According to the American Silencer Association, 39 states now allow the tools for hunting.
Virginia is one of them.
This is a sensible law.
What is a big thing we always hear when the Sunday hunting debate comes up? “Gun shots are disturbing!”
Well, anybody who has shot a suppressed deer rifle knows that it’s not silent. Heck, even a suppressed .22 (my buddy has an awesome squirrel-hunting rig) makes a little noise.
But suppressors do reduce the report. Not enough to avoid spooking game (as some opponents say), but enough to reduce the amount of noise your neighbors will hear (Perfectly illustrated in this image by photographer and blogger Oleg Volk) and enough to reduce potential damage to ear drums for those who shot a lot.
Is there a downside to suppressors for hunting? Well, the Wyoming Game Wardens Association opposed the legislation saying that it could give hunters an unfair advantage over game and that it could make it more difficult to stop poachers.
The first argument is a non-starter. As for the second, I’m going to stick with what I’ve heard Virginia’s conservation police officers say: Poachers will be poachers. A new law doesn’t suddenly turn a law-abiding citizen into a criminal.
Do any of you hunt with suppressors? Let’s hear about your experiences.