Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks to Introduce
Un-silent Hunter Bill
March 29, 2012
HELENA, MONT. - Expressing concerns about the "fairness" of
hunting, the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks (DFWP)
announced today that it will seek passage of its new "un-silent
hunter" bill in the next legislative session. (See bill draft HERE).
This trailbreaking approach to hunting would require all hunters
to make a certain amount of noise while traveling to hunt, and
while actually hunting. Hunters would be required to remove
mufflers from any vehicles registered to them for the duration of
hunting season, wear a bell while walking, and archers would be
required to blow a canned air horn upon release of an arrow.
Addison Bioev, spokesman for DFWP explained, "It is just not fair
for hunters to be able to sneak up on unsuspecting wildlife.
We need to level the playing field to make the hunt an actual
'fair chase.' There's not much chasing going on now, the way
the laws have been so far. Plus, the use of unmuffeled
vehicles will make the job of game wardens ever so much
easier. We especially like the requirement that poachers
notify the Department of their planned poaching 24 hours in
advance. This will give a much-needed boost to game wardens'
When asked if this proposal might be in conflict with the right to
hunt in the Montana Constitution, Bioev commented, "That's exactly
why we have so many lawyers on staff at the Department. We
all know that the side with the most lawyers wins. We have
unlimited resources to hire as many lawyers as needed. Heck,
we could raise the price of hunting licenses right up to
$5,000. Think how much money we'd have then to hire lawyers
to protect wildlife."
An observer wondered if DFWP understands anything about market
forces, remarking that if DFWP raised the price of licenses to
$5,000 then nobody would buy them, leaving DFWP totally broke.
When challenged with this, Bioev responded that knowledge about
market forces was not in his job description, stating that DFWP
"Doesn't hire MBAs because DFWP is not a business." He
continued, "While my expertise is in public relations, DFWP mostly
hires people with academic degrees in bat biology, toad biology
and songbird biology. You'd be surprised" he said "at how
important toads are in Montana ecosystems."
The idea for the un-silent hunter bill actually came from a
special focus group assembled by DFWP, Bioev explained.
Members of this focus group were drawn from highly educated people
in academia. When asked if any members of the focus group
were hunters, Bioev replied, "There is no law requiring a person
to have a hunting license to participate in a focus group.
In fact, requiring that would probably be unconstitutional."
DFWP plans to have its un-silent hunter bill introduced early in
the 2013 legislative session. It will take advantage of the
intervening hunting season to make sound recordings in Montana
wilderness areas, recordings it can play in legislative hearings
to impress legislators with how stealthy and silent hunters are
without reasonable regulation.