Monday, January 26, 2009

My Father in Law, State Criminal

Secrets of the City (MNSpeak - I should change that href on the right) has a link to the LaCrosse Tribune's article about strange Minnesota laws. I think the law about not trapping or molesting squirrels might make my father in a law crabby.

However, after seeing this article quoted all over the web, I went looking for the law in question that stated, "It is illegal to trap, kill or molest squirrels in any way." I can't find it. Perhaps someone else will have better luck than me, but what I can find is the 1919 session law (Chapter 400, section 47) that states, "Sec. 47. Squirrels, bear and racoon—Open season—Prohibited places.—-Black, gray and fox squirrels, and racoons may be taken and possessed between October 15th and the 1st day of March following, both inclusive. No person shall pursue, hunt, molest or take any gray, black, red, fox, flying or other timber squirrel at any time within the corporate limits of any city or village, or within 'one quarter of a mile thereof. It shall not be unlawful to take black bear at any time."

It was revised in 1925.
"5541. Squirrels, bear and raccoon open season.—Gray and fox squirrels tfiay be taken and possessed between October 15th and January 1st following, both inclusive. Bear may be taken and possessed at any time. Raccoon may not be taken until the year 1928 and then only between October 15th and November 15th following, both inclusive. No person shall hunt, molest or take any gray, black, red, fox flying, or other timber squirrel at any time within the corporate limits of any city or village, or within one-quarter mile thereof. A person may take during the open season not to exceed 10 gray or fox squirrels in the aggregate of all kinds in any one day
and may have not to exceed 15 gray or fox squirrels in the aggregate in possession at any time. Black squirrels may not be taken or possessed at any time.
Steel traps may be used for the purpose of taking or catching bear only upon permission of the Game and Fish Commissioner to do so. Rules and regulations for the safe use thereof shall be prescribed by tht Commissioner and any one setting them so as to become a danger to persons walking in the woods shall be guilty of gross misdemeanor. Any person desiring to retain in possession during the closed
season the skins of protected fur bearing animals shall apply to the commissioner within five days after the close of the season for a permit so to do, and the commissioner or a game warden shall issue to the licensee <* distinctive tag for each pelt to be retained in possession; and itpon receipt thereof the licensee shall affix one such tag to each pelt retained in possession. Such pelts lawfully tagged
may be bought and sold at any time. This shall also apply to furs taken from animals trapped or killed on land owned or occupied by the trapper."

There's a big difference between a law outlawing the justified execution of squirrels for squirrel melt sandwiches, and not allowing people to shoot their guns within city limits or engage in blatant trapping of the town critters for their own gain. I think the law was quoted incorrectly for humor purposes. Which is sad. Because I really wanted to turn my father in law in for a sweet reward.


TallBrad said...

Now I don't hunt, but when I was a kid we did go squirrel hunting. We used .22 rifles. Looking at the rifles used in that video, I don't know how much of that squirrel would be left.

Scooter said...

It's a melt. There doesn't have to be much squirrel, at least not in a single piece. We at frog legs at my aunt and uncle's when I was younger - they're smaller than squirrels.

Anonymous said...

I do believe they were using shotguns. Much better odds if you're shooting a squirrel that's on the run. Plus no chance of bullet(s) whizzing off a mile and a half downrange if you miss both squirrel and tree; that might be a concern if they're in a semi-populated area. I suppose they just have to make sure the quarry isn't too close, otherwise there won't anything left for even a squirrel melt at the end of the day...