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Old 08-11-2003, 10:38 AM   #1
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: North East Illinois
Posts: 140
Default Coyotes from treestand problems?

Awhile back I posted a possible " problem" with shooting coyotes from a treestand in Illinois. I contacted the Illinois DNR with my question and have finally received a response.
The bottom line is that it is illegal to take a furbearing mammal with a " tree climbing device" , and a climbing stand would fall into that catagory. Now, this was not the orginal intent of this law, but it does kinda fall into it.

I dont think MOST would have a problem with this situation, but just a word to the wise. I truly dont believe that a warden would write you up if this were to happen, but then again, you never know....
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Old 08-11-2003, 11:34 AM   #2
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Shreveport, LA
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Default RE: Coyotes from treestand problems?

I didn' t even realize that a coyote was considered a fur bearing animal! They are preditors down here. I need to check into that!! Thanks fer the heads up.
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Old 08-11-2003, 11:48 AM   #3
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Shreveport, LA
Posts: 305
Default RE: Coyotes from treestand problems?


Yup.... It' s a fur bearer

Hunting Furbearers in Arkansas

Coyote
Description
Season Dates
Limits

First Season
September 1-February 29, 2004
No Limit; Dogs allowed.
Second Season
May 15-June 13, 2004
No Limit; No Dogs
Coyotes may not be hunted with shotguns using rifled slugs or shot larger than T shot or with firearms larger than .30 caliber. When a modern gun deer season is open, hunting equipment legal for that season may be used.

Coyotes may not be hunted with muzzleloading rifles or pistols larger than .40 caliber unless a firearms deer or bear season is open. When a muzzleloader deer or bear season is open, coyotes may be hunted with hunting equipment legal for that hunt.

Coyotes may be taken without the use of dogs during daylight hours of the declared spring turkey seasons. Only shotguns with shot legal for turkey may be used during open turkey season. No limit on coyotes. Coyotes may not be shot or trapped at night, except during the regular furbearer season when treed by dogs.

How this reads, I guess you can shoot them from a climber. While deer hunting that is.

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Old 08-11-2003, 12:33 PM   #4
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Illinois
Posts: 1,862
Default RE: Coyotes from treestand problems?

Woody has confirmed that the chief drawback(s) of having too many laws on the books, games codes or otherwise, is that the true intent of the law as legislated becomes confused due to vagueness (wording), contradictory sections, and misinterpretation of intent by the enforcing officer who fails to clearly understand the law that he or she is enforcing. It has been my experience that conservation officers are often the worse offenders of misinterpretation.

The Illinois game code regarding the use of a climbing device to take furbearing animals has been on the books for a very long time, and is a good example of vagueness of intent.

The actual intent of this particular law was/is (primarily) to make it unlawful for " coon hunters" to use any type of climbing device to climb a tree, or any other manmade or natural elevated structure, to hand-capture live raccoons or kill a raccoon coon, or any other furbearing animal, in/on the tree (structure) or in its den.

However, knowing that laws are constantly revised, I checked with my local DNR office regarding the interpretation for today regarding the climbing device law vs. hunting coyotes from any elevation position, mainly a treestand of any type.

As the officer said, if the law did make it unlawful to hunt/kill coyotes from any type of treestand, he was in serious trouble. He said that he has killed many coyotes from his treestand. I did not ask with bow or gun because it was irrelevant being it is not unlawful (unless specifically prohibited in certain state sites) to hunt from a tree with gun or bow.

He verified his understanding of the law with his Captain whom was standing nearby. The Captain said that the best way to interpret the " climbing device" law is to say: " It is not unlawful to hunt coyotes from a treestand of any type."

Does that mean you will never run into an officer with an opposite interpretation. No! If you do, you have two choices;

1) Advise the officer that you have confirmed that the code does not apply to hunting coyotes (or fox, or other forbearing animals) from a tree stand, but that you will not argue the law in the field. Tell him or her that you will politely accept a citation and present your argument in court.

2) Tell the officer that he or she needs to go back to conservation law school, and that he or she should be trying to apprehend serious offenders rather than wasting your tax money on petty stuff, especially when you appear to know the law better than he or she does. It might also help to throw in a few comments about possible heredity influence regarding ignorance.
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Old 08-11-2003, 01:19 PM   #5
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: North East Illinois
Posts: 140
Default RE: Coyotes from treestand problems?

Quote:
Does that mean you will never run into an officer with an opposite interpretation. No! If you do, you have two choices;

1) Advise the officer that you have confirmed that the code does not apply to hunting coyotes (or fox, or other forbearing animals) from a tree stand, but that you will not argue the law in the field. Tell him or her that you will politely accept a citation and present your argument in court.

Not trying to start anything here, but this answer came from above the local ISP office. I went to Springfield orginally with my question, and this answer came several months later after a review by legal. I realize that this is a very gray area, which is the whole reason that I went to this level. Having worked in the Law Enforcement Profession for many years, I too understand that some laws are outdated and need to be changed. That does not, however, change the fact that they are still there.

The whole purpose of this post was to make others aware that it exists. Do I think that there is a good possibility of one getting a ticket? More than likely, no. But, if one were to take the second method you described, I can pretty much promise that there will be a ticket written.

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Old 08-11-2003, 01:27 PM   #6
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: North East Illinois
Posts: 140
Default RE: Coyotes from treestand problems?

Sorry, but I felt the need to include part of the response that I got.

... and their answer is a
tree-climbing stand would be considered a tree-climbing devise and a
coyote is a fur-bearing mammal therefore it would be illegal to take or
attempt to take a coyote from a climbing tree stand.... However, this was not the original intent of the law. The law was intended to prevent coon hunters from getting raccoons out of den trees.To change the law a legislative change would be necessary. All that being said , many officers use discretion in this situation and
treat each situation differently. a call to your local officer would be
advised prior to hunting.


So, I guess that you are ok in the area that you hunt as the local officer feels differently. However, that does not mean that every officer will see it the same way.
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Old 08-11-2003, 02:36 PM   #7
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Illinois
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Default RE: Coyotes from treestand problems?

Shows to go you how screwed up bureaucrats can be. They are infamous for not being able to get their acts together.

I have been bowhunting since 1964. In all the years I have bow-hunted, it has always been commonplace and openly known that bowhunters and gun users hunt coyotes from trees and treestands.

As common as the knowledge has been...for years, if it was illegal you can be guaranteed the law-enforcement arm of DNR would be out banging some butt to get the message out. They have not and they do not.

If they were to classify a " climbing stand" as a " climbing device" within the meaning of the law, and to use one (a climbing stand) to shoot coyotes that are on the ground constitutes an unlawful act, then you cannot shoot coyotes from any elevated height if you used a " climbing device" to ascend e.g., screw-in steps, ladder, nailed or steps, climbing pole, ladder-stand, climbing spikes, rope, etc.
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Old 08-11-2003, 03:07 PM   #8
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Mt. Vernon IL USA
Posts: 44
Default RE: Coyotes from treestand problems?

IL sure does have some ridiculous laws. My grandpa has a pond with a lot of catfish in it so I decided to bowfish them. A friend of mine told me that it was illegal. I sent an e-mail to the DNR and they said it was illegal to shoot catfish out of any private pond. I know catfish aren' t a legal species, but I thought that referred to public water. I think if you dig a pond and pay to have it stocked then you ought to be able to do whatever you want with the fish. I can believe the state even thinks they have jurisdiction over private farm ponds. So many of the laws are wrote to be interpreted one way, but can also be other ways. It really gets things messed up.

Bill Davis
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