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Shooting Coyotes from Snowmobiles

January 20, 2011

The South Dakota Legislature just commenced its session.  Ordinarily it takes a couple of weeks before I start to get heartburn, but they seem bound to bring that condition on earlier this year.

SB 1 was filed this week seeking to amend the state’s law to allow coyote hunting from snowmobiles with a shotgun.  The bill, introduced by Senators Maher, Begalka, Frerichs, Garnos, Hansen, and Rhoden and Representatives Verchio, Brunner, Hoffman, Kopp, Nelson, Olson, and Schrempp, provides:

“No person may chase, drive, harass, kill, or attempt to kill any game animal or game bird with or from a snowmobile, except that coyotes may be taken by shooting from snowmobiles through the use of shotguns if the operator of the snowmobile is at least sixteen years of age. No property owner or lessee is liable for any damages caused by or any injury to any person who is engaged in taking or attempting to take coyotes from a snowmobile pursuant to this section. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.”

I was stunned, wondering what had happened to “fair chase” I did some searching on the I-net.  I didn’t find too many places where this type thing is legal or even spoken of with approval.  I did find lots of anecdotal stuff about coyotes being run down, both figuratively and literally.  Sometimes shot and sometimes just run over with the sled.  Apparently there is an element out there that gets off on hair, blood, and muscle stuck in the treads of the old Polaris.

I am at a loss to understand what drives this legislation.  Ignorance, definitely; fear, to a degree; but it might also just be a device to increase tourism in our off-season.  The organized coyote hunting tournament in Beulah, MT, banned snowmobile hunting, so maybe the legislators are appealing to that niche crowd. The old, “Bring your sled, your money, the wife and kids, and stay over and ride in the Black Hills after the hunt,” ploy.

Like I said, I consider the entire thing unethical and shudder at the image this proposal is going to give all hunters in this state.  But then,  I’ve also run across blog spots where some “sportsmen” are writing in declaring that wolves and coyotes have forfeited any right to ethical treatment because they are, I guess, unrepentant predators. 

With rhetoric like that, coupled with the inevitable YouTube videos that are going to be posted, this has all the hallmarks of a PETA dream.

— Margadant

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 20, 2011 8:20 am


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