October 23, 2012
Yes, You Can Get In Trouble For Shooting Squirrels in Your Backyard with an Air Rifle
By Chad Love
Everyone laments the precipitous decline of America's small game hunting tradition and culture. Seems like virtually no one hunts squirrels or rabbits these days, especially younger hunters, who more often than not shoot their first deer long before they shoot their first squirrel or rabbit. So it's heartening to see news stories showing that not all of America's younger generation have abandoned the grand sport of squirrel hunting. But this young(ish) man might want to pick a slightly more...discreet spot for his passion.
From this story in the Des Moines Register:
An Urbandale man clad in camouflage was reportedly hunting squirrels in his backyard Friday morning, Urbandale police said. Officers were dispatched to the 3900 block of 76th Street where John Erickson was reportedly firing a pellet gun at squirrels in a tree on his property. The 23-year-old man did not say why he was shooting them, said Officer Randy Peterson, police spokesman. Erickson did tell police, however, that he had to shoot the critters in the head to kill them, Peterson said. When police arrived, two squirrels were dead on the deck.Erickson, who has a valid hunting license, was cited for discharging a weapon within city limits, a simple misdemeanor.
A show of hands (and be honest) from everyone who has done the exact same thing this guy was doing when the police showed up and gave him a ticket. If you were the cop, would you have let him off with a warning and directions to the nearest public hunting area, or, the law being the law, would you have issued the ticket?