This law represents Montana's hunter harassment law. Under the law, a person may not intentionally interfere with the lawful taking of a wild animal or fishing by another, which includes disturbing a wild animal by engaging in actions or the placement of objects/substances to prevent its taking. This section does not prohibit a landowner or lessee from taking reasonable measures to prevent imminent danger to domestic livestock and equipment.
(1)(a) A person may not:
(i) intentionally interfere with the lawful taking of a wild animal or fishing by another;
(ii) with intent to prevent or hinder its lawful taking or its capture, disturb a wild animal or engage in an activity or place in its way any object or substance that will tend to disturb or otherwise affect the behavior of a wild animal; or
(iii) disturb an individual engaged in the lawful taking of a wild animal or fishing with intent to prevent the taking of the animal or the capture of the fish.
(b) This subsection (1) does not:
(i) prohibit a landowner or lessee from taking reasonable measures to prevent imminent danger to domestic livestock and equipment; or
(ii) prohibit or curtail normal landowner operations or lawful uses of water.
(2) A person convicted of or who forfeits bond or bail after being charged with a violation of this section shall be fined not more than $500 or be imprisoned for not more than 30 days, or both. In addition, the person may be subject to forfeiture of any current hunting, fishing, or trapping license issued by this state and the privilege to hunt, fish, and trap in this state or to use state lands, as defined in 77-1-101, for recreational purposes for a period of time set by the court.
(3) A person convicted of or who forfeits bond or bail after being charged with a second or subsequent violation of this section within 5 years shall be fined not less than $500 or more than $1,000 or be imprisoned for not more than 6 months, or both. In addition, the person shall forfeit any current hunting, fishing, or trapping license issued by this state and the privilege to hunt, fish, and trap in this state for 24 months from the date of conviction or forfeiture of bond or bail unless the court imposes a longer period.
(4) A court of general jurisdiction may enjoin conduct in violation of this section upon petition by a person affected or who reasonably may be affected by that conduct and upon a showing that the conduct is threatened or that it has occurred on a particular premises in the past and that it is not unreasonable to expect that under similar circumstances it will be repeated.
(5) As used in this section:
(a) “fishing” means the lawful means of fishing as described in 87-6-501;
(b) “taking” means the pursuit, hunting, trapping, shooting, or killing of a wild animal on land upon which the affected person has the right or privilege to pursue, hunt, trap, shoot, or kill the wild animal; and
(c) “wild animal” means a game animal, migratory game bird, upland game bird, fur-bearing animal, predatory animal, or fish.
Enacted by Laws 2011, ch. 258, § 16, eff. Oct. 1, 2011. Amended by Laws 2015, ch. 408, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2015.