Journal Title

The Kentucky Journal of Equine, Agriculture, & Natural Resources Law





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Many academic legal articles begin with sweeping statements concerning the majesty of law, often noting that "the life of the law has not been logic: it has been experience" and that "the law embodies the story of a nation's development through many centuries, and it cannot be dealt with as if it contained only the axioms and corollaries of a book of mathematics." This is not one of those articles, as it gets straight to the point, asking the question that's on everyone's mind: if you're walking next to a stream, river, lake, or pond, and you happen to see a fish—are you allowed to shoot it with a gun?

One might wonder how common such a practice may be, but this only reveals a failure to spend enough time with the right folks in northwest Iowa near shallow streams that tend to overflow with carp at certain times of the year. With the proliferation of invasive fish species, such as carp, scholarship addressing when and where it is legal to use one's full arsenal to combat these creatures is a useful-if not vital-public service. Indeed, in the case of carp, some bold individuals have chosen to shoot first and ask questions later. While legal scholars have hinted at the scope of laws restricting the shooting of fish, there has yet to be a systematic review of the law of shooting fish with guns.

Recommended Citation

Michael L. Smith, Shooting Fish, 12 Ky. J. Equine Agric. & Nat. Resources L. 187 (2019).



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