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HOUSE BILL NO. 591
INTRODUCED BY M. BRAINARD
A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT GENERALLY REVISING FISH AND GAME LAWS; CONFORMING LAW ENFORCEMENT PRACTICES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF FISH, WILDLIFE, AND PARKS WITH THE PRACTICES OF OTHER LAW ENFORCEMENT ENTITIES; PROVIDING INCREASED OPPORTUNITIES FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES TO PARTICIPATE IN HUNTING WITH A COMPANION; CREATING A REASONABLE AND PRUDENT PERSON STANDARD FOR THE APPLICATION OF RULES FOR GAME IDENTIFICATION; AND AMENDING SECTIONS 87-1-207, 87-1-506, 87-2-103, AND 87-2-803, MCA."
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
Section 1. Section 87-1-207, MCA, is amended to read:
"87-1-207. Establishment of checking stations. The department is authorized to establish checking stations where
deemed the department considers it necessary to inspect licenses of hunters and fishermen anglers and to inspect any game
animals, fish, or fur-bearing animals in the possession of hunters and fishermen anglers. The conduct of and procedures
used by department personnel at a checking station must conform to the restrictions as provided by law on law enforcement
generally pertaining to roadblocks and searches."
Section 2. Section 87-1-506, MCA, is amended to read:
"87-1-506. Enforcement powers of wardens. (1) A warden may:
(a) serve a subpoena issued by a court for the trial of a violator of the fish and game laws;
(b) search, without a warrant, any tent not used as a residence, any boat, vehicle, box, locker, basket, creel, crate, game bag, or package, or their contents upon probable cause to believe that any fish and game law or department rule for the protection, conservation, or propagation of game, fish, birds, or fur-bearing animals has been violated;
(c) search, with a search warrant and accompanied by the sheriff or deputy sheriff of the county, any dwelling house or other building;
(d) except for indispensable parts of a game animal that constitute minimally essential evidentiary materials, seize game, fish, game birds, and fur-bearing animals and any parts of them taken or possessed in violation of the law or the rules of the department upon a finding, as provided in 87-1-112, and adjudication by a court of competent jurisdiction that a game animal was taken or killed illegally;
(e) seize and hold, subject to law or the orders of the department, devices that have been used to unlawfully take game, fish, birds, or fur-bearing animals upon adjudication by a court of competent jurisdiction that a game animal was taken or killed illegally;
(f) arrest, in accordance with Title 46, chapter 6, a violator of a fish and game law or rule of the department, violation of which is a misdemeanor;
(g) enforce the disorderly conduct and public nuisance laws, 45-8-101 and 45-8-111, as they apply to the operation of motorboats on all waters of the state;
(h) as provided for in 37-47-345, investigate and make arrests for violations of the provisions of Title 37, chapter 47, and of any rules adopted pursuant to that chapter relating to the regulation of outfitters and guides in the state; and
(i) exercise the other powers of peace officers in the enforcement of the fish and game laws, the rules of the department, and judgments obtained for violation of those laws or rules.
(2) Except as provided in subsection (1)(b), wardens shall observe the same standards for arrest, search, seizure, trespass, roadblocks, and other law enforcement activities as required by law for law enforcement personnel in this state.
(2)(3) The meat of game animals that are seized pursuant to subsection (1)(d) must be donated directly to the Montana
food bank network , or to public or charitable institutions, to the extent reasonably feasible. Any meat that the department is
unable to donate must be sold pursuant to 87-1-511, with the proceeds to be distributed as provided in 87-1-513(2)."
Section 3. Section 87-2-103, MCA, is amended to read:
"87-2-103. License required. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2), it is unlawful for a person to:
(a) hunt or trap or attempt to hunt or trap any game animal, any game bird, or any fur-bearing animal or to fish for any
fish within this state or possess within this state any game animal, game bird, fur-bearing animal, game fish, or parts of
those animals or birds, except as provided by law or as provided by the department;
(b) hunt or trap or attempt to hunt or trap any game animal, game bird, or fur-bearing animal or to fish for any fish,
except at the places and during the periods and in the manner defined by law or as defined by the department;
(c) hunt or trap or attempt to hunt or trap any game animal, game bird, or fur-bearing animal or fish for any fish within this state or possess, sell, purchase, ship, or reship any imported or other fur-bearing animal or parts of fur-bearing animals without first having obtained a proper license or permit from the department to do so; or
(d) trap or attempt to trap predatory animals or nongame wildlife without a license, as prescribed in 87-2-603, if that person is not a resident as defined in 87-2-102.
(2) The provisions of this section do not require a person who accompanies a licensed disabled hunter, as authorized
under 87-2-803(4), to be licensed in order to kill a game animal as a designated shooter, as authorized under 87-2-803(6),
or to attempt to kill a game animal that has been wounded by a disabled hunter when the disabled hunter is unable to pursue
and kill the wounded game animal. However, the person
must shall meet the qualifications for a license in the person's state
Section 4. Section 87-2-803, MCA, is amended to read:
"87-2-803. Persons with disabilities. (1) Persons with disabilities are entitled to fish and to hunt game birds with only a conservation license if they are residents of Montana not residing in an institution and are certified as disabled as prescribed by departmental rule.
(2) A resident of Montana who is certified as disabled by the department and who is not residing in an institution may purchase regular resident deer and elk licenses at one-half the fee paid by a resident who is 15 years of age or older and who is under 62 years of age.
(3) A resident or nonresident person with a disability who is certified as disabled by the department and who is not residing in an institution may carry a permit on a form prescribed by the department. A person with a disability who is issued a permit under this subsection is entitled to have the department stamp the permit with "Permission to Hunt From a Vehicle" if the person establishes to the satisfaction of the department that the person is nonambulatory and has a permanent physical disability or that the person's mobility is substantially impaired.
(4) A person with a disability carrying a permit as required in subsection (3), upon which is stamped "Permission to
Hunt From a Vehicle", may hunt by shooting a firearm from the shoulder, berm, or barrow pit right-of-way of a public
highway, as defined in 61-1-202, except a state or federal highway, or may hunt by shooting a firearm from within a
self-propelled or drawn vehicle that is parked on a shoulder, berm, or barrow pit right-of-way in a manner that will not
impede traffic or endanger motorists or that is parked in an area, not a public highway, where hunting is permitted. This
subsection does not allow a person with a disability to shoot across the roadway of any public highway or to hunt on private
property without permission of the landowner. A person with a disability who hunts as authorized in this subsection must
have a companion to assist in immediately dressing any killed game animal. The companion may also assist the
person with a disability by hunting a game animal that has been wounded by the hunter person with a disability when the
hunter person with a disability is unable to pursue and kill the wounded game animal. Any vehicle from which a person
with a disability is hunting must be conspicuously marked with an orange-colored international symbol of persons with
disabilities on the front, rear, and each side of the vehicle.
(5) A resident of Montana who is certified by the department as suffering from blindness, as defined in 53-7-301, may be issued a lifetime fishing license for the blind upon payment of a one-time fee of $10. The license is valid for the lifetime of the blind individual and allows the licensee to fish as authorized by department rule. An applicant for a license under this subsection need not obtain a wildlife conservation license as a prerequisite to licensure.
(6) A person who is certified by the department as disabled and who suffers from a medical condition or disorder that renders the person effectively unable to use a firearm may be issued a conservation license, as provided in subsection (1), or regular resident deer and elk licenses in the manner provided in subsection (2) and must be accompanied by a companion, as provided in subsection (4), who must also be a designated shooter."
NEW SECTION. Section 5. Game animal identification rules. Any rule or regulation adopted or enforced by the commission, the department, or employees of the department concerning the file identification of game animals that cannot be applied by a reasonable and prudent person under field conditions may not be used to sustain a conviction of a person accused of violating the game laws.
NEW SECTION. Section 6. Codification instruction. [Section 5] is intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 87, chapter 1, and the provisions of Title 87, chapter 1, apply to [section 5].
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Latest Version of HB 591 (HB0591.01)
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