Senator Maher and Representative Verchio bring us Senate Bill 55, which combines two great pastimes: snowmobiling and shooting coyotes!
Even as our fair state faces a huge deficit and punishing cuts to K-12 education, there remains a pressing need to amend our hunting laws to improve our chances to kill a specifically pesky varmint. Current snowmobile law says you cannot "chase, drive, harass, kill, or attempt to kill any game animal or game bird with or from a snowmobile." (I'm contemplating the gross factor of the with in that statute.) SB 55 adds a clause permitting taking after coyotes on your snowmobile with a shotgun. The bill says you have to be 16, and if you get hurt or wreck your snowmobile in the process, it's your own darn fault---no suing the landowner.
Given all the dynamite and Acme Roadrunner Missiles Wile E. has, I suppose it's only fair to allow coyote-hunters a little more firepower and horsepower. I will be curious to see how the vote on coyote-shooting breaks down by legislator alumni status. I predict the bill enjoys slightly more favor among SDSU grads than USD grads.
But wait! If you really want to go on a Ski-doo coyote shoot, you'd better tell the Senate Ag and Natural Resources Committee to fix two key errors in the bill. First, it cites the wrong statute. SB 55 proposes to amend SDCL 32-20A-11, but it cites the language of SDCL 32-20A-12. The Legislature will have to amend both statutes to make your snowmobile-coyote-shooting dreams come true: SDCL 32-20A-11 says you can't carry any firearm on a snowmobile unless it is unloaded and completely enclosed in its carrying case. Straighten out that language, fellas!
But SB 55 reminds me: it's Saturday morning! We should all be watching cartoons!