November 30, 2020

Montana Governor Bullock’s Plan to Eliminate Archery Hunting

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

*Editor’s Note* – This information came to me via Gary Marbut of the Montana Shooting Sports Association I had nothing to do with it’s “craftiness.”

Hunters Outraged over Governor’s Plan to Eliminate Archery Hunting
April 1, 2013

HELENA, MONT. Speaking on behalf of Montana hunters, the Montana Shooting Sports Association expressed its outrage over plans just disclosed by Montana Governor Steve Bullock to eliminate archery hunting for big game in Montana. According to the Governor’s strategy, if he can’t get the Legislature to pass a bill eliminating archery hunting altogether, he will administratively direct the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks to adjust the duration of archery season to only one minute for one day of the year.

Commenting from the Governor’s Office, Bullock declared, “It is already established public policy that silent hunting is unacceptable because it creates insurmountable enforcement problems. In order to be consistent, I felt it necessary to extend that policy to archery, and I do want public policy to be consistent. Clearly, silent hunting make it harder to enforce hunting rules. I do not see the need for silent weapons for hunting. I believe most Montanans would agree,” Bullock wrote.

As an alternative to an outright ban on archery hunting, Bullock is proposing a bill that would overcome the enforcement deficit associated with silent hunting. The bill would require all hunters to remove the mufflers from their hunting vehicles whenever a hunter is on a hunting trip, would require archery hunters to blow a blast on a canned air horn each time they release an arrow, and would require poachers to notify FWP 24 hours in advance of any intent to poach game animals in Montana.

“These policies should help FWP enforcement personnel do their job of protecting the precious wildlife resource for the Montana public,” Bullock continued.

Commenting from the University of Montana School of Law, Professor Justus Marshal took exception to the Governor’s plan. “While eliminating silent hunting may be good public policy, requiring would-be criminals to announce their crimes to authorities in advance, or by noisemaking, will clearly violate their constitutionally-protected freedom from self-incrimination. Therefore, this proposed new law, even as it relates to mandated noise-making, cannot be applied to poachers, but only to those who have no intent to break the law. Conversely, nobody who fails to comply with the proposed law can be prosecuted for failing to incriminate himself.”

In a prepared statement on the proposed archery termination plan and the alternate bill, MSSA observed, “The Governor appears to be making a lot of noise about making noise. We’d prefer him to make sense. If Bullock’s goal is for Montana archery hunters to make noise, we think he will accomplish that, politically speaking at least.”

===============

(Draft Governor’s Bill)
HOUSE BILL NO.

INTRODUCED BY

A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: “AN ACT REQUIRING HUNTERS TO MAKE NOISE THROUGHOUT HUNTING SEASON, INCLUDING REQUIRING ARCHERS TO MAKE NOISE UPON ARROW LAUNCH, REQUIRING HUNTERS TO WEAR BELLS, AND PROHIBITING USE OF MUFFLERS ON VEHICLES USED BY HUNTERS; REQUIRING ADVANCE NOTIFICATION BY POACHERS; AND PROVIDING AN IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE DATE.”

WHEREAS, section 87-3-123, MCA, currently prohibits the possession of sound reduction devices on firearms in the field or forest or while hunting; and

WHEREAS, section 87-3-123, MCA, does not go far enough; and

WHEREAS, landowners have a right to know when any person is on or near the landowner’s land;

WHEREAS, persons who might trespass onto a landowners land must be required to make sufficient noise at all times that their locations may be readily ascertained;

WHEREAS, fair chase means that hunted animals have a right to be able to hear a hunter coming; and

WHEREAS, enforcement authorities have the right to be able to easily detect violators.

THEREFORE, BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:

NEW SECTION. Section 1. Vehicle mufflers illegal. Every person who purchases and holds a Montana conservation license is prohibited from using any type of muffler or sound suppression device on any motor vehicle operated by that person during the full duration of any regular or special hunting season. This prohibition applies throughout the hunting season whether the license holder is actively hunting or not.

NEW SECTION. Section 2. Sound alarm for archery hunting. Every person who purchases or holds a license to hunt any game animal with archery equipment must at all times possess an air horn operated by compressed gas capable of emitting a sound of 150 decibels or more. During the period for which archery equipment is allowed for hunting, every person releasing an arrow from a bow must also release at least a one-second sound from the compressed gas air horn within ten seconds of releasing any arrow.

NEW SECTION. Section 3. Hunter bells required. Every hunter must wear on or about his person a bell or similar device which will emit a ringing sound of a minimum of 60 decibels upon every step the hunter takes with his right foot, including a prosthetic foot.

NEW SECTION. Section 4. Poaching advanced notification required. Any person intending to hunt illegally without the sound-producing devices required by [sections 1 through 3] must notify the department a minimum of 24 hours in advance of the intended activity, and the location of the intended activity to the nearest quarter section. Any such person must also wear a blinking light while hunting illegally, such light to be readily identifiable by a department warden.

NEW SECTION. Section 5. No defense; no damages. It is no defense against prosecution under [Sections 1 through 3] that a person has, has had, or may incur hearing damage because of sound levels allowed or required. No person may claim damages because of the sounds imposed under [Sections 1 through 3].

NEW SECTION. Section 6. Nuisance complaints not allowed. No person may make a nuisance complaint to any public authority and no public authority may act on any nuisance complaint because of sounds generated as a result of [Sections 1 through 3].

NEW SECTION, Section 7. Controlling law. [Sections 1 through 3] prevail over any other statute that may require people or motor vehicles to be kept quiet.

NEW SECTION. Section 8. Penalty. Any person convicted of having violated any of [Sections 1 through 3] is guilty of a felony and may be fined not to exceed $250,000 and imprisoned in the state prison for a term not to exceed 100 years, or both.

NEW SECTION. Section 9. Effect of vote. Any legislator who votes in favor of this bill is deemed to have provided sufficient reason for reelection, is deemed to have been reelected, and may not be required to actually stand for election in order to serve another term in the Montana Legislature, any other laws to the contrary notwithstanding.

NEW SECTION. Section 10. Clarification of intent. Any person who fails to understand the dire need for this legislation is referred to http://www.theonion.com/.

Share