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Georgia Bill May Allow Hunters to Use Silencers

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January 13, 2012

Georgia Bill May Allow Hunters to Use Silencers

By Chad Love

A bill in the Georgia state senate would allow hunters to use silencers. The debate will most likely not be as quiet.

From this story in the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

A Georgia Senate proposal would end the ban on silencers for hunting firearms. Senate Bill 301 is sponsored by Sen. John Bulloch, who says allowing hunters to use silencers would keep them from disturbing their neighbors. The Ochlocknee Republican says hunters would still have to have a federal permit to possess a silencer. The bill has been assigned to the Senate Natural Resources Committee, which Bulloch co-chairs. Sen. Ross Tolleson, a Republican from Perry who co-sponsored of the bill, is the committee's chairman.

Thoughts?

Comments (54)

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from WesMcCormick wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Why not? I'm sure plenty of you have a good reason, but I don't see a down side yet, but i'm interested in suggestions.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Here's one...to scare the bejesus out of the non gun using public that is far and away the majority of voters. Stupid gun owner folks are bringing on gun owner restrictions in a big way.

-4 Good Comment? | | Report
from redfishunter wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

"The Ochlocknee Republican says hunters would still have to have a federal permit to possess a silencer." Sounds like it'll probably just be the guys that already own silencers. The permit process to get one is a pain in the neck, and you give up a lot of rights. I doubt many more people would buy them just because you can hunt with them.

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from LeVan Goodey wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Sounds like a great idea to me. Movies and T.V aside you cannot totally silence any round that goes faster than the speed of sound, but you can make shots a lot less loud. The only down side that I can forsee is the cost and administrative nightmare that will be generated.
Any idea why having a suppressor is a Federal thing?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from TM wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

The point behind banning silencers, and many states do, is that they easily can be abused as poachers' tools.

If you're in a suburb where people will care about gunshots, well then maybe you're too close to your neighbors to responsibly gun hunt large game in your neighborhood. If the rifle/slug sound can be heard, the bullet or slug can reach the listener. Learn to bowhunt or go out to the boonies.

On the poaching point, a guy who's jacking deer is much more likely to get away with it if there's little sound. And unfortunately there are a lot of lawbreakers out there. Possession bans on silencers is the same reason that communities make possession of burglary tools illegal.

Be loud, be proud, be honorable.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from TM wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Sayfu,

I'm with you on this one too. Why kick the hornets nest and enrage the antis when there is no good that could come to hunters from this one? Pick your battles boys.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from vtbluegrass wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

I say go for it. To legally own a silencer you have to have a spotless record be willing to put up with a lot of paperwork and pay the $200 dollar federal fee. That's all before you pay $400 to $900 for your silencer. I don't even see poachers taking advantage because many might not pass the background check required to possess one. Also game laws are the least of your worries if you cross the ATF and get caught breaking the law with an NFA item.

As restrictive as Europe is, when it comes to firearms, silencers are very popular over there for hunting and not nearly as hard to obtain as they are in the States.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from CL3 wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Sayfu makes an excellent point. They should weigh the benefits of allowing silencers over the negative press. I just can't see silencers as being that necessary.

Like TM says, it only makes it easier for poachers.

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from rock rat wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

There are many benefits which far outweigh the downside,,,, except price. For that much I could buy most of a wall tent.

Silencers also don't cut out the crack of breaking the sound barrier. As for how close to houses 150 yards is the rule here and that's exactly where deer control is needed the most. People are freaked out by the sound of rifles. It doesn't matter if you are shooting into a high sand pile at the bottom of a gully, some people are nervous of fire arms. Wether one is 150 or 1500 yards from a house one should never shoot such that a bullet would head in that direction.

Silencers help to not spook game also. I'd much rather an elk bled out wondering what that noise was than running a million miles an hour in any direction due to that huge boom it just heard.

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from Matt Watson wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

A few of you keep saying that allowing silencers for hunting purposes will make it easier for poachers. Think about it though. Poachers are already breaking the law. I'm sure if they are poaching, they are already using a silencer or any other quiet form of harvesting, laws be damned. Hunting with a silencer would be great for us law-abiding citizens to manage the ever-growing hog and varmint populations at night, when they are active, and not bother any surrounding neighbors. Here in rural Mississippi, no matter how far out in the boonies you go, there's going to be a neighbor near by.

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from Scott Wellman wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

People worried about poachers... hello!! Should poachers using a bow & arrow yell bang when they kill an animal illegally?

There is nothing evil about a suppressor. Movies and the media have made them look that way but what about hunters hearing? How many actually use hearing protection in the woods?

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

TM..It is the HEADLINES that wins the vote. Get into the fine print, and you can say.."There won't be many of them out there because of the permit requirements blah, blah, blah," but the hunter loses! You are right. It hits a lot of people as a group that wants to push the envelope because they have the 2nd ammendment behind them....trust me, they who own guns will lose! Public sentiment means a great deal.

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from Sb Wacker wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Hmm from this side of the pond this is a strange one, here in the UK Moderators are a health and safety device. Protecting the shooters ears is enough reason to posses here, in Finland protecting your dog's hearing is possibly the reason you may soon HAVE TO HAVE ONE!

SBW

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Timothy Pifher wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

What's the upside. I would like a better reason other than "because", to me if it ain't broke don't fix.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from vtbluegrass wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

If the firearm were a new invention today it would most likely be required to have a silencer as a safety feature.

As far as perception by the public the only way to change perception is to show that it is false. Not allowing hunting with a silencer is about as bad as saying you can't have a muffler on your car so people can hear you coming. Its based not on fact or reason just a preconceived notion that an inanimate object is somehow evil now that it doesn't make as much noise

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

I don't need one, besides I like hearing the bang!

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from vtbluegrass wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Walt - You don't need one is a horrible reason for them to not be legal for others. I don't need to hunt I have a job and can by food at the store. I don't need multiple guns just one or two would probably do everything I need. Just because I don't need something is not reason enough for there to be a law against something I might want.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Greenhead wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

I am all for it from a public health perspective. Think about all of the hearing damage that could be avoided if everyone hunted and practiced with a suppressor.

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from Greenhead wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Additionally, the argument that criminals would use a device to break the law and therefor that device should be illegal is the same argument used for gun control.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tony Berg wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Want a quiet hunting device, shoot a bow.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Lets go for 90 round drum magazines and full automatic while we're at it!

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from fliphuntr14 wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Ive always been told silencers make you're accuracy go down (maybe out of date statement) so there not ment for long range even short range you lose the pin point accuracy of most guns. You shouldn't be shooting an inaccurate gun that close to you neighbors anyways. also you should be far enough away from houses in a far majority of cases when shooting a gun, nobody wakes up to a gun shot if its shot thats safely far enough away from there house. sorry i just don;t see the use in first going threw all the hassel to get one when you could buy a bow and hunt responsibly and really more efficiently if the hog problem is that big. senseless waste of time by the state and as mentioned unneeded publicity

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from 1uglymutha wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

a few facts: they are not "silencers". they only dampen sound, not eliminate sound completely. tactical rifle competitors know that sound moderators INCREASE accuracy in most applications. even great britain, whose firearms laws are among the most restrictive in the world, allow the use of sound moderators WITHOUT a government permit. come on f&s, it's long overdue for some education for the masses. how about it? in my opinion,it's time to strengthen the second amendment by eliminating all federal and state laws prohibiting sound suppressors on all sporting firearms.

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from JohnR wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

First, to h-e-double hockey sticks to what the anti-hunters, anti-gunowners, fill in the blank thinks. They already dislike anything to do with guns and hunting and the statement that it will rile them up is moot. They are already riled up and that's that.
I wouldn't mind seeing supressors legalized because it would legitimize the use of suppressors for others, read target shooting! I see this as a golden opportunity to roll back some of the onerus restriction that have been placed on gunowners. It may even cause the cost of them to come down somewhat if more are in use because then more companies may start producing them and compete for your business.
On the down side, protracted use of a suppressor will shorten the life of your barrel.
For those of you who like to hear a rifle shot in the woods so you know where everyone is and you are worried about being shot; I have news for you. If some careless individual fatally shoots you, most likely you won't hear it!
As was stated above suppressors are legal in many other countries and in some places one is mandated to use one (it may be England or New Zealand I think).

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from dleurquin wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Walt...you're right. Bow hunt if you're in more densely populated areas. Legalizing silencers and suppressors will only increase the agitation gap between those for and against the 2nd amendment.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Wow, I am impressed by the mountain of common sense illustrated in the above posts. TM has summarized it all very well. The "pick your battles carefully" Sayfu spoke of is something I too have advocated, though usually in the face of a lot of opposition.

If the deer are hanging out in neighborhood backyards, it's no problem putting them away with bows. Rifle hunting in those environments is overkill. Silencers would be the real ticket for poachers and as we have seen in quite a few of the blogs on here recently, a lot of the poachers these days are rich and famous. No problem for them to get the federal permits. I don't know about you guys, but if someone is shooting a rifle in my neighborhood, I WANT TO KNOW ABOUT IT, whether it's legal or not. Too many clowns out there have a hobby of shooting dogs, cats, mailboxes, road signs, powerline insulators, etc. I don't want to make it any easier for them. I'd like to know what kind of mindless moron would even introduce such legislation. That guy needs a better hobby than sitting in a state legislature! Perhaps someone could teach some of these politicians to tie their shoes BEFORE they're put up for election. Sheesh.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from A Wild Beast at... wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Anything that reduces noise and muzzle blast is great, and provided that it is legal, I see no downside of using a silencer or moderator to hunt.

As mentioned above, in the United Kingdon, a moredator is almost mandated if you stalking game (that is their way of saying hunting) with a rifle.

I may be wrong, but I was told that moderators are legal for hunting in Arkansas, and the world is not coming apart.

Please, read my blog at http://awildbeastatheart.blogspot.com

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from Robert Ruedrich wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Moderators are legal in England and in many othe countries. Mainly to protect the HEARING on the shooter and other hunters or people who are present. Silencers do NOT completely silence a gun and are very seldom ever used in crimes. For some reason the USA decided it was something that would be regulated along the same lines as full auto weapons.

It only makes sense to not only make them legal but to allow them for hunting and target shooting. Most of the hunters and shooters I know that are over 40 have substantial hearing loss. Once it's gone it's too late.

As someone else mentioned concerning poachers that they're already violating the law. With the availability of crossbows why anyone would use a rifle for poaching is beyond me. The new crossbows are deadly accurate and are equipped with scopes.

The people who are against this obviously haven't a clue and are like Chicken Little the the sky is falling. No it isn't and if you grow up and join the rest of the world maybe your hearing will still be in good shape. It won't protect the brain though.....

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from LeVan Goodey wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

The comment was made that a suppressor/moderator will shorten barrel life. If so why? If they really do shorten barrel life why don't muzzel brakes shorten it also?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from LeVan Goodey wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

The comment was made that a suppressor/moderator will shorten barrel life. If so why? If they really do shorten barrel life why don't muzzel brakes shorten it also?

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

C'mon, guys! Comparing hunting in Britain to the US is a bit more than apples and oranges. We sure don't want to be following their lead! Same goes for poaching with crossbows compared to rifles. What is the range on a crossbow compared to a rifle or rifled slug shotgun? Apples and oranges! If some guy spent all his time on the range and his hearing is shot by the time he's fifty, I'd say that either he wasn't wearing hearing protection (his stupidity) or he worked in a sawmill. People who are worried about preserving their hearing should wear hearing protection. It's just that simple. Again, if someone is blasting away with a rifle in the vicinity of my home, I wanna know about it, especially if it's on my private property. I'd also like to be able to judge how far away other hunters are when I'm hunting, not necessarily because I'm afraid of getting shot, but because I'd like to stay away from them out of courtesy.

The arguments for allowing suppressors for rifle hunting are really pretty dang weak. The arguments against allowing their use are pretty dang sensible.

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from tybow99 wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Poachers are gonna use it whether it is legal or illegal- same thing with handgun bans

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from fliphuntr14 wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

got a minus one from someone, robert-maybe i should join the real world or maybe as a sportsman I should pick a real battle that matters.This is just a ploy by a single issue ticket runner. I don't taget shoot but I know for a fact that long range shooters do not use them because they reduce range due to sub sonic ammo that must be used less powder= less noise. Its niche product 37 states already allow them for public users with a permit but with a 200$ tax. like i said not worth the hassle or publicity. My guns are function over form im not going to add another thing that could compromise the function or pay to go thought hassel for one and I can imagine a majority of sportsman feel the same and have better causes.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Here's one for ya. I'm not too sure that the powers to be that own this magazine do not want it to be a negative for gun ownership. There has been an awful lot of liberal topics presented from guns to fishing to the conservation topics. It became so obvious to me that I spent some time investigating the big shots at the top of the conglomerate co. that owns F & S. Tough to trace their path, but it takes you to Europe.

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from vtbluegrass wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Lets not allow detachable mags and scary military looking rifles while were are at it. Chicken little arguments against the use of silencers here.

Anti's don't want you to go back to your dad's blued and walnut finished levergun; they want you to stay home and eat soy. Sure silencers will get the same world ending news that concealed carry and the end of the AWB got. But after its past it will become the new normal and when there aren't rampant silencer crimes(which there won't be) the news will pay no more attention to the issue.
Also I mentioned before if poacher do use such a tool in committing a crime they dang sure aren't getting a slap on the wrist because crimes and NFA items means the ATF gets envolved.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Sayfu, a few too many double negatives in your post for me to quite grasp what you're saying. Am I understanding that you think the magazine is some kind of closet liberal forum? Wow! That never came across in my eyes anyway. I think just posting a blog topic about a controversial current event and asking for readers to comment pro or con seems to me to be a fair way of approaching controversial current events related to hunting and fishing. I see pretty fair treatment on the blog end of things for sure. Everything else is pretty much open to the readers to start up and discuss. And there is PRECIOUS little censorship on this site. Perhaps too little to satisfy me (although things have been pretty smooth for several months lately - thumbs up to the contributors!). I think the folks that run this site (when they choose to run it!) are fair enough, especially the blogsters. As far as the political preference of the corporate leadership in Europe or wherever, I'm certain the only preference they have is to make a buck as fast as possible.

I will say that this "black or white" way of looking at things on this site is beginning to really get to me. Just because someone thinks outside the "white" box is no excuse to go slamming him/her with negatives. That's immature. I reserve minuses for name-calling jerks and people who are rude. Pile em on those folks. If some PETA-type person got on here and made an attempt to carry on an intelligent and informative dialogue (fat chance of that!), I'd listen to em. I'm a grown up person and can make up my own mind. I also respect others who have a mind of their own, even if I don't happen to agree with them.

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from Walt Smith wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Does Boone and Crocket allow the use of silencers in their record book? Don't seem like fair chase to me! Bet that will change some minds! After all the only thing that matters is the score.

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from shane256 wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

From what I hear, poachers have started back using crossbows since they are legal in a number of states, now. Not quite the range of a rifle but virtually silent and you can put a scope on one. I say "started back" because using crossbows for poaching is hardly new, even in the times when firearms were available.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

Ontario....Here's what I'm sayin to another small town dude. All the woman next door knows is the headlines....Silencers available! Now she relates silencers to terrorist type killers. No one else would use one in her mind. To further get you to understand it. If it was just normal news she wouldn't say anything, but Silencers!....she talks about the threat to her friends, her friends at church, her friends she calls on the phone...ever see a woman on the phone? Ever see a liberal make media hey out of false information? lol! "There killin the kids! The old folks will starve!" And there are a lot of other examples. It is the emotional thing that wins the day on this one, just like the headlines that machine guns are legal.

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from JohnR wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

Respectfully speaking Walt (and I do respect the wisdom you share on this blog); I do not see how fair chase factors into the use of supressors. After all good hunters practice stealth in stalking their quarry, heck we even buy clothes like quiet cloth to stalk with less noise. When you shoot a big game animal or any animal for that matter, the animal never hears the shot. Even the lowly .22 rimfire within 50 yards remains supersonic (>1,050 fps) from most rifles.
I have observed in my brief life here that there is a great disconnect between what we believe, have been told, tradition, and conventional wisdom and the real facts.
Ontario Honker, I ask this respectfully because the written word lacks the intonation to interpret the writer's attitude which is pleasant; have you chanced to complete a survey of game law violations (which in the US are public record) where the violater used a supressor. I'll wager you won't find much because I opine that our forests are not rife with poachers running around with supressed weapons.
I would surmise that the arguments against the use if supressors are weak and based on anecdotal evidence and people's opinion rather than hard facts.
My state just went through a similar emotional debacle regarding hunting on Sundays. The prevailing myth that the game needed a day of rest coupled with religious arguments concerning Sunday (or sabbath which is actually Saturday if you're Jewish) shot down an opportunity for people that work all week to hunt another day . The biologists stated that the game never really rests on a day to day basis as every day to them is survival but because of the clamor from the court of public opinion, we wound up with a compromise. One can only bowhunt on Sundays on private property. Hey, that's great if one is a bowhunter; if not well tough luck!
I agree with you that there used to be many more slob hunters in the past (70's and 80's); the hunting and fishing magazines rightly covered the suject well. As a whole the hunting and fishing community has cleaned up its act and are very aware of the image presented to the public. There has to be however a line drawn somewhere between compromise and good will otherwise what's next? No more hunting with AR type rifles, or hunters restricted to single shot rifles? I apologize for my wordiness, but if a decision is made, it should be based upon facts and empirical data and not simply a prevailing opinion.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

John R. Wow are you disallusioned IMO! Poaching is rampant. There are even poachers that are commercial hunters. And when an economy is in recession, and more than likely will be for sometime to come? Poaching greatly increases. I'm not buying the improvement in the character of a hunter. Youth classes have helped, but I believe in the increased ignorance in our country as a whole. I hunted several times at a pheasant release site, and on the 2nd occassion the release truck showed up. I saw the release officer yelling at some hunters that came near his truck. When he got to me, I talked to the guy...he had been shot in the past, his truck peppered! I don't see an increase in "the spirit of the hunt, and fair chace" increasing out there in the great outdoors. Skybusting at ducks and geese is a common issue wherever waterfowlers congregate for example.

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from Ben Blaker wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

I live in Europe (The UK) where gun law is prohibative to say the least, and have hunted throughout the world. Some area's allow silencers (Moderators as we call them) and some don't. At the moment I'm as stated in the UK, and despite massive other restrictions, we are alowed silencers. The reason is simple, to get a firearmin the first place you need to apply for a licence, and these are only granted after extensive background cheacks have been carried out. Then the moderator will be placed on your Firearms Licence. Th moderator has several benificial effects. ONE, it reduces the report of the weapon (It doesn't get rid of he sonic crack or even all of the bang except n rimfire subsonic ammo), and thus scares game a lot less, and people too. TWO, it reduces the actual and felt recoil, thus allowing retained site picture during the shot, and also is good for someone like myself with arthritis. THREE, it reduces the muzzle balst and flash, which avoids dust being blown into your eyes, and stops you being flash blinded during nights shots (Wealso use NV equipment over here)

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from ITHACASXS wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

There have been a few comments about using a bow if one wishs to kill with minimal noise. The problem is in area with a large problematic deer herd is bowhunting hardly if at all makes a dent. In the NY state many towns, villages and suburbs had to resort to a ''bait and shoot'' program run by the local police. Now I know that NY would never allow supressors to be legal (remember, its NY), but if Georgia wants them for whatever reason: hogs, rats, deer, gators or squirrels let them and cheer them on.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

Again, I just don't see any advantage to introducing this contentious issue, except to create some more contention. Like we need that! I hardly think any suburban or semi-suburban area worried about rifles fired around houses is going to feel any degree of comfort with them being "moderated." Again, I'm not inclined to advocate following anything that Great Britain is doing (especially use of night-vision equipment!!!). It's a different and in my opinion totally bizarre world of hunting over there.

The more noise the better. I want to know who's shooting where, as much as possible. Guns are lethal weapons. Their operation needs to be advertised not minimalized or concealed. It's pretty hard to argue with that logic. If a bit more noise scares the game, so be it. If it alarms my neighbors too much then I'll just have to go someplace else and hunt or pick up some weights and get my elbows in shape to draw a bow. I can adapt. Gun noise has been part of the hunting game since matchlocks first appeared hundreds of years ago. It has been such a part of hunting for so long that I really do not want to see that aspect changed, especially if there is no significant advantage to it for either the game or the hunters or for hunting in general (which I think would be greatly harmed). Kinda like introducing aluminum bats into professional baseball. Sure, it would make the game MUCH more "effective" and exciting - if you're a fan who's just looking for more runs and hits. But most everyone, even most of the players, seem to agree that introducing metal bats would change the American Game so much that it just wouldn't be baseball as we know it and as it has always been. And, of course, it would totally screw up all those poor analysts who make their living fiddling with statistics.

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from JohnR wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

Sayfu I may not be as disillusioned as you think :-). IMHO there is a distinction between: the slob hunter which is someone I define as shooting road signs (which actually is vandalism), legally killing a deer and taking only the hams and backstraps and leaving the carcass to rot in the woods, and those who leave a trail of trash through the woods and: poachers (serial or commercial). I consider skybusters slob hunters and yes we also have problems with them here.
In my area, we have observed an overall decrease in the number of what I defined as slob hunters (I won't say there aren't any because I truthfully can't) with the big exception of skybusters. I'm sure there is some poaching going on here in my area however I hesitate to call it rampant. Most of the other hunters I know and associate with will and have reported any observed illegal activity.
Concerning the supressor, no one has yet offered any credible evidence to support the clain that supressors interfere with "fair chase".
As far as the argument that a supressor would become a poacher's tool, I don't see it as becoming a common thing. Now I'm not naive enough to think that some knucklehead poacher won't try it, however the risk of using one outweighs the benefit. First, illegal possession of a supressor is a violation of the NFA and carries a ten year jail term. It is also a felony in most states. I also have to ask myself why a poacher would go to all the trouble and expense of legally obtaining a supressor and draw unnecessary attention to himself?
The same arguments against the use of a supressor I'm reading here looks very similar to the arguments the anti-gun people make concerning handguns, black rifles, and high capacity magazines.
Regardless of all my blather though, I really do respect your comments and opinion on this matter and I can honestly say we probably agree on much more than we disagree. :-)

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from JohnR wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

Sayfu I may not be as disillusioned as you think :-). IMHO there is a distinction between: the slob hunter which is someone I define as shooting road signs (which actually is vandalism), legally killing a deer and taking only the hams and backstraps and leaving the carcass to rot in the woods, and those who leave a trail of trash through the woods and: poachers (serial or commercial). I consider skybusters slob hunters and yes we also have problems with them here.
In my area, we have observed an overall decrease in the number of what I defined as slob hunters (I won't say there aren't any because I truthfully can't) with the big exception of skybusters. I'm sure there is some poaching going on here in my area however I hesitate to call it rampant. Most of the other hunters I know and associate with will and have reported any observed illegal activity.
Concerning the supressor, no one has yet offered any credible evidence to support the clain that supressors interfere with "fair chase".
As far as the argument that a supressor would become a poacher's tool, I don't see it as becoming a common thing. Now I'm not naive enough to think that some knucklehead poacher won't try it, however the risk of using one outweighs the benefit. First, illegal possession of a supressor is a violation of the NFA and carries a ten year jail term. It is also a felony in most states. I also have to ask myself why a poacher would go to all the trouble and expense of legally obtaining a supressor and draw unnecessary attention to himself?
The same arguments against the use of a supressor I'm reading here looks very similar to the arguments the anti-gun people make concerning handguns, black rifles, and high capacity magazines.
Regardless of all my blather though, I really do respect your comments and opinion on this matter and I can honestly say we probably agree on much more than we disagree. :-)

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from JohnR wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

Oops! Sorry for the double post!

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from IND_NRA wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

The way that I see this issue is that if you don't stand and support all gun rights that are on the table then you are doing more harm then good. I see no problem with using a sound suppressor to hunt with. When did the majority of the Pro-gun community get scared to ruffle some feathers. I am worried that there will be a select few of us that will have the "brass" to stand up and defend what all others are to scared to defend. To those that are on the fence or under the covers, it is ok to come out and support all pro-gun laws we can use your help.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

Gees, "all pro gun laws are good laws even if they are bad laws." That kind of mentality won't help the gun cause, that's for sure! I don't think people should be hunting with automatic rifles or hand grenades or mortar launchers either. But their "right to bear" those arms should be "protected" too? Yes, Indie, that is the NRA mentality alright. And it's why I'm not a member anymore. I'm beginning to think their attitude is more of a threat to 2nd Ammendment than the "antis". As responsible gun owners we need to stand up for common sense, not just stand up and blindly get in line behind any idea that comes along with a "needed to protect your gun rights" bumper sticker slapped on its arse. I don't expect any concensus about what is "common sense" ... and that's a good thing! It shows that gun owners are thinking for themselves. Then when we DO have some kind of concensus, it has some validity. That's what the antis fear, not robot manufacturers like the NRA.

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from marycgreaney wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

I think silencers would be good Many times I have been hunting and another hunter has taken a shot that has scared the ones that I have been hunting. with silencers there would not be that scare and I could get the ones that I want http://executivegunrunners.com

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from finnyk wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

Frankly, I sort of like to be able to hear the "bang" of a fired gun in the woods - for two reasons; 1) it helps me keep up with how many people may be in the woods at any given time so I can know where they are and avoid moving into their area (have been scoped recently - not a good feeling), and 2) I guess I may be somewhat of a caveman, but I just see it as a part of the sport that gets/keeps the adrenaline flowing when you have that perfect shot and pull the trigger. As a Georgia hunter; if they have to change something, I would rather them change the "blaze orange" rule so that you could remove it ONCE IN YOUR TREESTAND - but keep it so that if you have just one foot on the ground, or are below a certain height, you would still be required to have your orange on.

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from JW Westman wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

Sounds like a poacher's dream. we soundly defeated a like bill in our last legislative session here in Montana, and we are anything but anti-gun, we protect our rights.

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from JohnR wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

I'll post it once more! Someone post some statistics in this blog showing how many poaching incidents involved the use of suppressors versus other means used for poaching game. Additionally I would like to see some documentation from bona fide experts proving that legalization of suppressors for hunting will directly cause a rise in the use of same for poaching.
All I have read to date is speculation and conjecture. Second Amendment consideration aside, it's not a good precedent to pass or not pass game laws (or any other law) based upon the court of publice opinion.
Personally I most likely will never use one, but I have no issue with the legal use of them for hunting.
If I can be shown hard data that reveals the use of suppressors for hunting will be detrimental to the sport then I will be one of the first to say don't allow their use. Until such time, I have to reserve judgement.

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from Kylemeyer wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

I hunt in a good sized woods with 3 other friends and this year i shot a doe. She fell to the ground and didn't move. My other friend Luke had a buck standing 50 yards out and he was waiting for it to step into his shooting lane. The buck had about 2 or 3 yards b4 it would have been in the clearing when i shot. The buck was startled by my shot and took off. If i would have had a silencer the buck would not have been startled by my shot and Luke would have had a shot at him. I think that the law should be passed not just because it would be awesome to have, but because it would improve the experience of the other hunters around you.

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from vtbluegrass wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Walt - You don't need one is a horrible reason for them to not be legal for others. I don't need to hunt I have a job and can by food at the store. I don't need multiple guns just one or two would probably do everything I need. Just because I don't need something is not reason enough for there to be a law against something I might want.

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from Scott Wellman wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

People worried about poachers... hello!! Should poachers using a bow & arrow yell bang when they kill an animal illegally?

There is nothing evil about a suppressor. Movies and the media have made them look that way but what about hunters hearing? How many actually use hearing protection in the woods?

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from Sb Wacker wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Hmm from this side of the pond this is a strange one, here in the UK Moderators are a health and safety device. Protecting the shooters ears is enough reason to posses here, in Finland protecting your dog's hearing is possibly the reason you may soon HAVE TO HAVE ONE!

SBW

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from Greenhead wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Additionally, the argument that criminals would use a device to break the law and therefor that device should be illegal is the same argument used for gun control.

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from WesMcCormick wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Why not? I'm sure plenty of you have a good reason, but I don't see a down side yet, but i'm interested in suggestions.

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from TM wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Sayfu,

I'm with you on this one too. Why kick the hornets nest and enrage the antis when there is no good that could come to hunters from this one? Pick your battles boys.

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from vtbluegrass wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

I say go for it. To legally own a silencer you have to have a spotless record be willing to put up with a lot of paperwork and pay the $200 dollar federal fee. That's all before you pay $400 to $900 for your silencer. I don't even see poachers taking advantage because many might not pass the background check required to possess one. Also game laws are the least of your worries if you cross the ATF and get caught breaking the law with an NFA item.

As restrictive as Europe is, when it comes to firearms, silencers are very popular over there for hunting and not nearly as hard to obtain as they are in the States.

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from Matt Watson wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

A few of you keep saying that allowing silencers for hunting purposes will make it easier for poachers. Think about it though. Poachers are already breaking the law. I'm sure if they are poaching, they are already using a silencer or any other quiet form of harvesting, laws be damned. Hunting with a silencer would be great for us law-abiding citizens to manage the ever-growing hog and varmint populations at night, when they are active, and not bother any surrounding neighbors. Here in rural Mississippi, no matter how far out in the boonies you go, there's going to be a neighbor near by.

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from 1uglymutha wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

a few facts: they are not "silencers". they only dampen sound, not eliminate sound completely. tactical rifle competitors know that sound moderators INCREASE accuracy in most applications. even great britain, whose firearms laws are among the most restrictive in the world, allow the use of sound moderators WITHOUT a government permit. come on f&s, it's long overdue for some education for the masses. how about it? in my opinion,it's time to strengthen the second amendment by eliminating all federal and state laws prohibiting sound suppressors on all sporting firearms.

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from JohnR wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

First, to h-e-double hockey sticks to what the anti-hunters, anti-gunowners, fill in the blank thinks. They already dislike anything to do with guns and hunting and the statement that it will rile them up is moot. They are already riled up and that's that.
I wouldn't mind seeing supressors legalized because it would legitimize the use of suppressors for others, read target shooting! I see this as a golden opportunity to roll back some of the onerus restriction that have been placed on gunowners. It may even cause the cost of them to come down somewhat if more are in use because then more companies may start producing them and compete for your business.
On the down side, protracted use of a suppressor will shorten the life of your barrel.
For those of you who like to hear a rifle shot in the woods so you know where everyone is and you are worried about being shot; I have news for you. If some careless individual fatally shoots you, most likely you won't hear it!
As was stated above suppressors are legal in many other countries and in some places one is mandated to use one (it may be England or New Zealand I think).

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from redfishunter wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

"The Ochlocknee Republican says hunters would still have to have a federal permit to possess a silencer." Sounds like it'll probably just be the guys that already own silencers. The permit process to get one is a pain in the neck, and you give up a lot of rights. I doubt many more people would buy them just because you can hunt with them.

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from rock rat wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

There are many benefits which far outweigh the downside,,,, except price. For that much I could buy most of a wall tent.

Silencers also don't cut out the crack of breaking the sound barrier. As for how close to houses 150 yards is the rule here and that's exactly where deer control is needed the most. People are freaked out by the sound of rifles. It doesn't matter if you are shooting into a high sand pile at the bottom of a gully, some people are nervous of fire arms. Wether one is 150 or 1500 yards from a house one should never shoot such that a bullet would head in that direction.

Silencers help to not spook game also. I'd much rather an elk bled out wondering what that noise was than running a million miles an hour in any direction due to that huge boom it just heard.

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from vtbluegrass wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

If the firearm were a new invention today it would most likely be required to have a silencer as a safety feature.

As far as perception by the public the only way to change perception is to show that it is false. Not allowing hunting with a silencer is about as bad as saying you can't have a muffler on your car so people can hear you coming. Its based not on fact or reason just a preconceived notion that an inanimate object is somehow evil now that it doesn't make as much noise

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from A Wild Beast at... wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Anything that reduces noise and muzzle blast is great, and provided that it is legal, I see no downside of using a silencer or moderator to hunt.

As mentioned above, in the United Kingdon, a moredator is almost mandated if you stalking game (that is their way of saying hunting) with a rifle.

I may be wrong, but I was told that moderators are legal for hunting in Arkansas, and the world is not coming apart.

Please, read my blog at http://awildbeastatheart.blogspot.com

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

C'mon, guys! Comparing hunting in Britain to the US is a bit more than apples and oranges. We sure don't want to be following their lead! Same goes for poaching with crossbows compared to rifles. What is the range on a crossbow compared to a rifle or rifled slug shotgun? Apples and oranges! If some guy spent all his time on the range and his hearing is shot by the time he's fifty, I'd say that either he wasn't wearing hearing protection (his stupidity) or he worked in a sawmill. People who are worried about preserving their hearing should wear hearing protection. It's just that simple. Again, if someone is blasting away with a rifle in the vicinity of my home, I wanna know about it, especially if it's on my private property. I'd also like to be able to judge how far away other hunters are when I'm hunting, not necessarily because I'm afraid of getting shot, but because I'd like to stay away from them out of courtesy.

The arguments for allowing suppressors for rifle hunting are really pretty dang weak. The arguments against allowing their use are pretty dang sensible.

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from fliphuntr14 wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

got a minus one from someone, robert-maybe i should join the real world or maybe as a sportsman I should pick a real battle that matters.This is just a ploy by a single issue ticket runner. I don't taget shoot but I know for a fact that long range shooters do not use them because they reduce range due to sub sonic ammo that must be used less powder= less noise. Its niche product 37 states already allow them for public users with a permit but with a 200$ tax. like i said not worth the hassle or publicity. My guns are function over form im not going to add another thing that could compromise the function or pay to go thought hassel for one and I can imagine a majority of sportsman feel the same and have better causes.

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from LeVan Goodey wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Sounds like a great idea to me. Movies and T.V aside you cannot totally silence any round that goes faster than the speed of sound, but you can make shots a lot less loud. The only down side that I can forsee is the cost and administrative nightmare that will be generated.
Any idea why having a suppressor is a Federal thing?

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from TM wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

The point behind banning silencers, and many states do, is that they easily can be abused as poachers' tools.

If you're in a suburb where people will care about gunshots, well then maybe you're too close to your neighbors to responsibly gun hunt large game in your neighborhood. If the rifle/slug sound can be heard, the bullet or slug can reach the listener. Learn to bowhunt or go out to the boonies.

On the poaching point, a guy who's jacking deer is much more likely to get away with it if there's little sound. And unfortunately there are a lot of lawbreakers out there. Possession bans on silencers is the same reason that communities make possession of burglary tools illegal.

Be loud, be proud, be honorable.

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from Greenhead wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

I am all for it from a public health perspective. Think about all of the hearing damage that could be avoided if everyone hunted and practiced with a suppressor.

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from tybow99 wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Poachers are gonna use it whether it is legal or illegal- same thing with handgun bans

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Sayfu, a few too many double negatives in your post for me to quite grasp what you're saying. Am I understanding that you think the magazine is some kind of closet liberal forum? Wow! That never came across in my eyes anyway. I think just posting a blog topic about a controversial current event and asking for readers to comment pro or con seems to me to be a fair way of approaching controversial current events related to hunting and fishing. I see pretty fair treatment on the blog end of things for sure. Everything else is pretty much open to the readers to start up and discuss. And there is PRECIOUS little censorship on this site. Perhaps too little to satisfy me (although things have been pretty smooth for several months lately - thumbs up to the contributors!). I think the folks that run this site (when they choose to run it!) are fair enough, especially the blogsters. As far as the political preference of the corporate leadership in Europe or wherever, I'm certain the only preference they have is to make a buck as fast as possible.

I will say that this "black or white" way of looking at things on this site is beginning to really get to me. Just because someone thinks outside the "white" box is no excuse to go slamming him/her with negatives. That's immature. I reserve minuses for name-calling jerks and people who are rude. Pile em on those folks. If some PETA-type person got on here and made an attempt to carry on an intelligent and informative dialogue (fat chance of that!), I'd listen to em. I'm a grown up person and can make up my own mind. I also respect others who have a mind of their own, even if I don't happen to agree with them.

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from ITHACASXS wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

There have been a few comments about using a bow if one wishs to kill with minimal noise. The problem is in area with a large problematic deer herd is bowhunting hardly if at all makes a dent. In the NY state many towns, villages and suburbs had to resort to a ''bait and shoot'' program run by the local police. Now I know that NY would never allow supressors to be legal (remember, its NY), but if Georgia wants them for whatever reason: hogs, rats, deer, gators or squirrels let them and cheer them on.

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from IND_NRA wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

The way that I see this issue is that if you don't stand and support all gun rights that are on the table then you are doing more harm then good. I see no problem with using a sound suppressor to hunt with. When did the majority of the Pro-gun community get scared to ruffle some feathers. I am worried that there will be a select few of us that will have the "brass" to stand up and defend what all others are to scared to defend. To those that are on the fence or under the covers, it is ok to come out and support all pro-gun laws we can use your help.

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from finnyk wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

Frankly, I sort of like to be able to hear the "bang" of a fired gun in the woods - for two reasons; 1) it helps me keep up with how many people may be in the woods at any given time so I can know where they are and avoid moving into their area (have been scoped recently - not a good feeling), and 2) I guess I may be somewhat of a caveman, but I just see it as a part of the sport that gets/keeps the adrenaline flowing when you have that perfect shot and pull the trigger. As a Georgia hunter; if they have to change something, I would rather them change the "blaze orange" rule so that you could remove it ONCE IN YOUR TREESTAND - but keep it so that if you have just one foot on the ground, or are below a certain height, you would still be required to have your orange on.

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from JW Westman wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

Sounds like a poacher's dream. we soundly defeated a like bill in our last legislative session here in Montana, and we are anything but anti-gun, we protect our rights.

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from CL3 wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Sayfu makes an excellent point. They should weigh the benefits of allowing silencers over the negative press. I just can't see silencers as being that necessary.

Like TM says, it only makes it easier for poachers.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

TM..It is the HEADLINES that wins the vote. Get into the fine print, and you can say.."There won't be many of them out there because of the permit requirements blah, blah, blah," but the hunter loses! You are right. It hits a lot of people as a group that wants to push the envelope because they have the 2nd ammendment behind them....trust me, they who own guns will lose! Public sentiment means a great deal.

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from Tony Berg wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Want a quiet hunting device, shoot a bow.

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from fliphuntr14 wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Ive always been told silencers make you're accuracy go down (maybe out of date statement) so there not ment for long range even short range you lose the pin point accuracy of most guns. You shouldn't be shooting an inaccurate gun that close to you neighbors anyways. also you should be far enough away from houses in a far majority of cases when shooting a gun, nobody wakes up to a gun shot if its shot thats safely far enough away from there house. sorry i just don;t see the use in first going threw all the hassel to get one when you could buy a bow and hunt responsibly and really more efficiently if the hog problem is that big. senseless waste of time by the state and as mentioned unneeded publicity

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from LeVan Goodey wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

The comment was made that a suppressor/moderator will shorten barrel life. If so why? If they really do shorten barrel life why don't muzzel brakes shorten it also?

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from LeVan Goodey wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

The comment was made that a suppressor/moderator will shorten barrel life. If so why? If they really do shorten barrel life why don't muzzel brakes shorten it also?

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Here's one for ya. I'm not too sure that the powers to be that own this magazine do not want it to be a negative for gun ownership. There has been an awful lot of liberal topics presented from guns to fishing to the conservation topics. It became so obvious to me that I spent some time investigating the big shots at the top of the conglomerate co. that owns F & S. Tough to trace their path, but it takes you to Europe.

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from vtbluegrass wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Lets not allow detachable mags and scary military looking rifles while were are at it. Chicken little arguments against the use of silencers here.

Anti's don't want you to go back to your dad's blued and walnut finished levergun; they want you to stay home and eat soy. Sure silencers will get the same world ending news that concealed carry and the end of the AWB got. But after its past it will become the new normal and when there aren't rampant silencer crimes(which there won't be) the news will pay no more attention to the issue.
Also I mentioned before if poacher do use such a tool in committing a crime they dang sure aren't getting a slap on the wrist because crimes and NFA items means the ATF gets envolved.

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from Walt Smith wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Does Boone and Crocket allow the use of silencers in their record book? Don't seem like fair chase to me! Bet that will change some minds! After all the only thing that matters is the score.

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from shane256 wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

From what I hear, poachers have started back using crossbows since they are legal in a number of states, now. Not quite the range of a rifle but virtually silent and you can put a scope on one. I say "started back" because using crossbows for poaching is hardly new, even in the times when firearms were available.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

Ontario....Here's what I'm sayin to another small town dude. All the woman next door knows is the headlines....Silencers available! Now she relates silencers to terrorist type killers. No one else would use one in her mind. To further get you to understand it. If it was just normal news she wouldn't say anything, but Silencers!....she talks about the threat to her friends, her friends at church, her friends she calls on the phone...ever see a woman on the phone? Ever see a liberal make media hey out of false information? lol! "There killin the kids! The old folks will starve!" And there are a lot of other examples. It is the emotional thing that wins the day on this one, just like the headlines that machine guns are legal.

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from JohnR wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

Respectfully speaking Walt (and I do respect the wisdom you share on this blog); I do not see how fair chase factors into the use of supressors. After all good hunters practice stealth in stalking their quarry, heck we even buy clothes like quiet cloth to stalk with less noise. When you shoot a big game animal or any animal for that matter, the animal never hears the shot. Even the lowly .22 rimfire within 50 yards remains supersonic (>1,050 fps) from most rifles.
I have observed in my brief life here that there is a great disconnect between what we believe, have been told, tradition, and conventional wisdom and the real facts.
Ontario Honker, I ask this respectfully because the written word lacks the intonation to interpret the writer's attitude which is pleasant; have you chanced to complete a survey of game law violations (which in the US are public record) where the violater used a supressor. I'll wager you won't find much because I opine that our forests are not rife with poachers running around with supressed weapons.
I would surmise that the arguments against the use if supressors are weak and based on anecdotal evidence and people's opinion rather than hard facts.
My state just went through a similar emotional debacle regarding hunting on Sundays. The prevailing myth that the game needed a day of rest coupled with religious arguments concerning Sunday (or sabbath which is actually Saturday if you're Jewish) shot down an opportunity for people that work all week to hunt another day . The biologists stated that the game never really rests on a day to day basis as every day to them is survival but because of the clamor from the court of public opinion, we wound up with a compromise. One can only bowhunt on Sundays on private property. Hey, that's great if one is a bowhunter; if not well tough luck!
I agree with you that there used to be many more slob hunters in the past (70's and 80's); the hunting and fishing magazines rightly covered the suject well. As a whole the hunting and fishing community has cleaned up its act and are very aware of the image presented to the public. There has to be however a line drawn somewhere between compromise and good will otherwise what's next? No more hunting with AR type rifles, or hunters restricted to single shot rifles? I apologize for my wordiness, but if a decision is made, it should be based upon facts and empirical data and not simply a prevailing opinion.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

John R. Wow are you disallusioned IMO! Poaching is rampant. There are even poachers that are commercial hunters. And when an economy is in recession, and more than likely will be for sometime to come? Poaching greatly increases. I'm not buying the improvement in the character of a hunter. Youth classes have helped, but I believe in the increased ignorance in our country as a whole. I hunted several times at a pheasant release site, and on the 2nd occassion the release truck showed up. I saw the release officer yelling at some hunters that came near his truck. When he got to me, I talked to the guy...he had been shot in the past, his truck peppered! I don't see an increase in "the spirit of the hunt, and fair chace" increasing out there in the great outdoors. Skybusting at ducks and geese is a common issue wherever waterfowlers congregate for example.

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from Ben Blaker wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

I live in Europe (The UK) where gun law is prohibative to say the least, and have hunted throughout the world. Some area's allow silencers (Moderators as we call them) and some don't. At the moment I'm as stated in the UK, and despite massive other restrictions, we are alowed silencers. The reason is simple, to get a firearmin the first place you need to apply for a licence, and these are only granted after extensive background cheacks have been carried out. Then the moderator will be placed on your Firearms Licence. Th moderator has several benificial effects. ONE, it reduces the report of the weapon (It doesn't get rid of he sonic crack or even all of the bang except n rimfire subsonic ammo), and thus scares game a lot less, and people too. TWO, it reduces the actual and felt recoil, thus allowing retained site picture during the shot, and also is good for someone like myself with arthritis. THREE, it reduces the muzzle balst and flash, which avoids dust being blown into your eyes, and stops you being flash blinded during nights shots (Wealso use NV equipment over here)

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

Again, I just don't see any advantage to introducing this contentious issue, except to create some more contention. Like we need that! I hardly think any suburban or semi-suburban area worried about rifles fired around houses is going to feel any degree of comfort with them being "moderated." Again, I'm not inclined to advocate following anything that Great Britain is doing (especially use of night-vision equipment!!!). It's a different and in my opinion totally bizarre world of hunting over there.

The more noise the better. I want to know who's shooting where, as much as possible. Guns are lethal weapons. Their operation needs to be advertised not minimalized or concealed. It's pretty hard to argue with that logic. If a bit more noise scares the game, so be it. If it alarms my neighbors too much then I'll just have to go someplace else and hunt or pick up some weights and get my elbows in shape to draw a bow. I can adapt. Gun noise has been part of the hunting game since matchlocks first appeared hundreds of years ago. It has been such a part of hunting for so long that I really do not want to see that aspect changed, especially if there is no significant advantage to it for either the game or the hunters or for hunting in general (which I think would be greatly harmed). Kinda like introducing aluminum bats into professional baseball. Sure, it would make the game MUCH more "effective" and exciting - if you're a fan who's just looking for more runs and hits. But most everyone, even most of the players, seem to agree that introducing metal bats would change the American Game so much that it just wouldn't be baseball as we know it and as it has always been. And, of course, it would totally screw up all those poor analysts who make their living fiddling with statistics.

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from JohnR wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

Sayfu I may not be as disillusioned as you think :-). IMHO there is a distinction between: the slob hunter which is someone I define as shooting road signs (which actually is vandalism), legally killing a deer and taking only the hams and backstraps and leaving the carcass to rot in the woods, and those who leave a trail of trash through the woods and: poachers (serial or commercial). I consider skybusters slob hunters and yes we also have problems with them here.
In my area, we have observed an overall decrease in the number of what I defined as slob hunters (I won't say there aren't any because I truthfully can't) with the big exception of skybusters. I'm sure there is some poaching going on here in my area however I hesitate to call it rampant. Most of the other hunters I know and associate with will and have reported any observed illegal activity.
Concerning the supressor, no one has yet offered any credible evidence to support the clain that supressors interfere with "fair chase".
As far as the argument that a supressor would become a poacher's tool, I don't see it as becoming a common thing. Now I'm not naive enough to think that some knucklehead poacher won't try it, however the risk of using one outweighs the benefit. First, illegal possession of a supressor is a violation of the NFA and carries a ten year jail term. It is also a felony in most states. I also have to ask myself why a poacher would go to all the trouble and expense of legally obtaining a supressor and draw unnecessary attention to himself?
The same arguments against the use of a supressor I'm reading here looks very similar to the arguments the anti-gun people make concerning handguns, black rifles, and high capacity magazines.
Regardless of all my blather though, I really do respect your comments and opinion on this matter and I can honestly say we probably agree on much more than we disagree. :-)

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from JohnR wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

Sayfu I may not be as disillusioned as you think :-). IMHO there is a distinction between: the slob hunter which is someone I define as shooting road signs (which actually is vandalism), legally killing a deer and taking only the hams and backstraps and leaving the carcass to rot in the woods, and those who leave a trail of trash through the woods and: poachers (serial or commercial). I consider skybusters slob hunters and yes we also have problems with them here.
In my area, we have observed an overall decrease in the number of what I defined as slob hunters (I won't say there aren't any because I truthfully can't) with the big exception of skybusters. I'm sure there is some poaching going on here in my area however I hesitate to call it rampant. Most of the other hunters I know and associate with will and have reported any observed illegal activity.
Concerning the supressor, no one has yet offered any credible evidence to support the clain that supressors interfere with "fair chase".
As far as the argument that a supressor would become a poacher's tool, I don't see it as becoming a common thing. Now I'm not naive enough to think that some knucklehead poacher won't try it, however the risk of using one outweighs the benefit. First, illegal possession of a supressor is a violation of the NFA and carries a ten year jail term. It is also a felony in most states. I also have to ask myself why a poacher would go to all the trouble and expense of legally obtaining a supressor and draw unnecessary attention to himself?
The same arguments against the use of a supressor I'm reading here looks very similar to the arguments the anti-gun people make concerning handguns, black rifles, and high capacity magazines.
Regardless of all my blather though, I really do respect your comments and opinion on this matter and I can honestly say we probably agree on much more than we disagree. :-)

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from JohnR wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

Oops! Sorry for the double post!

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

Gees, "all pro gun laws are good laws even if they are bad laws." That kind of mentality won't help the gun cause, that's for sure! I don't think people should be hunting with automatic rifles or hand grenades or mortar launchers either. But their "right to bear" those arms should be "protected" too? Yes, Indie, that is the NRA mentality alright. And it's why I'm not a member anymore. I'm beginning to think their attitude is more of a threat to 2nd Ammendment than the "antis". As responsible gun owners we need to stand up for common sense, not just stand up and blindly get in line behind any idea that comes along with a "needed to protect your gun rights" bumper sticker slapped on its arse. I don't expect any concensus about what is "common sense" ... and that's a good thing! It shows that gun owners are thinking for themselves. Then when we DO have some kind of concensus, it has some validity. That's what the antis fear, not robot manufacturers like the NRA.

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from marycgreaney wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

I think silencers would be good Many times I have been hunting and another hunter has taken a shot that has scared the ones that I have been hunting. with silencers there would not be that scare and I could get the ones that I want http://executivegunrunners.com

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from JohnR wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

I'll post it once more! Someone post some statistics in this blog showing how many poaching incidents involved the use of suppressors versus other means used for poaching game. Additionally I would like to see some documentation from bona fide experts proving that legalization of suppressors for hunting will directly cause a rise in the use of same for poaching.
All I have read to date is speculation and conjecture. Second Amendment consideration aside, it's not a good precedent to pass or not pass game laws (or any other law) based upon the court of publice opinion.
Personally I most likely will never use one, but I have no issue with the legal use of them for hunting.
If I can be shown hard data that reveals the use of suppressors for hunting will be detrimental to the sport then I will be one of the first to say don't allow their use. Until such time, I have to reserve judgement.

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from Kylemeyer wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

I hunt in a good sized woods with 3 other friends and this year i shot a doe. She fell to the ground and didn't move. My other friend Luke had a buck standing 50 yards out and he was waiting for it to step into his shooting lane. The buck had about 2 or 3 yards b4 it would have been in the clearing when i shot. The buck was startled by my shot and took off. If i would have had a silencer the buck would not have been startled by my shot and Luke would have had a shot at him. I think that the law should be passed not just because it would be awesome to have, but because it would improve the experience of the other hunters around you.

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from Walt Smith wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

I don't need one, besides I like hearing the bang!

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from dleurquin wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Walt...you're right. Bow hunt if you're in more densely populated areas. Legalizing silencers and suppressors will only increase the agitation gap between those for and against the 2nd amendment.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Wow, I am impressed by the mountain of common sense illustrated in the above posts. TM has summarized it all very well. The "pick your battles carefully" Sayfu spoke of is something I too have advocated, though usually in the face of a lot of opposition.

If the deer are hanging out in neighborhood backyards, it's no problem putting them away with bows. Rifle hunting in those environments is overkill. Silencers would be the real ticket for poachers and as we have seen in quite a few of the blogs on here recently, a lot of the poachers these days are rich and famous. No problem for them to get the federal permits. I don't know about you guys, but if someone is shooting a rifle in my neighborhood, I WANT TO KNOW ABOUT IT, whether it's legal or not. Too many clowns out there have a hobby of shooting dogs, cats, mailboxes, road signs, powerline insulators, etc. I don't want to make it any easier for them. I'd like to know what kind of mindless moron would even introduce such legislation. That guy needs a better hobby than sitting in a state legislature! Perhaps someone could teach some of these politicians to tie their shoes BEFORE they're put up for election. Sheesh.

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from Robert Ruedrich wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Moderators are legal in England and in many othe countries. Mainly to protect the HEARING on the shooter and other hunters or people who are present. Silencers do NOT completely silence a gun and are very seldom ever used in crimes. For some reason the USA decided it was something that would be regulated along the same lines as full auto weapons.

It only makes sense to not only make them legal but to allow them for hunting and target shooting. Most of the hunters and shooters I know that are over 40 have substantial hearing loss. Once it's gone it's too late.

As someone else mentioned concerning poachers that they're already violating the law. With the availability of crossbows why anyone would use a rifle for poaching is beyond me. The new crossbows are deadly accurate and are equipped with scopes.

The people who are against this obviously haven't a clue and are like Chicken Little the the sky is falling. No it isn't and if you grow up and join the rest of the world maybe your hearing will still be in good shape. It won't protect the brain though.....

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from Timothy Pifher wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

What's the upside. I would like a better reason other than "because", to me if it ain't broke don't fix.

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from Walt Smith wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Lets go for 90 round drum magazines and full automatic while we're at it!

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 13 weeks ago

Here's one...to scare the bejesus out of the non gun using public that is far and away the majority of voters. Stupid gun owner folks are bringing on gun owner restrictions in a big way.

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