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Old 05 December 2009, 08:12 PM
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Vanishing $10,000 Fine for Killing Bigfoot

I was having lunch with some colleagues yesterday, and one of them mentioned this "fact" I'd never heard before. He said in the state of Washington there is a law on the books that imposes a $10,000 fine for killing Bigfoot. He says the law was enacted during the Teddy Roosevelt administration, when the Pacific Northwest was still considered the frontier, I guess. He said at that time people had heard stories about Bigfoot from the natives, and were unsure as to whether such a creature existed, and decided to create a law to protect it just in case it did.

Has anyone else ever heard this story?
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  #2  
Old 05 December 2009, 08:20 PM
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Was there much of a drive for animal protection laws in general at the time?
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Old 05 December 2009, 08:30 PM
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Teddy R. was very big on conservation and he championed a fair number of animal conservation and protection laws.
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Old 05 December 2009, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddylizard View Post
Was there much of a drive for animal protection laws in general at the time?
I don't know about animal protection laws specifically, but I do think the mention of Teddy Roosevelt is key to this myth, being a conservationist as jimmy says.
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  #5  
Old 05 December 2009, 08:33 PM
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Though it rarely stopped him from shooting animals, I note.
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  #6  
Old 05 December 2009, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Chloe View Post
Though it rarely stopped him from shooting animals, I note.
I know you are going to find this quite shocking, but a whole lot of hunters are conservationists. In fact, it may be safe to say that the only ones who are not are not very forward thinking; if you do not conserve animals today, there will not be enough to hunt tomorrow.
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Old 05 December 2009, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by geminilee View Post
I know you are going to find this quite shocking, but a whole lot of hunters are conservationists. In fact, it may be safe to say that the only ones who are not are not very forward thinking; if you do not conserve animals today, there will not be enough to hunt tomorrow.
Be ready to be shocked in return; I am well aware that hunters are often conservationists! Eleventy!

Reasons for being conservationists are manifold; among them, "I'm afraid there won't be anything left for me to kill" does not rank very highly on my ethical scale.
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Old 05 December 2009, 09:12 PM
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There could be a law that makes it illegal to shoot rare animals, and in its definition of rare animals, includes some language along the lines of "newly discovered native species, whose population is undetermined." That would include a lot of things, from a North American wild boar, to a small rodent that gets into grain stores, and farmers would be anxious to eradicate, to an eight-foot-tall, bipedal hominid.

$10,000 is pretty steep for the time, though; I mean, why impose a fine that there was no hope of collecting in full, or that might be so high as to be ruled unconstitutional?

Also, Washington was admitted as a state in the 1880s, and Roosevelt became president in 1901, when McKinley was assassinated, so Washington was a fully fledged state, not "frontier."

Anyone who is from Washington willing to check the books and get back to us?
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  #9  
Old 05 December 2009, 09:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chloe View Post
Be ready to be shocked in return; I am well aware that hunters are often conservationists! Eleventy!
Pardon me. You seemed somewhat surprised, or at least to think it was at odds with hunting.

Quote:
Reasons for being conservationists are manifold; among them, "I'm afraid there won't be anything left for me to kill" does not rank very highly on my ethical scale.
Ok. I am fairly sure you do a whole bunch of things that do not meet other people's ethical standards. What exactly is your point?
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  #10  
Old 05 December 2009, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geminilee View Post
Pardon me. You seemed somewhat surprised, or at least to think it was at odds with hunting.
Not at all. I brought it up only in case people thought Roosevelt's concern for conservation meant he was an animal lover.

Quote:
Ok. I am fairly sure you do a whole bunch of things that do not meet other people's ethical standards. What exactly is your point?
That anyone being impressed by Roosevelt being a conservationist should note that he was also a hunter. And of course I do; we all do. What's your point in bringing that up?
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  #11  
Old 05 December 2009, 09:28 PM
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On June 10th 1994, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer ran a story called "A Bigfoot Print in the Bureaucracy."

Quote:
If there was ever any question whether Bigfoot is out there, you need only turn to Page 74 of a Metropolitan King County Council staff report on a wetlands ordinance.

There, under scores of "species . . . observed during wetland field visits" in small type is Bipedus giganticus (Sasquatch).

As if King County's wetlands aren't crowded already. The King County Wetlands Inventory lists mountain beaver, black bear, marsh shrews, spotted skunks and long-tailed weasels among 27 mammals. There's even a shrub called Rattlesnake Plantain sprouting someplace.

But Sasquatches?

"No, I think we know better than that," said Klaus Richter, wildlife biologist and senior ecologist with the Department of Development and Environmental Services. He said the department's Environmental Division compiled the list over the years.

Just who thought to put tongue in cheek and insert Bipedus giganticus between beavers and bobcats might never be known.

"There are probably quite a few people involved (in making the list) over several different years," Richter said. "We hire consultants to do some of the work."

When ordinances pertaining to sensitive areas and wetlands surface now and then, out comes the official King County Wetlands Inventory. If the Bigfoot entry was noticed before, it wasn't removed from the list.

"It probably would have taken more work to take it off," Richter said.
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  #12  
Old 05 December 2009, 10:26 PM
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To identify and formally record a species, you needed at least one dead specimen to act as an archetype (I'm fairly sure you still do, although it doesn't seem often discussed these days), and the usual way to get a dead specimen of a larger animal was to shoot it.

Lord_feldon's found an article indicating a possible origin of the idea, but nobody could have ever been fined for it, because even if they did shoot a "sasquatch", it wouldn't formally be a sasquatch until after that. They could choose a different scientific name from the one on the list, and they'd be safe. If they happened to designate it Bipedus giganticus then they could perhaps be fined in retrospect, but that would be a silly thing to do on several levels.
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  #13  
Old 05 December 2009, 11:15 PM
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My response to the whole thing is twofold:

1) It doesn’t establish the existence of Bigfoot - only science can do that. There might as well add unicorns and centaurs to the list.
2) Since I do not believe in Bigfoot I argue, “what’s the problem?” Since they don’t yet exist (and I doubt that they will), you have no risk of shooting one and getting fined.

did “does the law require it to have a BEH?” dy
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  #14  
Old 06 December 2009, 01:21 AM
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Quote:
Just who thought to put tongue in cheek and insert Bipedus giganticus between beavers and bobcats might never be known.
Oh, I think we do know. The ghost of Teddy Roosevelt. Bully!
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  #15  
Old 06 December 2009, 04:38 PM
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The real question is can you kill a Bigfoot that is riding a Unicorn?
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  #16  
Old 06 December 2009, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post
The real question is can you kill a Bigfoot that is riding a Unicorn?
You can try, but remember Elvis is on guard duty and might get you before you get them.
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  #17  
Old 06 December 2009, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddylizard View Post
You can try, but remember Elvis is on guard duty and might get you before you get them.
Only until 5:00. After that Bat Boy is in charge.
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  #18  
Old 06 December 2009, 06:17 PM
Singing in the Drizzle Singing in the Drizzle is offline
 
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I'm guessing hunting big foots would considered big game. After looking through the state hunting guide. I fail to see anywhere you could legally get a license to hunt these creatures. So if someone were to kill one, it would be covered under this law.

Quote:
RCW 77.15.410
Unlawful hunting of big game — Penalty.

(1) A person is guilty of unlawful hunting of big game in the second degree if the person:

(a) Hunts for, takes, or possesses big game and the person does not have and possess all licenses, tags, or permits required under this title;

(b) Violates any rule of the commission or director regarding seasons, bag or possession limits, closed areas including game reserves, closed times, or any other rule governing the hunting, taking, or possession of big game; or

(c) Possesses big game taken during a closed season for that big game or taken from a closed area for that big game.

(2) A person is guilty of unlawful hunting of big game in the first degree if the person was previously convicted of any crime under this title involving unlawful hunting, killing, possessing, or taking big game, and within five years of the date that the prior conviction was entered the person:

(a) Hunts for big game and does not have and possess all licenses, tags, or permits required under this title;

(b) Acts in violation of any rule of the commission or director regarding seasons, bag or possession limits, closed areas including game reserves, or closed times; or

(c) Possesses big game taken during a closed season for that big game or taken from a closed area for that big game.

(3)(a) Unlawful hunting of big game in the second degree is a gross misdemeanor. Upon conviction of an offense involving killing or possession of big game taken during a period of time when hunting for the particular species is not permitted, or in excess of the bag or possession limit, the department shall revoke all hunting licenses and tags and order a suspension of hunting privileges for two years.

(b) Unlawful hunting of big game in the first degree is a class C felony. Upon conviction, the department shall revoke all hunting licenses or tags and the department shall order the person's hunting privileges suspended for ten years.


[2005 c 406 4; 1999 c 258 3; 1998 c 190 10.]

The pentaly for a first degree offence is below. Five years in prision and/or $10,000 fine.


Quote:
RCW 9A.20.021
Maximum sentences for crimes committed July 1, 1984, and after.

(1) Felony. Unless a different maximum sentence for a classified felony is specifically established by a statute of this state, no person convicted of a classified felony shall be punished by confinement or fine exceeding the following:

(a) For a class A felony, by confinement in a state correctional institution for a term of life imprisonment, or by a fine in an amount fixed by the court of fifty thousand dollars, or by both such confinement and fine;

(b) For a class B felony, by confinement in a state correctional institution for a term of ten years, or by a fine in an amount fixed by the court of twenty thousand dollars, or by both such confinement and fine;

(c) For a class C felony, by confinement in a state correctional institution for five years, or by a fine in an amount fixed by the court of ten thousand dollars, or by both such confinement and fine.

(2) Gross misdemeanor. Every person convicted of a gross misdemeanor defined in Title 9A RCW shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a maximum term fixed by the court of not more than one year, or by a fine in an amount fixed by the court of not more than five thousand dollars, or by both such imprisonment and fine.

(3) Misdemeanor. Every person convicted of a misdemeanor defined in Title 9A RCW shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a maximum term fixed by the court of not more than ninety days, or by a fine in an amount fixed by the court of not more than one thousand dollars, or by both such imprisonment and fine.

(4) This section applies to only those crimes committed on or after July 1, 1984.


[2003 c 288 7; 2003 c 53 63; 1982 c 192 10.]


Notes:
Reviser's note: This section was amended by 2003 c 53 63 and by 2003 c 288 7, each without reference to the other. Both amendments are incorporated in the publication of this section under RCW 1.12.025(2). For rule of construction, see RCW 1.12.025(1).

Intent -- Effective date -- 2003 c 53: See notes following RCW 2.48.180.


Penalty assessments in addition to fine or bail forfeiture -- Crime victim and witness programs in county: RCW 7.68.035.
ETA: Teddy Roosevelt died about 50 years before the Reivesed Code or Washington was adpted. One would have to go to a law library that still carries those old laws to look it up.

Last edited by Singing in the Drizzle; 06 December 2009 at 06:23 PM.
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  #19  
Old 06 December 2009, 06:41 PM
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If there literally was only a single Bigfoot, it would be effectively extinct anyway.
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  #20  
Old 06 December 2009, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lord_feldon View Post
Just who thought to put tongue in cheek and insert Bipedus giganticus between beavers and bobcats might never be known.
Is it just me or does that sound really dirty...
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