Yesterday one of the emails from the South Carolina Judicial Department noted a CDR (Criminal Docket Report) code had been added for the offense of “Illegal night hunting of coyotes and armadillos,” otherwise known as S.C. Code §50-11-0710(A)(3). This subsection reads:
[C]oyotes and armadillos may be hunted at night with an artificial light that is carried on the hunter’s person attached to a helmet or hat, or part of a belt system worn by the hunter. Coyotes and armadillos may be hunted with a rifle or sidearm no larger than .22 caliber rimfire, a shotgun with a shot size no larger than a BB, or a sidearm of any caliber that has iron sites and a barrel length not exceeding nine inches. Any weapon used to hunt coyotes or armadillos may not be equipped with a butt-stock, scope, laser site, or light emitting or light enhancing device. It is unlawful to have in one’s possession any shot size larger than a BB while legally hunting coyotes and armadillos at night with a shotgun, and coyotes and armadillos may not be hunted at night from a vehicle, unless specifically permitted by the department. A person who violates this item is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than thirty days, or both.
Prior to receiving that email, I was unaware our state was having issues with “illegal night hunting of coyotes and armadillos.” However, I am impressed that someone in our state recognized this problem and obviously put a great deal of thought in the proper and improper ways to hunt coyotes and armadillos at night.
Myriad interesting issues are raised by this statute subsection: Was anyone aware there was “legal” night hunting of these animals? Why did we need a separate statute to deal with nighttime and day time hunting? Why lump coyotes and armadillos together in one statute?
It’s as though some redneck genius–no pejorative connotation intended–spent days cogitating on the proper way to regulate the hunting of one particular canine species and something that looks like a mammalian pill bug. I would love to take the author of this new statute to some dive bar and have him or her explain the meaning of life to me. I’m sure it would be fascinating.
So let folks from other, more cosmopolitan, places spend their days contemplating the proper way to design a health care system or banking system. Here folks spend their time thinking about the proper ammunition size and whether one should be allowed to use laser sites for hunting armadillos at night. I’m no hunter but I’m certain that night time armadillo hunting is a whole lot more fun than determining proper medicare reimbursement rates for colonoscopies.
…And if there’s one thing I know about South Carolinians after nineteen years of living here, they sure love to have their fun.