Serious Question: Can You Legally Shoot Bigfoot In North Dakota?
Let's say you're enjoying a leisurely walk in the woods along the Missouri River and you happen to run into a Bigfoot. You just so happen to be packing, can you decide to shoot the Sasquatch legally in North Dakota?
I've been watching the TV show "Expedition Bigfoot" on the Travel Channel the last couple of Sunday nights and it got me thinking? If Bigfoot is an actual animal of some kind why hasn't a hunter shot one? Is it even legal to do so?
According to an article on Mental Floss, there's actually one state where they have legalized shooting a Bigfoot and that is Texas. The law goes as follows, "If the commission does not specifically list an indigenous, non-game species, then the species is considered non-protected non-game wildlife [...] A non-protected non-game animal may be hunted on private property with landowner consent by any means, at any time. So, since Bigfoot isn't recognized as an official species by the state of Texas it's game on with the proper license and permission, of course.
There is a state however that has actually protected Bigfoot and that is the state of Washington. It was originally a felony to shoot a Bigfoot with a lot of prison time. They have since downgraded that law to a misdemeanor, one year behind bars, and a $1000 dollar fine. Other states like California and Oregon don't have a specific law protecting Bigfoot, however, any animal not classified under wildlife laws is considered prohibited.
What about North Dakota? Presumably, there are not many Bigfoots running around the prairie with our lack of trees. I do recall a reported Bigfoot sighting near Ellendale, North Dakota back in 2017. It was later determined that was probably a hoax. According to the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization, we've only had a total of 6 Bigfoot sightings in our state EVER. That's the third-fewest in the country, but can you legally shoot a Bigfoot?
The answer is complicated. According to a representative from law enforcement with the North Dakota Game & Fish, who laughed out loud when I asked her the question, "It does not fall under their jurisdiction." She did add that there are no laws regarding Bigfoot in North Dakota. I also checked with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the law enforcement officer said more of the same and added that he doesn't believe Bigfoot is a federally protected animal.
Before you grab the gun and start hunting keep one very important thing in mind. Since we do not have a specific law saying that killing a Bigfoot is legal, you could be opening yourself up to some serious legal problems. Let's say somebody is playing a prank and is dressed up in a gorilla suit. You kill a Bigfoot that turns out to be a human and you will be charged with murder. At the very least you're going to get manslaughter. YIKES! Now if the Bigfoot is threatening you or your family, you might have a case to shoot with the new "Stand Your Ground" law that was passed in 2021. However, could be an issue proving such a thing in a court of law. Just saying.
Probably the best thing to do is take a picture or video and let the animal or whatever it is alone. Just saying, since 98% of all sightings are probably some sort of hoax.
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