Fair Chase and Advanced Technology

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The growing popularity of 16-channel two-way radios is pushing this technology into the field with hunters, potentially increasing technology-related hunting violations. Montana law prohibits the use of two-way radio communication in hunting or chasing big game animals or in attempting to avoid game check stations, FWP enforcement personnel or in other unlawful activities.

"Over the past couple of years, we?ve seen a significant increase in the number of hunters using these radios for legitimate safety and communications," said Beate Galda, FWP Enforcement Division chief. "Unfortunately, we have also seen an increase in their misuse."

Known as Family Radio Service or FRS band radios, the two-way radios are an affordable convenience for communications and safety. The misuse involves violations of the regulations put in place to ensure fair chase and ethical hunting principles during a hunt. For example, it is a violation to use the radios, or any other device such as a cell phone, to assist in tracking big game animals or in running them to another hunter positioned nearby.

It is also unlawful, while hunting, to use motion-tracking or other electronic devices to track the motion of a game animal and relay that information to the hunter. Night vision equipment or electronically enhanced light-gathering optics for locating or hunting game is prohibited, as is using aircraft to locate big game animals to hunt them within the same day or to provide information to another person to hunt the animals within the same day.

"The bottom line is that these laws protect our strong commitment in Montana to fair chase and ethical hunting," Galda said. "We encourage hunters who witness violations of these, or any other hunting regulations, to call our TIP-MONT hotline at 1-800-847-6668 where they can file a report while remaining anonymous, if they choose."