A 50 State Guide - Is night vision Legal to use for hunting in my State ?
A 50 State Guide to the legality of night vision and laws-regulations on what species can be hunted at night in each state.
The following is a summary of night hunting laws and regulations (including legality of night vision) in all 50 States in the US. This listing is primarily aimed at taking furbearing, predators, nuisance, or other non-game wildlife only. All States prohibit hunting game animals (Deer, Turkey, Elk, Moose, Small Game, etc. etc.) at night and some will prohibit even possession of a night vision device while hunting game animals. This listing was compiled using the corresponding State’s summary Hunting & Trapping Guide Booklets and/or review of the actual wildlife code. We verified this information with most State Law Enforcement agencies and for those we noted as such in the listing. Approximately 40% of States specifically prohibit the use of night vision for hunting purposes. If you would like to petition your State to get these restrictions removed please contact us (via any method listed in this website) and we may be able to assist you.
WARNING !!! As various laws and regulations can change at any time, we cannot absolutely guarantee the complete accuracy of this listing which was compiled during the 2010 and 2011 hunting seasons. There may also be specific regulations that prohibit hunting of certain species by non-residents. While we believe the following information to be accurate, it is up to the individual sportsman/hunter to review and/or contact their State game officials for a final determination. We encourage you to contact your State game official before purchasing a night vision device that you intend to use for hunting purposes. Please obey all game laws !!!!!
Night Hunting: Not Allowed, it shall be unlawful for anyone to use or possess any device as a predatory call during nighttime hours while in possession of any type of firearm or when any member of a group is in possession of any type of firearm. It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt with a bow or gun that has a light source attached that is capable of casting a beam of light (including a laser sight) forward of said bow or gun or to possess such a light source adapted for attachment to said bow or gun while hunting.
Night Vision: Not Allowed, It shall be unlawful to possess any equipment that uses electronics to increase the ability to see in the dark (nightvision equipment) while hunting any species of wildlife, both protected or unprotected species.
Night Hunting: There are no restrictions on shooting hours in the State, however, artificial lights can only be used from Nov 1 to Mar 31 in units 7 and 9-26. You must have a trapping license to take advantage of more liberal regulations.
Night Vision: Although some sections strictly prohibit usage of electronically enhanced night vision scopes, sources indicate they are allowed and defined as "artificial light" as noted above. You should check with your local wildlife officer before purchasing or using a night vision scope for fur-bearer hunting in the State.
Night Hunting: Allowed for coyotes in designated game management units from March 1 through May 31 by shotguns shooting shot only, AZ hunting license required. Allowed for mountain lions in designated game management units year around with mandatory check in of lion kills. Allowed for racoons in designated game management units from Aug 1 to March 31. No night hunting is allowed for bobcats and foxes. Hunting is allowed by the use of artificial lights as long as the light is not shined from or attached to a vehicle.
Night Vision: Not allowed - R12-4-303 states "An individual shall not use any of the following to take wildlife: d. Electronic night vision equipment, electronically enhanced light-gathering devices, thermal imaging devices or laser sights; except for devices such as laser range finders, scopes with selfilluminating reticles, and fiber optic sights with self-illuminating sights or pins that do not project a visible light onto an animal".
Night Hunting: Allowed for bobcat but only with the use of dogs, and allowed without restrictions for ferrell hogs. Artificial lights are allowed for bobcat and hogs. Not allowed for coyote or fox.
Night Vision: Allowed, for ferrell hogs only. Restricted by regulations for all other wildlife in the State. Above information verified with Arkansas DNR.
Night Hunting: Allowed, for coyotes and fox on privately-owned property (certain public areas are prohibited) by the landowner or his agents, or by persons who have in their immediate possession written permission issued by the landowner or tenant.
Night Vision: Not Allowed, prohibited by section 2005 of the Fish & Game Code: It is unlawful to use or possess at any time any infrared or similar light used in connection with an electronic viewing device or any night vision equipment, optical devices, including, but not limited to, binoculars or scopes, that use light-amplifying circuits that are electrical or battery powered, to assist in the taking of birds, mammals, amphibians, or fish.
Night Hunting: Allowed, artificial light may be used to hunt coyotes, all foxes, bobcats, skunk, and beaver on private land with permission of the landowner. A special permit is required to use artificial light on public land. Contact the Colorado Division of Wildlife for exact permit details. In all cases the hunter should contact the specific regional officer in charge to verify the presence of any additional restrictions that may be applicable to that region.
Night Vision: Not Allowed, use of any electronic device not specified in “legal methods of taking furbearers” is prohibited. Above verified with Colorado DNR.
Night Hunting: Allowed, raccoon and opossum only
Night Vision: Allowed, not restricted in 2010/2011 hunting digest
Night Hunting: Allowed, no person shall pursue, catch, take or kill any animal protected by the laws of this State except frogs, muskrats, raccoons, opossums, skunks, minks, otter and foxes between a half an hour after sunset of 1 day and a half an hour before sunrise the following day. Coyote appears to be a protected species in Delaware due to their generally low numbers there.
Night Vision: Allowed, not listed as a restriction per Title 7 – General Provisions
Night Hunting: Allowed on private property. You may hunt all predators with the exception of foxes at night by the light of the moon without any special permit as long as you don’t use any artificial light. To hunt at night with artificial light you must first obtain a gun and light and night permit from the agency which is used to help control nuisance wildlife. Night hunting is not allowed on Wildlife Management Areas.
Night Vision: Allowed, not listed as a prohibited device in 2010/2011 Hunting Digest Handbook. Per verification with Ask Florida as long as the night vision device does not emit visible light (IR light is acceptable) it can be used to take wildlife designated as legal to take during night time hours. Verified with the Florida DNR Law Enforcement.
Night Hunting: Allowed, coyotes, foxes, raccoons, opossums, and alligators may be hunted at night but lights must be handheld and not affixed to a vehicle.
Night Vision: Allowed, not restricted in 2010-2011 Georgia Hunting Seasons & Regulations Handbook. Above information verified with Georgia DNR.
Night Hunting: Not Allowed, use of artificial lights is prohibited as well as hunting between the hours of one half hour after sunset to one half hour before sunrise.
Night Vision: Not Allowed, see above shooting restrictions
Night Hunting: Allowed, for raccoon and coyote only if the landowner gives written permission to do so and the hunter obtains a “spotlight permit” from the Fish and Game Office.
Night Vision: Allowed, for raccoon and coyote only as long as the proper permission and spotlight permit is obtained. Above information was verified with the Idaho DNR Law Enforcement.
Night Hunting: Allowed, but only during the period starting with the opening day of fox season (approximately November 10) through midnight of the following February 15th. Hunting is allowed by the use of artificial lights as long as the light is not shined from or attached to a vehicle or conveyance.
Night Vision: Allowed without restriction, Laser sights are also legal as noted in 2010 Hunting Digest. Verified with State Law Enforcement.
Night Hunting: Allowed, requires a continuously burning light that can be seen for at least 500 feet to be carried while pursuing furbearing animals between sunset and sunrise.
Night Vision: Allowed, not a prohibited activity per the 2010 & 2011 Hunting & Trapping Guide but per the regulations you must carry a continuously burning light that can be seen for at least 500 feet. Above information verified with Indiana DNR, Northern Region.
Night Hunting: Allowed, no restrictions on hunting hours for fox, coyote, raccoon, bobcat, skunk, opossum. However, use of artificial lights or sights that project a light beam, including laser sights, are not legal for hunting.
Night Vision: Allowed, not listed as restricted in 2010 & 2011 Hunting & Trapping Regulations handbook. However use of infrared light is considered “artificial light” and cannot be used in tandem with a night vision device. Verified with Iowa DNR Law Enforcement.
Night Hunting: Allowed for coyote & furbearers but no artificial lights are allowed. However, hand-held, battery-powered flashlights, hat lamps, or hand-held lanterns may be used to take trapped furbearers, trapped coyotes, or furbearers treed by dogs with .22 rimfire rifles and handguns.
Night Vision: Not Allowed, per the 2010 Kansas Hunting & Fur harvesting Regulations Summary, Furbearers and coyotes may be taken at night, but use of artificial light, including optics that project or amplify light, is prohibited.
Night Hunting: Not Allowed, legal shooting hours end 30 minutes after sunset for all wildlife.
Night Vision: Not Allowed, legal shooting hours end 30 minutes after sunset for all wildlife. Verified with KY Dept of Fish and Wildlife.
Night Hunting: Allowed for Raccoon and opossum can be taken at night by one or more licensed hunters with one or more dogs and one .22 rimfire firearm. Other specific wildlife on private property, the landowner, or his lessee or agent with written permission and the landowner’s contact information in his possession, may take outlaw quadrupeds (coyotes, armadillos and feral hogs), nutria or beaver during the nighttime hours from one-half hour after official sunset on the last day of February to one-half hour after official sunset the last day of August of that same year. The method of such taking shall be limited to a shotgun no larger than a No. 10 gauge fired with buckshot or smaller or a standard .22 caliber rimfire firearm, and may be with or without the aid of artificial light, infrared or laser sighting devices, or night vision devices.
Night Vision: Allowed per the Louisiana Hunting Regulations 2010/2011 guide as noted above.
Night Hunting: Allowed for coyote and raccoon only. A coyote night hunting permit is required to hunt coyotes at night from Dec 16th to August 31st. Hunting under this permit is limited to ½ hour after sunset until ½ hour before sunrise and shall cease at midnight each Saturday and resume at 12:01 am on Monday. Hunters must be in possession of an electronic, hand held or mouth-operated predator calling device. Artificial lights may be used.
Night Vision: Allowed, not further restricted per State of Maine Hunting and Trapping 2009-2011 Laws and Rules except it may not be used for raccoon hunting. Above information verified with Game Warden Investigator, William R. Livzey.
Night Hunting: Allowed from Oct 15th to March 15th, statewide (except Sundays) coyotes, opossums, and raccoons may be hunted at night with artificial lights. Foxes (red and gray) may be hunted from Nov 15th to Jan 31 (except Sundays) east of the Chesapeake Bay and Susquehanna River. Foxes (red and gray) may be hunted from Nov 1st to Jan 19th (except Sundays) west of the Chesapeake Bay and Susquehanna River. Laser sights are prohibited at all times for hunting in Maryland. Laser range finders are legal for all hunting.
Night Vision: Allowed, not restricted per the 2010-2011 Guide to Hunting & Trapping . Above regulations verified by MD Wildlife & Heritage Service.
Night Hunting: Allowed, however, use of artificial lights is prohibited (except raccoon & opossums). Coyotes, foxes, raccoon, and opossums can be hunted during nighttime (shotgun only) but close at midnight, however, during the shotgun season for deer hunting, hunting hours are ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset. Hunting on Sunday is prohibited.
Night Vision: Allowed, not restricted per the 2010 Massachusetts Fish & Wildlife Guide to Hunting, Fishing, & Trapping Booklet. Verified by the Massachusetts DNR.
Night Hunting: Allowed, handheld lights only. Flashlights, portable battery-powered spotlights and headlamps and similar portable lights designed to be carried in the hand or on the person are legal. Use of natural light such as the moon is also legal.
Night Vision: Allowed, use of night vision optics and scopes is legal per the 2010 Hunting and Trapping Digest.
Night Hunting: Allowed, a person hunting coyotes and foxes from January 1st to March 15th may use an artificial handheld light under the following circumstances: while on foot and not within a public right of way; using a shotgun; using a calling device; not within 200 feet of a vehicle.
Night Vision: Not Allowed, per the 2010 Hunting and Trapping Regulations booklet: a person may not possess any kind of night vision equipment while taking wild animals or while possessing a firearm, bow, or other implement that could be used to take wild animals.
Night Hunting: Allowed, raccoon, fox, opossum, beaver, nutria, coyotes, and bobcats may be legally hunted at night, with or without the use of a light and with dogs, except during the spring turkey season.
Night Vision: Allowed, not specifically restricted per the 2010-2011 Outdoor Digest
Night Hunting: Allowed, artificial lights may be used only to hunt bullfrogs and green frogs, or to hunt raccoons and other furbearing animals when treed with the aid of dogs. Using lights to search for, spot, illuminate, harass or disturb other wildlife is a violation of the Wildlife Code. This rule does not apply to landowners on their property.
Night Vision: Not Allowed, per mdconline website night vision and thermal imagery equipment may not be possessed while in the possession of any firearm, bow or other implement whereby wildlife could be taken.
Night Hunting: Allowed, on private land (not allowed on public lands) with written permission from the landowner. Spotlights may be used for coyote hunting.
Night Vision: Allowed, night vision equipment is not prohibited from use in Montana for hunting predator or nongame species. Predators are classified as coyote, weasel, (striped) skunk, and civet cat (spotted skunk). Nongame species are defined as any wild animal not otherwise legally classified by statute or regulation in Montana; examples include badger, raccoon, red fox, hares, rabbits, ground squirrels, marmots, tree squirrels, porcupines, and prairie dogs. Above information is verified by the MT DNR.
Night Hunting: Allowed, however spotlights may not be attached to a vehicle or conveyance nor can any hand held light be utilized from any vehicle or conveyance.
Night Vision: Allowed, not listed as restricted per wildlife regulations code Title 163, Chapter 4. Above information has been verified by Law Enforcement, Nebraska Game & Parks Commission.
Night Hunting: Allowed, however, spotlighting regulations are on a county-by-county basis and are subject to change. Contact the County Sheriff’s office for current laws in specific counties. Some furbearer seasons are closed to non-residents.
Night Vision: Allowed, not listed as restricted in 2010 Nevada Hunting Seasons & Regulations booklet. However, regulations may be in force on a county by county basis. Please check County Sherriff’s office for any local restrictions that may be present. Above information verified with Law Enforcement officials.
Night Hunting: Allowed, coyotes may be hunted at night only from January 1st to March 31st . Artificial lights are allowed except from a motor vehicle or OHRV. Written permission from the landowner filed with the local conservation officer is required to hunt coyotes at night.
Night Vision: Allowed, not prohibited activity per the 2010 NH Hunting & Trapping Digest
Night Hunting: Allowed, night hunting (shotgun only) is allowed during the special fox and coyote permit season only (normally January 1 to March 15th). Portable lights are allowed. Use of laser sights or rifles is prohibited.
Night Vision: Allowed, not a prohibited device per the 2010 NJ Fish & Wildlife Digest. Above information is verified by the NJ DNR.
Night Hunting: Not Allowed, Legal shooting hours are ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset for all wildlife.
Night Vision: Not Allowed, restricted shooting hours. Above information verified with NM DNR.
Night Hunting: Allowed for furbearers (coyote, fox, bobcat, raccoon, opossum, skunk, mink , weasel). Use of artificial lights is allowed.
Night Vision: Allowed, per the 2010-2011 NY Hunting and Trapping Guide: the use of a light gathering (starlight) scope is legal (however, see restricted firearms for night usage).
Night Hunting: Allowed, for feral hogs and coyotes on private lands with permission from the landowner. Use of artificial lights for spotting and scanning is also allowed.
Night Vision: Allowed, not listed as a prohibited device per the 2010-2011 NC Hunting and Trapping Regulations Digest and verified with the NC Division of Wildlife management. Infrared aided night vision is also legal. Night vision can be also be used for incidental hunting activities such as scouting, navigating to stand sites, tracking wounded game, etc.
Night Hunting: Allowed, coyote and fox (red and gray) may be hunted at any hour using natural light only. Any person who engages in fox or coyote hunting from 30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise must hunt exclusively on foot and use a predator call. Use of spotlight or any other artificial light, night vision equipment, electronically enhanced light gathering optics or thermal imaging equipment for hunting or locating game is prohibited.
Night Vision: Not Allowed, per the 2010-2011 ND Furbearer Hunting and Trapping Guide: use of night vision or thermal imaging equipment for hunting or locating game is prohibited.
Night Hunting: Allowed, between 6 pm and 6am hunters are required to use a continuous white light visible for at least ¼ mile. Persons hunting foxes, coyotes, raccoon, or boar with a call from a stationary position may use a single beam light of any color.
Night Vision: Allowed, not prohibited per the 2010-2011 Ohio Hunting & Trapping Regulations booklet, confirmed with State Law enforcement.
Night Hunting: Allowed for raccoon, fox and other furbearers. However, hunting of coyote using artificial lights or sight dogs from dark to daylight is prohibited.
Night Vision: Not Allowed, per the 2010-2011 OK Hunting & Fishing Guide: No person may attempt to take, take, attempt to catch, catch, attempt to capture, capture, attempt to kill, or kill any deer, feral animal or other wildlife, except fish and frogs or except as provided by law, by the use of a vehicle mounted spotlight or other powerful light at night, by what is commonly known as "headlighting" (or "spotlighting") or use any light enhancement device (night scope).
Night Hunting: Allowed, but no artificial light may be used unless the hunter is acting as an agent for the landowner. In this capacity no hunting license is required and artificial lights may be used. Bobcat, opossum and raccoon may be hunted with the aid of an artificial light provided the light is not cast from or attached to a motor vehicle or boat.
Night Vision: Allowed with restrictions, no person shall hunt any wildlife with infrared or any other night vision sight. Wildlife includes fish, shellfish, amphibians, reptiles, wild mammals, wild birds, etc.. which includes all furbearers. However, specifically for predatory animals as defined by state statute (i.e., coyotes, rabbits, rodents, feral swine) on private lands, night vision may be used by the landowner or landowner agent (an agent needs specific written authorization as outlined in State rules). For other species, night vision may or may not be used for damage control purposes (a permit issued by the relevant district office would be required in almost all instances). Above was verified with personnel from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Night Hunting: Allowed, an artificial light may be used under the following conditions: a person hunting raccoons, skunks, opossums, bobcats, weasels, foxes, and coyotes on foot may use a handheld light or gun mounted light. Laser lights are prohibited.
Night Vision: Not Allowed, According to our Bureau of Wildlife Protection, night vision devices are specifically prohibited for hunting anything in Pennsylvania under the general prohibition against “Electronic Contrivances” as contained in Title 58 section 141.6 Illegal Devices subsection (6) Hunt or take wildlife through the use of an electronic device not permitted by commission regulation. The only exception is contained in Title 34 section 2308 (b) (i) Any archery sight or firearms scope which contains and uses any mechanical, photoelectric, ultraviolet, or solar powered device to solely illuminate the sight or crosshairs within the scope, which essentially makes any night vision scopes illegal as they do more than “solely illuminate the crosshairs.” Above information verified by the PA DNR.
Night Hunting: Not Allowed
Night Vision: Not Allowed, per the 2010-2011 Hunting and Trapping Regulations section 14.11 which states: the use or possession of laser sights that project a beam or night- vision equipment while hunting is prohibited.
Night Hunting: Allowed, Hogs, Coyotes and armadillos may be hunted at night with an artificial light that is carried on the hunter’s person attached to a helmet or hat, or part of a belt system worn by the hunter.
Night Vision: Allowed, Hogs, Coyotes, and armadillos may be hunted at night with or without the aid of bait, electronic calls, artificial lights, or night vision devices.
Night Hunting: Allowed, coyote, bobcat, fox, badger, mink, raccoon & opossum hunting hours are not restricted. A landowner or occupant and one guest may use an artificial light on his or her land year round to take jackrabbits, coyotes, red and gray fox, raccoons, opossums, badgers, skunks and rodents.
Night Vision: Not Allowed, per the SD 2010 Hunting & Trapping Handbook: No person may use or possess night vision equipment to spot, locate, take or attempt to take or hunt an animal while having in possession or control a firearm, bow or other implement with which game could be killed.
Night Hunting: Not Allowed
Night Vision: Not Allowed, per the TN Wildlife Resources Agency all night vision scopes fall under the prohibited equipment provisions for all game and non-game animals.
Night Hunting: Allowed, non-protected nongame animals (Armadillos, Mountain lions, Rabbits
Bobcats, Frogs, Porcupines, Turtles, coyotes, ground squirrels, prairie dogs) and fur-bearing animals (Badger, Mink, Opossum, Ring-tailed cat, Beaver, Muskrat, Otter, Skunk, Fox, Nutria, Raccoon) may be hunted at night with the aid of an artificial light on private property. Contact the local game warden before doing so to let them know where, when, what, how and who is hunting. Night hunting is not allowed on public lands.
Night Vision: Allowed, not listed as a prohibited device per the Summary of 2010-2011 Hunting Regulations. Per consultation with Texas Parks & Wildlife Dept, it is legal to use night vision scopes while hunting at night for fur-bearing animals, nongame animals, and exotic animals & fowl (i.e. feral hogs).
Night Hunting: Allowed, in specified Counties only. Night hunting is not restricted by State regulations. Instead, contact the local city or County officials to determine the legality of taking predators at night.
Night Vision: Allowed, not restricted by State regulations. Contact local city or County officials to determine the legality of taking predators at night using night vision.
Night Hunting: Allowed, raccoons, skunks and coyote can be hunted at any hour. Use of artificial lights is prohibited except when hunting for raccoon or skunks with dogs.
Night Vision: Allowed, not listed as a prohibited device per the 2011 VT Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping Guide. Verified by the VT DNR
Night Hunting: Allowed, All hunting is prohibited on Sunday except for raccoons which may be hunted until 2:00 am on Sunday mornings. Bobcat, foxes, raccoons, and opossums may be hunted by day or night during authorized seasons. Nuisance species (coyote, feral hogs, groundhog, nutria) may be taken day or night.
Night Vision: Allowed, Lights may be used as long as the light is not attached to or cast from a vehicle. Night vision scopes and laser sights may be used. Above information verified by Virginia Dept of Game & Inland Fisheries.
Phone: (804) 367-1000
Night Hunting: Allowed, coyotes, bobcats, and raccoons may be hunted at night during established bobcat and raccoon seasons. All other game animals cannot be hunted at night
Night Vision: Allowed, not restricted per the WA 2010-2011 Hunting Seasons & Regulations booklet for those species that can be legally hunted at night. Verified with WDFW division of law enforcement.
Night Hunting: Allowed, night hunting is allowed for coyote using amber or red-colored artificial light during the legal night season. Hunting coyotes at night is legal from January 1 thru July 31.
Night Vision: Allowed, not listed as a prohibited device per the WV 2010-2011 Hunting & Trapping Guide. Verified by WV Division of Natural Resources.
Night Hunting: Allowed, a flashlight may be used: 1) while shooting coyote, raccoon, fox, or unprotected species at the point of kill while hunting on foot, or 2) to find your way. Lights may not be used to shine or search for these animals. Flashlight is generally defined as a battery operated light designed to be carried and held by hand. Some areas may prohibit shining by local ordinance. Check with local Sheriff’s department or township officials for local shining restrictions.
Night Vision: Allowed, not listed as a prohibited device in the 2010 WI Small Game Hunting Regulations booklet. Per State regulations, the night vision device cannot be aided with any artificial light which includes infrared (IR) light. Therefore IR light emitting night vision scopes or devices are not legal for use in WI for shining but can be used at the point of kill and for navigational purposes. Above information verified by the Wisconsin DNR Law Enforcement 1/2013.
Night Hunting: Allowed, predators may be hunted at night on private property only (not allowed on public property) with written permission of the landowner. Spotlights may be used for nighttime predator hunting.
Night Vision: Allowed, per information of the WY Game & Fish Dept website: Chapter 2 - Sec. 2(d) of Commission Regulations states: "Artificial Light means any man-made light or lighting device which projects a light visible to the unaided eye outside of the device, or any battery-powered device that provides an enhanced ability to see in the dark ." Additional information of the website states: Wyoming law prohibits the use of artificial light to hunt any wildlife, except that predators may be taken by aid of artificial light if on private land and written permission from the landowner is obtained. Above information verified with Wyoming DNR Law Enforcement.