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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This year I decided that I only wanted to hunt deer with my bow. So, I spent a lot of time and effort locating some nice deer in an area that has very limited access, and shouldn't see any rifle hunters. The property follows a road for about two kilometers, the road is lined with houses, and there is a large river about 350 meters in to the woods. This means that there is no place between the road and the river that would allow you to take a legal rifle shot without being less than 400 meters from a dwelling (which is the law). So I thought I had the perfect spot to hunt by myself.
However, once rifle season opened, there were rifle hunters all over that property. I was even seeing them actively hunt within 80 meters of the houses, and building ground blinds just 200 meters from the houses.
Obviously these guys were using the 400 meter law as a guideline.
Prior to rifle season I was seeing deer almost every day, however once the hunter trafic increased in the rifle season I hardly saw a deer again.
I know that it's harder to find good legal hunting areas when rifle hunting (disadvantage), but that needs to be accepted when you decide to hunt with a firearm with vastly superior range and power (major advantage). I guided my father on the same property this year, but he was rifle hunting, so we crossed the river and got our boots wet in order to hunt within the limitations of the law.
It really bothers me that I go to great lengths to locate a productive LEGAL area, and obtain permission, while others seem to think that they can shoot anywhere they want. I don't know how some folks don't think the legal shooting distance applies to them.
 

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Happens everywhere. These are the same guys who are shooting a deer for their uncle, their cousin, and their ex-wife's first brother-in-law twice removed.
 

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400 meters is ,at most, suggested,as law to some hunters. I don't know if some guys don't actually know how far 400 meters is or just don't care. Saturday afternoon there were 2 shots fired from a rifle in a cemetary that is surrounded on 3 sides by houses. I live about 200 meters from the cemetary and at the shots grabbed my cell and jumped in my truck. I got there in time to see 2 orange covered idiots jump on ATVs and beat a retreat out the back into a wooded area which has numerous trails through it. I called the RCMP and was told unless I could identify the 2 nothing could be done. I'm guessing it was the same 2 idiots I ran off the railway tracks in front of my house the previous week while walking my dog. The tracks are 55 meters from my house, and I have a trail down to the tracks. To say I was surprised to walk onto the tracks and see 2 "hunters" sitting on Atvs with rifles sticking out between the handlebars would be an understatement. They were a bit surprised when I spoke from behind them and asked the what in **** they thought they were doing. One said waiting for the deer to cross the tracks on their way to the cemetary. I very nicely explained the law stated they had to be 400 meters from a house before they could shoot.(not really nicely) I then told them where 400 meters approximately would be from a house,along the tracks, it's about 4 miles south of where they were sitting. Smart guys reply was, "The deer are crossing right here, not 4 miles away." I then, nicely, informed them I was going home to make a call and they should maybe beat it. I never got to the top of trail, 35 feet, before the roar of ATVs caught my ears.
 

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I think that most people including most hunters have no idea how far 400 meters actually is. Unless they are caught with the rifle loaded or discharging the rifle within 400 m of a dwelling there really is not much the wardens can do unfortunately.
 

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Most don't know how far 400m is and the rest don't care
 

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What is someone is over 400 meters from a house and fires at a deer that is closer to the house, say only 200 meters from it.

Technically I am not sure that is illegal.
 

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Unless I'm mistaken,there's nothing illegal about having a loaded rifle within 400m of a dwelling?It's the "discharging" part that is illegal.
I thought it was both but I am not sure, that would make it even harder for a warden to catch someone if he had to see the shooter discharging the rifle since the deer would be much less likely to be in the area to get shot at if there was a warden wandering around the woods.
 

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From the regulations:

Legal Distance
• It is illegal to discharge any rifle or shotgun within 200 metres of a dwelling, school, playground, athletic field, solid waste disposal site or place of business.
• It is illegal to discharge a rimfire rifle, a centre-fire rifle or shotgun loaded with ball or slug within 400 metres of a dwelling, school, playground, athletic field, solid waste disposal site or place of business.
Buckshot is not considered "ball" or "slug" and can be discharged at between 200 metres and 400 metres.
• It is illegal to discharge any bow within 100 metres of a dwelling, school, playground, athletic field, solid waste disposal site or place of business.

I think we all look at reasons to hate on other hunters, but I think it's often more likely a case of not knowing how far 400 meters actually is. I grew up with the metric system, but lots of Hunters in this province don't realize how far it is. I think, at best most consider 400 meters to be equal to 400 yards, when in fact it's quite a bit further, another 50 yards or so.

It would be awfully hard for them to get these hunters without a stakeout too, I think if you looked at follow up of the jerk that shot his neighbor's dog, even that clown won't get charged for firing his gun too close to houses, it's just too hard to prove.
 

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I find alot of parts of the law stupid also. I dont have the time to look tonight but I actually believe there is a law that says something like it is illegal to posess a loaded firearm in an area where it is illegal to discharge it. Not 100% but ill look later unless someone else posts it.
 

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If you shoot back towards a house, even being 400m from it you can be charged because it is carless/dangerous use of a firearm or some such. At least that is what the enforcement officer said when we were teaching the last course.
 

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carless/dangerous use of a firearm
I heard the same thing somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I can't help but laugh a little when I hear that "some people don't know how far 400 meters is". If I can figure it out, then anyone can figure it out. I figured it out by measuring the distance on Google Earth, which I realize not everyone has access to, but then I paced it out to confirm it.

Anyone who can walk in a straight line and can count to approximately 450 can figure out roughly how far 400 meters is. All it requires is a quick afternoon of scouting.

I believe that most folks that are rifle hunting within 400 meters are doing so either knowingly or ignorantly, and ignorance is not an acceptable reason for breaking the law...regardless if the wardens catch you or not. I realize that ignorance is much easier...if a person ignorantly chooses to NOT pace out 400 meters, then he/she can blissfully "assume" that they are hunting within the legal distance.

Counting your steps while walking in a straight line is not rocket science...it's grade two stuff. No excuse!

I got permission to hunt an area because I am bow hunting. I'm really concerned that someone is going to fire a high powered rifle really close to a house (or at a house), and then all access will be cut-off to this area ever again. These folks could be "shooting" themselves in their own foot by taking that shot within 400 meters.

I'm really sorry about the rant, but I'm just worried that the access to many of our favourite hunting spots is going to be lost because some folks are not taking the hunting regulations seriously.
 

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I'm really sorry about the rant, but I'm just worried that the access to many of our favourite hunting spots is going to be lost because some folks are not taking the hunting regulations seriously.
No need to be sorry about the rant, that is exactly what is happening!

Personally I carry a rangefinder with me at all times. There isn't any excuse for not knowing, the people who don't know, don't care to.
 

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A mapping GPS and goggle earth are your friend. Ignorance is no excuse in the eyes of the law, as a hunter you need to know where homes and other restricted areas are and your distance from them.
 

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I agree that ignorance is no excuse but honestly think most people including most hunters have no idea of how far 400m is. Something I go by as a rough guide is that telephone poles are usually around 50m apart. A spread of 9 would get you roughly 400m, and thats a long, long ways. A gps works too if your not shooting down the highway
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