How join th fight for center fired at night?

Discussion in 'Varmint Hunting' started by nkyhornhunter, Feb 19, 2017.

  1. Dark Cloud

    Dark Cloud 12 pointer

    Aug 14, 2009
    Lawrence Co.
    The only answer I could come up with ,would be because Ky. Fish and Wildlife dept. says you can't.Might try calling Frankfort see what thier reasons are.
    davers likes this.
  2. bgkyarcher

    bgkyarcher 12 pointer

    Aug 23, 2011
    You lost me. What does squirrel hunting have to do with coyote hunting? As I told you, my guess on the squirrel hunting is the travel distance potential. I truly don't know. Just my .02.
    davers likes this.
  3. davers

    davers 12 pointer

    Jul 14, 2014
    Thanks anyway "bgkyarcher". Best thing, for me to do, is to contact the Kentucky Fish & Game Department to obtain my answer. There has to be a valid reason and they should know.:)
  4. huntingwildman

    huntingwildman 6 pointer

    Feb 13, 2007
    I swear all this talk of hunting coyotes at night with a rifle, will only make it easier to poach deer leaves me cold. Poachers will poach regardless, and it's already easy to do. Drive down a back road, shine a deer and drop it. Come back later and pick it up, now how much easier can it get? Your not going to want to pack lights, night vision gear, a rifle and other equipment hoofing it around the pasture looking for deer. That's way to much work for those inclined to poach, and there is no quick getaway after the shot. Other states have night hunting with rifles and poaching is not an issue, and it wouldn't be here either.
    Coyote_Commander likes this.
  5. davers

    davers 12 pointer

    Jul 14, 2014
    "Dark Cloud" I wrote the Department of F&W, as you suggested, and I received the following reply on the topic of allowing the use of small centerfire rifle cartridges (like the .22 Hornet) for Squirrel Hunting here in Kentucky:

    Thanks for your inquiry regarding squirrel hunting weapons. Our limitations to rimfire rifles for squirrel hunting dates back well before my time here at fish and wildlife. However, most arguments I’ve heard for limiting to rimfire rifles is the perceived safety risk with firing “hotter” rounds in the air. Keep in mind that small game hunting methods are for statewide harvest and do have to balance weapons discharge in areas with higher densities of people in some circumstances. The bullet diameters you note are commonly utilized for small game hunting. Our regulation process allows for constituent input through our Commission process. If you are passionate about the issue, then you may consider taking it up with your District Commissioner ( Thanks for being a small game hunter and let me know if I can help you any further.

    John J. Morgan, Certified Wildlife Biologist
    Small Game Program Coordinator
    KY Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources
    #1 Sportsman's Lane
    Frankfort, KY 40601
    (800)852-0942 Ext. 4458
    Dark Cloud likes this.
  6. predator1

    predator1 12 pointer

    Dec 25, 2008
    I do feel that rimfire at the very least should be allowed for nighttime hunting. That would increase a hunters a effective range to at least 75-100 yards, possibly more depending on the round chosen. As for the poachers argument. That's like saying because we own guns that it's going to make it easier for us to commit mass murder. That's literally what that statement is saying. Even if it did make poaching easier, I highly doubt it would make a gunshot in the dark any less noticeable......
    Coyote_Commander likes this.
  7. mrjohn12

    mrjohn12 Fawn

    Jun 1, 2016
    A good .22 WMR is accurate and will kill cleanly out to 150 yards and would be a lot quieter than the necked-downs. Before mine was stolen, it shot factory CCI hollow points to great effect.
  8. Carl

    Carl 12 pointer

    Dec 1, 2003
    Western Kentucky
    I have a Savage bull barrel 22 magnum that shoots 1/2" groups at 100 yds. with Hornady polymer tips.
  9. I strongly disagree with this statement. It is possible to safely i.d. one's intended target and to safely shoot it if you use the right equipment, planning and methods. I agree completely that night hunters have a responsibility to positively identify their quarry before they send a round downrange. To blindly shoot at two glowing eyes in the dark illuminated by a red light is NOT enough.

    Any responsible hunter is going to scout his hide in daylight either days earlier or the afternoon prior to the planned night hunt and identify safe shooting lanes with appropriate backstops. One of the farms I hunt in Fleming County is a great example. I set up on a ridge top with the prevailing wind where I can look down into the valley, across the holler etc to the more likely locations where a yote will appear while attempting to get downwind of my caller. This puts me shooting downhill into the dirt so that in the case of a miss (I do not miss often) or more likely that the bullet passes thru the target and continues on down range, it will safely impact in the dirt or rocks below me and thus never leave the property. I use highly frangible projectiles like the V-Max or Nosler BT which fragment upon impact with any soft tissue or hard objects. Even a tree limb is enough for them to go "poof".

    Distances are usually less than 200yds. My centerfire rifle prints 1/2" groups (1/4 MOA) from a bench at that distance and about twice that when fired from the bipod or other improvised rest. My 17 rimfires both are only able to print about 1.3-1.6" groups at the same distance. Still this is more than adequate to hit a coyote at the same range. In daylight I often hit them out to 300y or more as long as I have a clear shot. Night hunting would likely require some additional restraint.

    The only good option for centerfire sights at night (IMO) is the use of the newer thermal night sights. These not only expose the coyote as a warm living object but also will highlight any cattle or other living things which may or may not be behind the coyote. They have an impressive range and HD clarity to help the would be hunter to safely tag his quarry. If they tgt cannot be clearly i.d.'ed a responsible hunter is going to hold fire and keep calling until a clear, safe shoot on a positively i.d.'ed varmint is possible. Many other states already have legalized this method for coyote, foxes, bobcat, etc. They are NOT getting any impacts that I know of on incidence of poaching or accidental shootings. And as I said before, farmers and other land owners who are concerned about safety need only refuse to let hunters on their land. Poachers, like roaches will scatter in the face of increase legal hunting in their area because they are afraid of getting caught! Not only is night hunting of coyotes with rifles a good idea, but it is one of the few ideas that offer any hope of thinning them out. As I said before, coyote hunting should be allowed with any means, any method, and as few restrictions as we can tolerate.

    Carl likes this.
  10. Jacobhwrd

    Jacobhwrd 6 pointer

    Jan 26, 2014
    Richmond, Ky
    You will get a lot of backlash to using rifles at night. First of all I am completely in favor of it but we have to extend the use of lights first. To many people will claim bad or misinformed ideas as to why you shouldn't be able to. First is poaching. That argument holds no water. States that allow night hunting all year NEVER see a rise is poaching. Poachers poach plain and simple. Your aren't making it easier for them plain and simple. States that allow night hunting for coyotes with rifles see on average 18-25% increase in deer populations within 4 years. I would have to find those articles to give you the reference for the studies. The next argument is that you don't know what your shooting at or what is behind you when you are shooting. Again that argument does not hold water. Firstly if you can't see what your shooting at then you don't need to be out there. Secondly coyote hunters dump a lot of money into these setups and aren't using a Walmart special scope so they can easily see their target and behind. The lights used are not a mag light. They are bright and you can EASILY see behind your target. These light cost 200-500 dollars and the quality matches that price.

    Basically all youre doing is fighting a bunch of old "data" ,wives tales, about why people shouldn't be allowed to do something. Same reason people think deer don't move during high winds. They have always been told that and only notice that when its windy the stands they have nothing shows up. The deer still move they just don't move where they normally would. We have 3 stands set up for ONLY high wind days (15 mph +). And its like a highway. Its nothing for me to see 8+ deer at one of those stands on a windy day. They WILL allow night hunting with centerfires and they WILL extend the use of lights. The question is how long do we have to wait for the ,for a lack of a better phrasing, outdated and under educated ideas to die out. Its really just a matter of time.
    Carl likes this.
  11. davers

    davers 12 pointer

    Jul 14, 2014
    Dark Cloud, I did in fact notify our F & W Dept. and got the impression "They" even don't know why we can't use small Light hand loaded centerfire ammunition for hunting Squirrels. Now, as I stated, we were allowed to use ANY centerfire ammunition in Indiana, and I read on another hunting forum that even Ohio allows the use of small centerfire loads for Squirrels. Those two States have far more people than Kentucky.
  12. davers

    davers 12 pointer

    Jul 14, 2014
    My light loaded .22 Hornet has a velocity of: 1,500 FPS, with a 45 grain S.P. and report is on par with a .22 Magnum. The advantage is my Hornet can be reloaded while rimfire ammunition can't.
  13. DH13

    DH13 12 pointer

    Jan 13, 2012
    Shelby county
    I will vote against it. Don't need rifles at night shooting toward my Cows or house. BAD IDEA.
    kyfuzzyface likes this.
  14. aaronc

    aaronc 12 pointer

    Jul 21, 2009
    I would be for it,..and could do some damage right off the front porch. That being said and correct me if I'm wrong but....can't coon hunters use rimfire at night, least .22's ??? So what would be the stretch in letting varmint hunters at least use rimfire at night ? Also many of those shots would be taken at a treed coon with no real known backstop etc,....right?
    cityslicker and Carl like this.
  15. cityslicker

    cityslicker 8 pointer

    Jan 11, 2010
    Hart county
    Can you explain why anyone would all of a sudden be shooting at your house or cows if suddenly allowed to use rifles at night? I've night hunted with a rifle in the past(Indiana) and I did my scouting in the day time and knew where I could or couldn't shoot.

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