In the wake of hearing that there is a push in Montana being made by a group of citizens to ban moto mallards in the state. I have been thinking about some of the regulations that we have in Montana that seem to be absurd. I don't know what some of these regulations are trying to protect, but feel like many of these regulations designed to protect the wildlife actually end up harming populations and taking away from the experience. Here are just a few that I think are ridiculous. Let me know if you see something that I am missing, but I just don't get it. Let me know of other laws you guys think are missing the point of protecting wildlife and decreasing the enjoyment of the hunt.
1. Montana does not let you use Illuminocs on your arrows. Illuminocs are a device on the knock (back end of an arrow) that lights up a small LED light on the knock after your shot. This device does not make the arrow anymore accurate, faster, or effective. If anything it will slow down your arrow a little bit. This device, in my mind should be required of all hunters. The only things this device does are help the hunter find his arrow faster, avoid leaving a lost arrow with super sharp razor blades in the forrest that could harm animals, and leads hunters to their arrow faster so that they can determine by blood on the arrow or lack there of if they have hit thier animal or missed. Am I missing something here?
2. Montana does not allow you to bait bears. This is ridiculous to me because baiting of bears actually is better for the bear population than not. In Idaho you are allowed to bait bears, and they have a healthier population because of it. In Montana many people end up shooting the first bear they see without regard to size or sex of the animal. From what I have heard our harvest is about 50/50 males and females. In Idaho you can sit over your bait and choose from a variety of bears to make sure that you shoot a large adult male. This leaves more females to breed and takes out a male who will kill a female's cubs in order to force her into breeding mode again. That is part of the reason why you can get 2 bear tags in the state of Idaho. If you have a moral objection to using bait, I suggest that next time you go fishing, you should leave your fishing rod at home and just take your net, because fishing with live or artificial lures designed to imitate food is no different morally than using food to attract a bear.
3. Can anyone tell me why we can hunt ducks 30 minutes before sunrise, but can not hunt ducks 30 minutes after sunset? I don't understand what this regulation is protecting.
4. Why can you shoot a gun at upland birds without a plug in your gun, but have to limit yourself to 3 shots on ducks? The limit is 7 ducks. I can't figure out why it matters if you shoot your limit in rounds of 3 shells as opposed to 5 shells. This law hurts harvests by increasing the amount of time it takes to reload and swat a cripple on the water before it dives or swims off to hide. It also could lead to more groups of ducks being shot at and harassed by hunters. I would rather be able to get my limit faster and not bother a bunch of other groups of ducks that dont need to be shot at. Another side point on this one is if my gun can accept 5 shells, I will get a ticket regardless if I am only hunting with 3 shells in my gun. This seems to go against everything American (being guilty of a crime for having the potential to break the law). Yes my gun could hold the extra shells, but isn't and I will get a ticket. If we are going to give tickets for having the potential to break the law and not actually breaking the law, I think you might as well charge me with murder too, because even though I am not going to do it, my weapon is capable of being turned on my partner and shooting him. If you have an objection to this, do you feel that everyone with a car that will do over 75 miles an hour be charged with speeding because they have the potential to speed? Seems like the same logic to me.
5. Does anyone else feel that we are wounding more birds with steel each year than we were killing with lead poisioning? I don't think that we should go back to lead, but steel sucks. Is there not anything affordable that could replace steel without being 2$ a shell?