September 23, 2020

U.S. Supreme Court Will Not Hear South Dakota Road Hunting Dispute

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The United States Supreme court announced that it will not hear Benson vs. South Dakota, a road hunting dispute in South Dakota. From Keloland.com comes the story.

The US Supreme Court has decided not to consider a South Dakota ruling that upheld the constitutionality of a 2003 state law allowing road hunters to shoot pheasants over private property.

The high court announced today it will not hear Benson v. South Dakota. That means the South Dakota Supreme Court’s January ruling in the case stands.

South Dakota’s law was passed after the state Supreme Court declared in 2002 that it is criminal trespassing to shoot game birds over private property without landowner permission. Birds could be legally shot only within the right of way while road hunting.

The 2003 Legislature then passed pass a road-hunting law allowing people to shoot birds over private property if the birds take flight from roads and ditches or fly over them.

Ranch couples from Tripp and Jerauld counties challenged the law, arguing that it was unconstitutional because private property is taken or made available to the public without paying landowners for that use.

The lawsuit was filed by Bob and Judith Benson of Winner and Jeff and Tricia Messmer of Wessington Springs.

Tom Remington

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