North Dakota Captive Hunting Petition (2008)

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The Captive Hunting Petition is a initiative in North Dakota that proposed making it a crime to receive payment for killing or attempted killing of privately owned big game species. If it passed, it would have created a new state statute that would be implemented in November of 2010. However, supporters failed to collect sufficient valid signatures to place the measure on the ballot.

Ballot summary

The measure will:

  • Eliminate canned shooting of captive big-game species inside escape-proof fences for fees.
  • Same for exotic non-native mammals, (ex. Russian Wild Boar).
  • Eliminate computer-controlled remotely fired weapons for canned shooting.

If prosecuted of the crime a person would be guilty of a class A misdemeanor. An exception is provided in the proposed law for a government employee or agent to control an animal population, to prevent or control diseases, or when government action is otherwise require or authorized by law.[1]


North Dakota Hunters for Fair Chase is a grassroots committee that opposes captive hunting. The group believes that hunting within fences with tamed animals is "mercenary and unethical."[2][3]

Barnes County Wildlife Federation has also endorsed the measure.


Opponents believe the measure will violate property rights and a similar bill failed in the North Dakota Legislature this year.[4]

Wayne Laaveg, of Park River, the president of the North Dakota Elk Growers, said the state has helped finance development of game preserves. "For somebody else to come in and say, 'Well, we don't like it, so we're going to take it completely away from you, and if you go totally broke and get kicked off your land, well, tough luck' ... that is completely wrong," Laaveg said.[5]


Supporters of the initiative turned in 12,964 signatures on Aug. 5, 2008, to the North Dakota Secretary of State. To qualify the initiative for the November 2008 ballot in North Dakota, 12,844 valid signatures are needed.[6]

A cushion of only 120 signatures is far from a safe bet, according to Roger Kaseman, initiative campaign chairman. "It's going to be nail-biting time," Kaseman said. "We'll just wait and hope for the best."[6]

On August 11, the Secretary of State's office announced that the measure had failed. They disqualified 164 signatures.[7]

See also

External links