HOUSE BILL NO.
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
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; and
WHEREAS, fair chase means that hunted
animals have a right to be able to hear a hunter coming.
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
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/.
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