This section represents Tennessee's "Hunter Protection Act." The law makes it a Class C misdemeanor to interfere with the lawful taking of a wild animal by another with the intent to prevent the taking; disturb or engage in an activity that will tend to disturb a wild animal, with the intent to prevent the lawful taking; disturb a person engaged in lawful hunting with the intent to prevent the taking; enter or remain on land with intent to violate this section; fail to obey a peace officer's orders to desist from conduct in violation of this section; or use a drone with the intent to conduct video surveillance of private citizens who are lawfully hunting or fishing without obtaining the written consent of the persons being surveilled. A person affected by conduct in violation of this section may seek an injunction or recover damages, including punitive damages.
§ 70-4-301. Definitions
As used in this part, unless the context otherwise requires:
(1) “Taking” means the capture or killing of a wild animal and includes travel, camping, and other acts preparatory to taking that occur on lands or waters upon which the affected person has the right or privilege to take such wild animal;
(2) “Wild animal” means any wild creature, the taking of which is authorized by the fish and game laws of the state; and
(3) “Drone” means a drone as defined in § 39-13-609.
1985 Pub.Acts, c. 100, § 2; 2014 Pub.Acts, c. 629, § 1, eff. July 1, 2014.
§ 70-4-302. Crimes and offenses
(a) Any person who performs any of the following commits a Class C misdemeanor:
(1) Interferes with the lawful taking of a wild animal by another with intent to prevent the taking;
(2) Disturbs or engages in an activity that will tend to disturb wild animals, with intent to prevent their lawful taking;
(3) Disturbs another person who is engaged in the lawful taking of a wild animal or who is engaged in the process of taking, with intent to dissuade or otherwise prevent the taking;
(4) Enters or remains upon public lands, or upon private lands without permission of the owner or the owner's agent, with intent to violate this section;
(5) Fails to obey the order of a peace officer to desist from conduct in violation of this section if the officer observes such conduct, or has reasonable grounds to believe that the person has engaged in such conduct that day or that the person plans or intends to engage in such conduct that day on a specific premises; or
(6) Uses a drone with the intent to conduct video surveillance of private citizens who are lawfully hunting or fishing without obtaining the written consent of the persons being surveilled prior to conducting the surveillance.
(b) As used in subsection (a), “any person” means any individual, firm, association, company, partnership, corporation, public or private organization, institution or similar entity.
1985 Pub.Acts, c. 100, § 3; 1989 Pub.Acts, c. 591, § 113; 2014 Pub.Acts, c. 629, § 2, eff. July 1, 2014.
§ 70-4-303. Injunctions; damages; construction of law
(a) Any court may enjoin conduct that would be in violation of § 70-4-302 upon petition by a person affected or who reasonably may be affected by such conduct, upon a showing that such 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.
(b) A court may award damages to any person adversely affected by a violation of § 70-4-302, which may include an award for punitive damages. In addition to other items of special damage, the measure of damages may include expenditures of the affected person for license and permit fees, travel, guides, special equipment and supplies, to the extent that such expenditures were rendered futile by prevention of the taking of a wild animal.
(c) No provision of this part shall be construed to prohibit or otherwise restrict any landowner, tenant, or employee of a landowner from engaging in normal activities on or normal use of the land or property, and such activities or use shall not be deemed unlawful pursuant to any provision of this part. No provision of this part shall be construed so as to interfere with the right of the landowner to prohibit trespass upon the landowner's property by any person.
1985 Pub.Acts, c. 100, § 4.