Just wanted to toss out one fyi from the friendly neighborhood lawyer as I have seen here and elsewhere some passing references to shooting various asundry birds for target practice. All migratory birds are protected by federal law and it is a federal criminal offense to shoot them with any gun at anytime. The only exception to this basic rule are birds classified as game birds which have regulated hunting seasons, and then they are generally restricted to hunting with a shotgun. For non-migratory birds, most states have either identical or substantially similar laws. What are the odds of being caught? - Pretty low with the current low priority on conservation and game law enforcement in most areas. However, if you are caught, the penalties potentially are very severe and generally in the federal system there are no "first offense" slaps on the wrists. Remember all of that "tough on crime" rhetoric. If you break this law and are convicted, you are now a criminal who committed a "gun offense." An offense with a firearm in the federal system is very likely to lead to real prison time with significant fines, and likely the loss of the right to own a firearm for the remainder of your life. Again, the risk of being caught is low, but if it is the wrong place at the wrong time, you made the choice and will suffer the consequence. Also, even if there is no criminal prosecution, this is the kind of activity that is prone to stir up anti-hunting sentiments. Here in Texas, there have been two instances of hunters shooting and killing whooping cranes in the last 15 years. The most recent incident involved someone hunting ducks out of season, so he was in trouble even before the game warden found the whooping crane. One more point of legal trivia, most states generally prohibit the taking of any bird with a rifle, even when in season and classified as a gamebird. Again, in most states this would be classified as a "gun crime" and potentially subject the shooter to potentially serious legal consequences. So please think before you shoot.
Very timely post and a good general warning. In addition to all the bad stuff Jeff said, you can get your truck and guns confiscated and sold at an auction just like if you were a drug dealer.
Some states have a depredation clause for crows, foxes blackbirds etc that deals with crop damage. Black birds is one of the most troubling of all of the birds because there is a state by state lsiting of which ones can be shot in which state and which ones are protected. Coloration of the females is difficult to determine and the males is very hard. In most states starlings and some of the blackbirds are legal. I used to enjoy shooting blackbirds but it is so very tricky which ones are which that I don't dare anymore
You have to go up on the Fed website under the migratory bird treaty and search for your state through a whole bunch of federal regulations and then get you a Petersens bird guide to figure it out.
O O, here's what I found: Darn [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]
Magpies are protected as migratory non-game birds under the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Under the Federal Codes of Regulation (CFR 50, 21.43) it is stated, however, that &#65533;a Federal permit shall not be required to control . . . magpies, when found committing or about to commit depredations upon ornamental or shade trees, agricultural crops, livestock, or wildlife, or when concentrated in such numbers as to constitute a health hazard or other nuisance. . . .&#65533; Most state or local regulations are similar, but consult authorities before taking any magpies.
and crows in Idaho:
DAILY BAG AND
2004: OCT 1, 2004–JAN 31, 2005
2005: OCT 1, 2005–JAN 31, 2006
SEASONS, BAG AND POSSESSION LIMITS - STATEWIDE
Jeff, I guess I needed that......Thanks for the wakeup call
I may be the slowest guy on the mountain . . . . but . . . . I'm on the mountain!