The Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) will no longer issue non-lethal “cracker shells” as a way of scaring off intrusive wild animals.
The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) issued a letter last November announcing that all explosive pest-control devices are only to be issued to individuals with a federal explosive license.
However, IDFG employees are still determining how that affects cracker shells.
Cracker shells are shotgun shells containing an explosive projectile designed to explode about 50-75 yards from the point of discharge. The shells are fired from a single-barrel shotgun aimed directly above animals to scare them away from farms, roadways, and other areas.
IDFG in the past distributed the shells to landowners. Both parties may need the explosive license to use them now.
“This decision is still relatively new to us, so while we are no longer issuing them, we are still looking into if the cracker shell falls under the ‘explosive’ category,” said IDFG spokesman Mike Keckler.
Former President George W. Bush signed the Safe Explosives Act in 2002. Since then, various agencies across the nation have struggled to define what could or could not be classified as an explosive.