Missoula-Area Hunter Confronted by Anti-Hunting Advocate, Harassment Law Discussed
Montana's public lands are used for lots of different kinds of recreation, but sometimes folks don't see eye-to-eye on what is appropriate. Last week, Kevin, a local hunter in Missoula described an encounter with a man he met while leaving the Lolo National Forest.
"When I came out of the woods, there was an individual waiting for me by my vehicle. He took video of me with his cellphone and launched into an anti-hunting rant: he said that I shouldn't be hunting in the forest... that it was too dangerous."
Montana has hunter harassment laws, but they likely would not apply in a situation like the one Kevin experienced as no threats were made and he was back in his vehicle during the time of the incident. If this incident had happened in the field though, the outcome could be different. According to Montana Code Annotated 87-6-215, a person may not: "intentionally interfere with the lawful taking of a wild animal or fishing by another; with intent to prevent or hinder its lawful taking or its capture."
Warden Aaron Berg says this law has been enforced recently and would include things such as people making noise intentionally to scare away game near a hunter's tree stand. If one is caught harassing a hunter, it can result in a fine of up to $500 and up to 30 days in jail.