Legislative Update / September 2015 Issue
By Julie Loeffler
PROHIBITS THE INTERFERENCE WITH THE TAKING OF WILDLIFE
North Dakota House Bill 1381 / Signed into law
Representatives Lefor, Beadle, Meier & Porter / Senators Bekkedahl, Bowman, Kilzer
The fall hunting season will see the true test of North Dakota’s law enacted earlier this year. It prevents individuals from disrupting a hunt on public or private land. What’s thought-provoking about this language in particular is that it specifically lists drone-type objects (“. . .an ariel vehicle that does not carry a human operator. . .”) as a prohibited means of disruption. It will be interesting to monitor the number of mentions in blogs over the next few months by hunters who have seen drones in the skies above them as they venture out this fall. The full content of the law is as follows:
“BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF NORTH DAKOTA:
SECTION 1. AMENDMENT. Section 20.1-01-31 of the North Dakota Century Code is amended and reenacted as follows:
20.1-01-31. Interference with rights of hunters and trappers.
An individual may not intentionally interfere with the lawful taking of wildlife on public or private land by another or intentionally harass, drive, or disturb any wildlife on public or private land for the purpose of disrupting a lawful hunt. The individual may not use an aerial vehicle that does not carry a human operator on public or private land to intentionally interfere with the lawful taking of wildlife by another individual or intentionally harass, drive, or disturb any wildlife for the purpose of disrupting a lawful hunt. Except for department personnel, the individual setting the trap or snare, or that individual’s agent, another individual may not remove or tamper with a trap or snare legally set to take fur-bearing animals or unprotected wild animals or remove the fur-bearing animal or unprotected wild animal from a trap or snare. This section does not apply to any incidental interference arising from lawful activity by public or private land users or to landowners or operators interfering with hunters on land owned or operated by that individual.”
PROP 6 ON TEXAS’ NOVEMBER BALLOT; ‘RIGHT TO HUNT AND FISH’
Senator Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe) / Representative Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin)
Texas voters will have to choose whether or not to make hunting and fishing a right in their state when they step into the voting booth this November. The language amending the state constitution (should the proposition pass) reads as follows: “The constitutional amendment recognizing the right of people to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife subject to the laws that promote wildlife conservation.” While the language is minimal, it packs a solid punch and is a plus for hunters statewide.
Among the supporters of the measure are the Texas State Rifle Association, the NRA state affiliate, and the Dallas Safari Club.
Currently, eighteen states have passed similar versions into their own state constitutions: Alabama, Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.