Shooting wild animals?

You’ve likely considered how you would defend yourself from a dog (see Self-defense against dogs), but unless you do a lot of hiking or camping you may not have considered what you would do for defense against wild animals and the legality of shooting an animal. Like all other gun laws, the laws surrounding use of a firearm against a wild animal vary from state to state.

Do you carry a handgun when you hike or hunt?

What are the laws in your state about shooting a wild animal in self-defense?

Find out more about your state laws on our Reciprocity Map.

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Yes I carry a handgun. If a normal trail walk, I just take my EDC rig. If deep woods, or hunting, I take something with a little more “kick” and load it with ammo designed for maximum penetration.

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Carry…period.

We have coyotes, bears, dogs, and other things…

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Always carry and saving for a 10mm Glock just for this purpose. Currently carry my Glock 19 and the hogs are getting bigger

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Yes, in the woods I will carry my full-size pistol. Seems prudent.

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Makes me wonder actually. A friend of mine was camping in Canada several years back and she was attacked by wolves. She had to shoot three of them to get away. When she returned to the US she faced a three year court battle with “expert” witnesses testifying against her, she lost her job as a Conservation Officer, her name was dragged through the mud for three years until another incident involving the same wolf pack happened.
Would USCCA provide help in this situation? (Note that the Canadian government was not after her, it was the US Government going after her over an “endangered species”).

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Wolves are an endangered species?

I have heard of a case in Florida where a person killed an alligator that was attacking and trying to kill someone, and they charged the person for shooting the attacking gator out of season or some silly thing.

I guess they were supposed to let the gator eat them.

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My friend is a criminal defence atty in FL, he told me he dealt with a few cases involving untimely passage of an alligator by homeowner’s hand. Usually they get resolved without any problems.

I’ve lived in SE Florida for 10 years almost, the area is urbanized, yet I recall a death by black bear, 3 deaths by alligator jaws. ALL these cases involved small dogs.

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A mountain lion will pounce on you like you at a big sale on toilet paper at Walmart on a black Friday! I carry my .357 Mag when hiking, camping and such! You need to notify the authorities in any case of having to defend yourself in shooting said animals. I am not sure what they would do if you took down a sasquatch being endangered species in all but, I am not too concerned about that.

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Yes, we have chupacabre.

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In S.C. You will have to enter the Gator permit lottery and shoot in season. Local coastal trouble gators just get shot and you say nothing about what you have done. Not me I do not live on the water or even own a boat

Like 45IPAC I carry my EDC on short trail walks but if me and my dog are going on further adventures through the woods then I carry my Kriss Vector with 40 round mags.

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Always carry my handgun when I’m hunting, not only for self defense, but rifle rounds are too expensive and sometimes too powerful dispatching wounded game and snakes. In my humble opinion

Although, if the opportunity presents itself, I might be willing to experiment with the effects a 30-06 round has on a rattlesnake. You know, for the sake of science.

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I carry a knife at all times. except maybe a big bear I think if attacked I could defend my self quite well against any animal in the United States with out ever having to pull my gun. And i would think self defense would apply to animals the same it dose to people with maybe the exception of a extremely endangered animal or you have a peta member for the prosecution

I sure do.

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Yes. 357 Mag. TX allows self defense against animals. Should always have when hunting. Backup or otherwise. Unpredictable situations happen.

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Well maybe… If they’re lefties…

If an alligator sinks in the swamp, and no one is there to see it sink, did it really sink???

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hmm, interesting.

If a politicians lips are moving and no one is there to see it, is the politician still lying.

The things we ponder.

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I’ve been a avid bowhunter since the days well before compounds came on the market. I’ve never carried a firearm for backup. In fact for many years it was illegal to have gun and bow together while deer hunting. Bow being either sex legal and gun being bucks only. Only the most southern counties have any bears. I’ve never been concerned with snakes and I’ve run into more than my fair share. Only once in all my years was I even concerned and that happened when pack of coyotes surrounded me in the dark while I was walking out. They did not hang around long after getting my scent. My thinking in this is the same as dealing with humans. You make your choice based on your own risk assessment. For example if I were hunting deer with a bow while in grizzly territory dang right I would go armed, but deer in Alabama not so much for the most part.