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' effeciency."

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.