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Illuminated scopes

Old 02-27-2013, 09:13 AM
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Default Illuminated scopes

Anyone here using illuminated scopes? Are they legal for hunting in every state in the U.S.?
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:55 AM
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Not sure where they are or are not legal. OK in Alabama. I have used 2 illuminated scopes. One was a mid 1970's vintage Tasco World Class (don't ask, just don't go there with your dollars).

The other was a top end Khales 4-12x56 mm that was on a used rifle that I bought. It was unreal when it came to late afternoon. But Lord what a monster of a scope! Frankly with the reticle illuminated and a decent moon, I could have "hunted" on food plots hours after sunset. Which is illegal in Alabama !

As for the value .... I'd say marginal if you are talking top end glass. These high performing scopes will easily cover you from legal a.m. to legal p.m., not a problem. If however, you struggle sometimes in low light to pick up the target or settle the cross hairs in, then maybe the extra $$ would be worth it.

Last edited by Mojotex; 03-04-2013 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:27 AM
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I'm not personally aware of any laws against illuminated reticles, but I don't know the laws for every state, and I'm sure they're all worded differently. Lots of states have explicit laws against infrared, night vision, lasers, or any other devices that improve your ability to see in darkness.

Illuminated reticles don't project any light outside the device, nor do they improve your ability to see in the dark. So I question whether or not illuminated reticles were ever meant to be prohibited by state law in the first place. More likely they're just assumed to be by some enforcement officials, and this has been spread by hunters over the years as illuminated reticles have become more prevalent.

I think most of the issues with legality are more focused on what you're hunting in low light/at night, and whether or not the hunt is actually legal. You don't want to be caught by a game warden in the PA deer season late at night with an illuminated reticle. Not because of the legality of the reticle, but because of the appearance of poaching and the fact that game wardens can be a little overzealous.

I like illuminated scopes for their ability to extend the hunt from the earliest to the latest legal time without having to worry about spotting my reticle. But for night time varmint hunting, I currently use a red flashlight attachment.

Last edited by OpticsCamp; 02-27-2013 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:36 PM
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Several states do ban illuminated optics...I know Washington and Oregon does (for big game)...so check your local laws.
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Old 02-27-2013, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by emtrescue6 View Post
Several states do ban illuminated optics...I know Washington and Oregon does (for big game)...so check your local laws.
Oregon definitely does not ban illuminated reticles. Oregon 2013 hunting regulations: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources..._game_regs.pdf

Page 28:
"[Prohibited Methods]: Use an artificial light for hunting any wildlife, except raccoon, bobcat and opossum provided the light is not cast from or attached to a motor vehicle. This includes laser sights or any other sights which project a beam to the target. This does not include battery operated sights which only light the reticle"

The 2013 Washington state hunting regulations specify that you cannot use an electronic device on a muzzleloader (page 74): http://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/01383/wdfw01383.pdf

It also specifies that deer and elk may not be hunted with night vision, laser optics, or anything that projects a beam - but they make no mention of illuminated reticles (page 76).
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:44 PM
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If in fact the state prohibits it; simple take the battery out.

Black crosshairs, just like every other scope.


Almost all my scopes have illuminated reticles - BDC ballistic plex

Last edited by Sheridan; 02-28-2013 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:26 AM
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The only "illuminated" scope I have is a Trijicon Accupoint ...no batteries required. Just the way I like it...KISS theory.
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Old 02-28-2013, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by OpticsCamp View Post
Oregon definitely does not ban illuminated reticles. Oregon 2013 hunting regulations: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources..._game_regs.pdf

Page 28:
"[Prohibited Methods]: Use an artificial light for hunting any wildlife, except raccoon, bobcat and opossum provided the light is not cast from or attached to a motor vehicle. This includes laser sights or any other sights which project a beam to the target. This does not include battery operated sights which only light the reticle"

The 2013 Washington state hunting regulations specify that you cannot use an electronic device on a muzzleloader (page 74): http://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/01383/wdfw01383.pdf

It also specifies that deer and elk may not be hunted with night vision, laser optics, or anything that projects a beam - but they make no mention of illuminated reticles (page 76).
I stand corrected...but I do know WA most certainly use to up until a few years ago, my baby brother has the ticket to prove it...at least during big game season they use to...
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