N.D. bill seeks to ban Internet hunting

BISMARCK—North Dakota may soon join other states in banning hunting through the Internet.

Senate Bill 2352 would ban hunting wildlife in real time using Internet services to remotely control firearms and discharge live ammunition, thus allowing someone not physically present to kill wildlife.

The bill also bans hosting an Internet hunt, enabling someone else to hunt through the Internet, and importing, exporting or possessing wildlife that’s been killed by an Internet hunt.

A violation of the proposed law would be a Class C felony.

Sen. Dave Oehlke, R-Devils Lake, said a constituent proposed the bill after learning about Internet hunting occurring in another state.

People pay big money to do Internet hunting, which is similar to playing a Wii game, Oehlke said.

“But it’s no game. And this type of activity, frankly Mr. Chairman, in my perspective, is enough to make a billy goat puke,” he said.

The North Dakota Wildlife Federation and the North Dakota Game and Fish Department also supported the bill

Paul Schadewald of Game and Fish said they aren’t aware of instances of Internet hunting in the state now.

Foster Ray Hager, a lobbyist for the Cass County Wildlife Club, said they support the bill because Internet hunting could reach North Dakota.

“We just feel that pushing a button on a computer to kill an animal somewhere in some other state is not really considered hunting as far as North Dakota sportsmen’s go,” he said.

No one opposed the bill. The Senate Natural Resources Committee did not take immediate action.

One thought on “N.D. bill seeks to ban Internet hunting

  1. Foster Hager’s statement wreaks with irony. I’ll try to stay on topic, Teri, but I couldn’t help but think of Global Hawk programs and the like when reading the following, “We just feel that pushing a button on a computer to kill an animal somewhere in some other state is not really considered hunting as far as North Dakota sportsmen’s go”. Sadly, we’re killing civilians in other states (countries in this sense) with UAV’s more than ever before in this country’s history. So if internet hunting is unethical, flying UAV missions with hellfire missiles is dehumanizing.

    But speaking directly to internet hunting, I’d like to know more about specific reasons why this should be opposed. I’m sure it goes against everything in an outdoorsman’s blood. And one could use the handicapped exception to the rule to make an argument for it. But it’s not that different than shopping at Walmart and buying meat from a butcher. The hinge word is hunting. Call it something else, and it wouldn’t bother anyone. “High Fenced Hunting” “Internet Hunting”, very similar.

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