HB 372 would open the door for catastrophic consequences to our native wildlife, providing a right to “hunt, fish, trap, and harvest wild fish and wildlife.”

In yet another bid led by anti-carnivore House Representative Paul Fielder to dictate Montana’s wildlife management from the capitol, HB 372 would open the door for catastrophic consequences to our native wildlife and Montanans that could reach far into the future.


HB 372 would submit to Montana’s citizens a constitutional amendment to article IX, section 7, of the state constitution. Currently, this constitutional provision enshrines the right to harvest wild fish and game animals. HB 372 proposes to expand these rights and severely limit wildlife management discretion in overall wildlife management by:

Creating a constitutional right to hunt, trap, and fish—currently these are licensed privileges, not rights.

  • Montanans currently have a constitutional right to “harvest wild fish and wild game,” but HB 372 would change that language to provide a right to “hunt, fish, trap, and harvest wild fish and wildlife.”
  • Important message to deliver:
    • Elevating licensed privileges to the status of constitutional rights would make it incredibly difficult for FWP to revoke or curtail someone’s ability to hunt, trap, or fish if they violate the law, or for game wardens in the field to enforce laws.

Creating a constitutional right to trap endangers the public, our companion animals, and wildlife because traps are cruel and indiscriminate.

  • Important messages to deliver:
    • Trapping makes Montana’s public lands dangerous for all users, only 0.6% of whom trap.
    • Trapping is cruel and inhumane, causing animal suffering across the state.

 Adding a right to use “current means and methods” for hunting and trapping.

  • Important message to deliver:
    • Fielder and others passed legislation in 2021 that allowed several unethical ‘means and methods’ for recreational wolf killing including snares, bait, and night hunting, among others. Since these are ‘current means and methods,’ HB 372 would enshrine these unethical killing practices into the constitution.

Requiring state wildlife managers to “give preference to hunting, fishing, and trapping by citizens as the primary” means of managing wildlife populations.

  • Important message to deliver:
    • The legislature should not be deciding how wildlife is managed—trained and experienced wildlife biologists should be responsible for management.
    • Wildlife management includes projects like habitat improvement and research, but HB 372 would mean citizen killing would still be the primary method of management, creating a confusing situation at best when managers must figure out how to follow the constitution while trying to make management decisions.

We have until 10pm TODAY March 13th to oppose HB 372 and until 5pm to sign up to testify.

Montana residents: please consider signing up to testify at the March 14th hearing starting at 8am—either on zoom or in person at the capitol in Helena. The hearing by the House Judiciary Committee will be in Room 137.


Here is how to make your voice heard:

Go to https://leg.mt.gov/public-testimony/ and under ‘Select the Bill,’ scroll to HB 372. Then, scroll down the page to ‘Select your position on the bill’ and choose opponent, and fill in the remaining boxes.

About the Author

Lizzy Pennock | Carnivore Coexistence Attorney, WildEarth Guardians

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