Montana moves to protect identities of hunters and trappers
Montana's Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) will introduce a bill in the upcoming 2015 legislative session that prohibits naming hunters and trappers who have taken animals during designated seasons. Presently, the FWP is not allowed to disseminate information about hunters who tag bears, mountain lions and wolves. This new law pertains to all licensed hunters and trappers who have killed animals, and includes all game, furbearers and any other species the department deems fit to be hunted or trapped.
Spokesman for the MFW&P, Ron Aasheim, said the department's response comes on the heels of complaints from hunters and trappers about harassment from anti-hunting/trapping organizations. Presently, information collected and made public includes not only the names and addresses of hunters and trappers, but also, the locations of the kills. Several hunters and trappers do not want these locations revealed, as you can imagine.
In an ABC News report, the head of an anti-trapping group countered by saying trappers harassed members of her group, Trap-Free Montana Public Lands, when they collected signatures to push anti-trapping legislation forward. She is wondering when the Montana legislature will protect her group from being harrassed.
Well, madam, I would point out that your organization already has protections, as do all Americans, from being harassed while peacefully protesting or while collecting signatures for a petition. Hunters and trappers, however, require protection by law because certain factions in anti-hunting/trapping communities have no compunction about interfering with legal, licensed traditions and the people who enjoy hunting and trapping.