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Author Topic: Packing and Calling and Photographing  (Read 848 times)

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  • Day Hiker
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Packing and Calling and Photographing
« on: January 28, 2018, 10:20:16 PM »

I'm planning several backcountry trips this week.  I'm going to carry, mostly because of human thieves, although it is bear country, although I know they are in torpor.

I am getting more and more into wildlife photography and also calling in predators.  I know there is some controversy in this area, but I'm not really looking to get into that.

My question is:  suppose I go to a really remote area.  I take my gun, because I don't want to make a thief's job too easy (and bears although that possibility is remote this time of year).  But my plan is to tuck into some rock shelter, pull out my caller, and pull in a coyote or fox or bobcat, so I can photograph him.  But if a game warden comes around, I've got a caller and a gun.  My intent is to photograph, but I don't imagine he believes me.  See my dilemma?

A few thoughts:
  • Honestly, I know coyotes are varmints and can be taken anytime, but I'd be just as happy to see a bobcat or fox and I don't know if they're in season or not or if hunting them in this particular area is permissible or even is season.  I don't have a hunting license, but I am legitimately not trying to hunt.  I am not a hunter.
  • I'm not carrying a hunting gun but a personal protection gun
  • I've thought about leaving the gun unloaded and/or away from me while I photograph, but that defeats the purpose if some human zombie rolls around.
  • I've thought about leaving the gun behind, but what I'm doing is all on the up-and-up and I feel like I should be able to take my gun for protection



  • Day Hiker
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Re: Packing and Calling and Photographing
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2018, 04:14:37 PM »

I suppose if you bring up guns, it just presents the opportunity for too much controversy.  I went ahead and went to Yahoo Falls and Yahoo Arch today (both spectacular...Yahoo Arch was MUCH more impressive than anticipated).  I just decided not to use my caller to avoid any sense of impropriety.



  • Back Packer
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Re: Packing and Calling and Photographing
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2018, 09:08:49 AM »

Luckily for you, that information is easy to find:


And all the predators you mentioned are currently in season. I would say the easiest way to stay safe and legal would be to just bite the bullet and buy a hunting license, whether you intend to hunt or not. For me the logic runs that buying a license removes any doubt about the legality of using a call while carrying, and you also benefit the Dept of Fish and Wildlife who do good work in conservation.

Now that brings up the discussion of whether or not you possess a hunter education card (back in my day it was called an orange card). If you haven't taken the class I highly recommend it (even from an educational standpoint). But it seems there's an exemption available, though I don't know the details.


I hope some of this helps.


  • Thru Hiker
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Re: Packing and Calling and Photographing
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2018, 11:52:54 AM »

If you're carrying PP (like a revolver, but not a .454 or Judge .45 LC) no ranger in his right mind would say you were hunting. If you have a camera you are clearly photographing. Just don't give anyone a weird vibe about it. You have every right to be armed in bear country with a 357 or 44 mag or 40cal or other semi-auto pistol.

ALSO you don't have to be hunting to be legally shooting in the woods. Your shooting rights don't disappear in-season, or ever.

Just IMO. Do as you will.

Reminds me, people should consider having LegalShield because not only can you get some level of legal protection, but there's a research service. I don't sell PPL but if people need contact to a rep, let me know. My guy is in Louisville.
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