one standing in a little water. Meaning I'm not gonna shoot one and I've had my chances, swimming a pond, lake or river though if one steps in a shallow creek bed or is walking through a shallow swamp bottom I'll bust one in a heart beat if given the opportunity. Thats just hunting to me.

deerking
05-08-2005, 01:45 PM
This law is no different than any other law..........either you go by it, or you break it.

The question was whether or not it's legal to shoot a deer standing in water. THE ANSWER IS NO..........

There are a lot of people who make a habit out of breaking traffic laws. They take thier chances when doing so, just as those of you who would shoot a deer standing in water would do. That's your chioce.

But, if you would shoot a deer illegally while standing in water, then you shouldn't be one of the ones preaching ethic's to the rest of us............whether about your views on baiting, night hunting, shooting from a public road, etc..........they're all laws governing our natural resources. You shouldn't pick and choose which ones you'll follow and which ones you don't think are that important....................$0.02

Heathen
05-08-2005, 01:54 PM
AMEN DEERKING!!! :bounce:

dominantpredator
05-08-2005, 10:38 PM
This law is no different than any other law..........either you go by it, or you break it.

The question was whether or not it's legal to shoot a deer standing in water. THE ANSWER IS NO..........

There are a lot of people who make a habit out of breaking traffic laws. They take thier chances when doing so, just as those of you who would shoot a deer standing in water would do. That's your chioce.

But, if you would shoot a deer illegally while standing in water, then you shouldn't be one of the ones preaching ethic's to the rest of us............whether about your views on baiting, night hunting, shooting from a public road, etc..........they're all laws governing our natural resources. You shouldn't pick and choose which ones you'll follow and which ones you don't think are that important....................$0.02
I agree; however, I have shot a deer in our swamp and could not swear to it that it was standing in or out of the inch or so of water that was seaping up through the grass and dirt all around the trees and bushes also growing among the area. In my opinion, I didn't break any law and I refuse to be handed an analogy such as people who break traffic laws are the same as hunters who break game laws. That is not a true comparison at all. Hunt swamps and kill them BIG bucks.

GeauxLSU
05-08-2005, 10:40 PM
I decide when and where I will pull the trigger. I take the laws into account. If it is fair chase and I want to shoot that buck I will. That is me and I am not going to let any of you try to tell me other wise. If I want to shoot that buck he is dead if I can put the shot together. As far how the laws read, all I can tell you is if it is fair chase it is legal for me. My laws or set of values may differ from yours and theirs.
If you shoot one in February, is it 'fair chase'?
Hunt/fish safely,
Phil

Snakeman
05-09-2005, 09:45 AM
My laws.........may differ from yours and theirs.
The Snakeman

huntnnut
05-09-2005, 10:12 AM
Regardless of what one may think, I still stand by my interpretation of the law and IMO it isn't against the law or unethical to shoot one in a shallow swamp bottom or a shallow creek bed. Unethical IMO would be shooting one while it is swimming or in otherwise deep water whereas they are essentially defenseless which is obviously against the law and the intent of the law as I interpret it.

I'm done!