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South Dakota Legislature: Varmint Edition

Last updated on 2012.02.07

The Legislature is on the hunt with a pack of bills targeting South Dakota's #1 problem: varmints!

  • HB 1074 adds Brown, Day, Marshall, and Spink Counties to a list of areas exempted from limitations on hunting muskrats. Open season on muskrat: can you add that to your economic development flyers?
  • HB 1117 expands the arsenal of weaponry you can bring to bear against the maleficent muskrat.
  • HB 1080 expands to non-residents the privilege of shooting raccoon, skunk, badger, jackrabbit, fox, and coyote without a license between April 1 and August 31.
  • HB 1081 tells Game Fish & Parks to stop interfering with your right to defend your self, your family, your livestock, and your pets. It also says that if you kill a mountain lion in defense of human or friendly critter life, you get to keep it.
  • HB 1082 allows mountain lion license holders to open fire on mountain lions on their own property if they are engaged in normal farming and ranching activities, regardless of whether they have dogs with them (that's a no-no in normal mountain lion hunting) and regardless of what firearm they have handy.
  • HB 1153 cuts fur dealers a little slack, revising rules to say Game Fish and Parks can revoke their licenses for knowingly selling skins taken out of season.
  • HB 1166 mandates spending at least $280,000 a year to control black-tailed prairie dogs. It also allows landowners to sue the state Department of Ag and GF&P for funding and attorney fees if the state doesn't give them money fight the black-tailed scourge. (Note: this is conservatives Lance Russell, Betty Olson, Don Kopp, and Mike Verchio saying that more government spending is great, as long as it's used to kill critters.)
  • HB 1168 allows landowners to sue the state for failure to control any "species of management concern." (Why, yes, "environmental lawyer" Lance Russell sponsors this bill, too.)
  • SB 114 changes the state animal from the wily coyote to the stalwart bison. Expect Senator Majority Leader Russell Olson and other USD grads in the Capitol to resist. Expect Senate Minority Leader Jason Frerichs to move to amend... to jackrabbit.
  • HB 1174 requires welfare and food stamp recipients to submit to drug testing. Folks testing positive lose their benefits for a year. Take that, varmints!


  1. larry kurtz 2012.01.24

    Scorching Earth is why South Dakota is dying under red state collapse.

    Rewild the West.

  2. Bob Mercer 2012.01.24

    The USD coyote is in the Capitol today too. The fear is palpable.

  3. larry kurtz 2012.01.24

    Changing the 'state animal' begs the question: would it be the genetically pure Plains Bison or would it be the inferior hybrids that live as slaves in CAFOs?

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