More On Airguns – Two More States Legalize Airguns For Hunting

August 12, 2013

Crosman Hunting promoThis is pretty cool!  In a recent press release from Crosman, I saw the exciting news that Alabama and Arizona have opened the doors for airgun hunters on multiple new species.

According to the piece, Alabama will now allow hunters using airguns .30 caliber or larger for predators, hogs, and whitetail deer.  This is pretty cool news, especially in a state where much of the hunting is done at reasonably close range from stands or blinds.  I’ve always thought whitetail would be the perfect game for airgun hunting, just as they are for bow hunters.

In AZ, the regulations are a little more diverse, but the news is still good for the big bore airgun enthusiast.  Here’s how it breaks down, according to the Crosman article:

  • Allow the take of big game animals including pronghorn, deer (mule deer and Coues whitetail), black bear, mountain lion, bighorn sheep (desert and Rocky Mountain) and javelina, but excluding bison and elk, with “big-bore” PCP air rifles .35 caliber and larger, during general (rifle) seasons.
  • Allow the take of predators, including coyotes, foxes and skunks and fur-bearing animals, including bobcats, raccoons, weasels, badgers and ringtail cats withPCP air rifles .22 caliber and larger, during general (rifle) seasons.
  • Small game (rabbits and squirrels), other animals including coati and Gunnison’s prairie dogs, and birds including Eurasian collared-doves, crows and upland birds (quail, grouse, partridge and pheasant) will continue to be legal for harvest during general seasons with a variety of pneumatic weapons includingPCP’s, the popular break-barrels powered by springs or gas pistons, and the venerable variable pump and CO2 charged air rifles.”

While I’m certain that controversy will continue regarding the ability of air rifles to humanely kill game animals, there’s no question that this genie is out of the bottle.  Many states allow the use of airguns for nuisance species and small game, and with AZ and AL added, there are seven states which now permit the use of airguns (with specific qualifications) to hunt whitetail deer.  Here in Texas, you still can’t hunt whitetails with an air rifle, but they are permitted for all non-native species and several small game animals as well.

Crosman offers a chart on their website for anyone interested in learning more about their state’s regulations on airgun hunting.  It’s an interesting look at the regs across all of the states, and it is updated as of June of 2013.  However, as always, I recommend verifying the regulations in your own state through the appropriate fish and game regulatory agency.  Measure twice, cut once… ignorance of the law will not get you out of a hefty fine.


7 Responses to “More On Airguns – Two More States Legalize Airguns For Hunting”

  1. Mike C on August 12th, 2013 05:02

    I like air rifles. In fact, I own a very nice RWS .22 one.

    I have watched the videos on the Benjamin and other remarkable air rifles that are capable of taking hogs, deer and some antelope. I’m amazed at their capability and am astonished at what they can do in the right hands.

    I have a small battery of rifles, shotguns, handguns for hunting and some black powder rifles and pistols. I have no plans to buy a new age air rifle such as those mentioned in this article.

    When I go hunting, I carefully select which firearm I am going to use and hand assemble ammunition for it.

    I am not knocking proponents of big game air rifle hunting – I just don’t understand it.

    What am I missing here?

  2. Phillip on August 12th, 2013 07:22

    Mike, you may not be missing anything. If you’re satisfied with what you’ve got and how you use it, you don’t really need to add anything at all.

    On the other hand, big bore air guns are hardly “new age”. They’re having a bit of a renaissance, I suppose, and they certainly benefit from modern technology. But they’ve been around for a long time, and I think it’s a positive thing that some state wildlife agencies are starting to recognize them as valid hunting tools.

    As for the allure of hunting with them, that probably varies. Personally, I like using the quiet and deadly-accurate rifle like my Marauder. It’s an amazing piece of work, and I look forward to getting close enough to put one of these .25cal pellets in an axis deer’s noggin. Sounds like a challenge to me, on par with archery. It becomes an equation of stealth, woodscraft, and marksmanship… which I feel is a pretty pure combination for the hunter.

    Other folks probably have other reasons, and those reasons probably range all over the place. From the industry’s perspective, of course, the key thing is to sell more guns. By working with enthusiasts to expand hunting opportunities for these things, they expand the market. Given that air guns are largely unregulated as far as possession and purchase, they may also appeal to folks who find powder-burning firearms restrictions a little too overbearing. But that may be sort of a reach on my part.

  3. Mike C on August 13th, 2013 05:05

    Fair enough Phillip. You raise valid points.

    Hope I didn’t offend anyone.

  4. Phillip on August 13th, 2013 08:58

    Don’t worry, Mike. Anyone who gets offended by someone’s honest opinion needs to re-examine their convictions. We don’t all see things the same way. To me, it’s all about being willing to accept that and live with it.

  5. Alabama Legalizes Airguns For Hunting | It Happens In Alabama on August 13th, 2013 19:36

    […] See on […]

  6. The Suburban Bushwacker on August 15th, 2013 00:26

    Speaking from the other side of the pond
    They just look ‘wrong’ without a can on the front.


  7. Phillip on August 15th, 2013 14:43

    The “can” is built in on the Marauder (which is what Jim and Eva are shooting in the photo). Takes almost all the pop out of it.