Yes... Indiana allows you to shine a light onto other folks property without their permission as long as you do NOT have a weapon in the vehicle. I am not aware of any specific rules about shining on buildings and the like.

I am fine with the law and using the light in a lawful and respectful way. You want to monitor deer and the like - that is fine...just treat others with some common sense. What I DO have issue with is that in my area....the light and the shot that is nearly 100% certain to follow! That....that I would just as soon shoot at the light! As much as I would love to mount an argument about making it against the's not the tools fault on how it is used. It's not the lights fault, or the guns's the PERSONS fault (our society seems to struggle more and more with that it seems - PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY OF ONES ACTIONS). I have had 2 deer poached off my place with the aid of a light. IF I see a light being used I typically call my local sheriffs department and report it. Dispatch there is how you reach the local CO as well. Typically if there is an issue or real concern....the more info they have to help create a case against these folks the better. I have no issue involving the law or tipping them off to something funny going on.
In AR, we can hunt hogs at night while using a light on private ground. If we couldnt shine a light, I wouldnt kill a fraction of hogs I kill
Jbird, well put response,I like your style.We too have many shots after dark and also find crossbow bolts in fields.Hogs are another thing,so far we don't have any but I would sure like to try that sometime.
Jbird, well put response,I like your style.We too have many shots after dark and also find crossbow bolts in fields.Hogs are another thing,so far we don't have any but I would sure like to try that sometime.
Thank you. Your question caused me to think about it more than I had in the past. Because of the poaching issue I have on rare occasion, my knee-jerk reaction is to simply make the act of using the light in that manner against the law. However, that is a similar response to those wanting to ban guns because guns hurt people. I am a strong 2A supporter, so, gun, light, vehicle or the's how it's used and the PERSON that is responsible. Until you can convince me that the light itself....drove to the field and chose to shoot that deer.....I see no point in making the light or the act of using it against the law. The person they need to be drug out into the street and beaten with a stick!
Growing up in NW Pa we spotted Deer at night all the time in the Fall. Saw some really big Deer that way that we never saw any other time. Also learn just how hidden a deer can be within feet or yards of a vehicle. One night I saw just the tips of the antlers on a really nice Buck just about 20 yards from the edge of the road. No one else in the car could see it and thought I was crazy. The grass was only knee deep at the most. I showed them when I got out of the car and walked about 5 yards when the Big Buck stood up then ran away.

Down here it is a different story. Here it is called "jacklighting" and is not legal as far as I know, and got the name from folks using the light to shoot deer at night.
It’s legal here, but rest assured that if Mr. Green Jeans sees you spotlighting he will come and check you out. I don’t think you’re allowed to have a firearm but I can’t really remember. Makes no difference to me, I never shine deer. I do however, shoot hogs at night with a NV scope. On my own place I don’t call the warden, but if we hunt them on the lease we send him a text letting him know ahead of time. But just to show you how easy it would be to poach, we’ve never had a visit from the warden in five or six years of night hunting hogs, and sometimes it sounds like a young war when a big group comes in.

We have plenty of poachers here. In fact, we have one mighty close. Somebody drives down the highway at night from time to time because I see his tracks in the grass next to my fence. One night a few months ago a red light hit the side windows of my front door for a few seconds and by the time I realized what it was, jumped up, and put my shoes on he was gone. Maybe one of these days I’ll catch him in the act but I imagine he does that mostly in the wee hours.
Pennsylvania Regulations; Spotlighting Wildlife It is unlawful to 1) spotlight wildlife while in possession of a firearm, bow and arrow, or other device capable of killing wildlife. Individuals who have a License to Carry Firearms permit are excepted, but only regarding their carrying of firearms authorized by the permit. Most sporting arms are not authorized. 2) spotlight wildlife during the regular firearms deer seasons, including those days separating the seasons, as well as any late extended firearms deer seasons in the Special Regulations Area counties; and 3) cast an artificial light upon any building, farm animal or photoelectric cell. Recreational spotlighting is lawful between sunrise and 11 p.m., except as previously noted. Spotlighting includes handheld lights, accessory spotlights on vehicles and vehicle headlights when intentionally used to locate or view wildlife. A person hunting raccoons, skunks, opossums, bobcats, weasels, foxes and coyotes on foot may use a handheld light, including a gun-mounted light. Furbearer hunters may not use a flashlight or spotlight that projects a laser light beam.

On one hand I say abolish it, it's an archaic practice that was used to inventory game before game cameras were invented, and a means for poachers to operate. On the other hand, we've got too many laws already, to say we can't use a flashlight in the dark is overly controlling. So I guess I'd say just leave it as it is. Legal spotlighting here is a popular pastime for teenagers looking for something to do.
Last edited:
Great input from various parts of the country.Thanks for input.In our part of Pa.almost like a tradition.Yes I have spotted in the past,now usually to drive grand children who think it is fun.They have seen a bear or two which keeps them yapping for hours
I know of 2 people that have been ticketed for using a flashlight walking out from their stands after dark. But you can hunt furbearers with a light at any time of night. Very broad interpretation on some of these spotlighting laws I don’t hear of many people that do it any more, it seems to have fallen out of favor for most.
I went to PA in 92 and spotlighting was the most fun I ever had on any hunting trip. Seeing a 50 sets of eyes in a field was an amazing sight for someone from Vt. On the other hand we tried it here and so many deer got jacked. State canceled that one in a hurry.
I grew up spotlighting down in FL. It was legal but you couldn't have any kind of weapon in the vehicle. It was a lot of fun to see the big bucks back then. Nowadays with the advancement of trail cams, I don't see the need to do it like back then.