Bigfoot in Montana: Exotic species?

After my last post, I emailed the Montana department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP) through their web site to inquire about the state’s regulations on hunting sasquatch — and actually received a response!  I regret to say, however, absolutely nothing has been cleared up.  According to the emails I received, regulations on hunting bigfoot-type creatures in my state “would most likely not exist.”

I’m withholding the name of the person who wrote back to me, but other than that, here is our exchange.

Greetings.  This is possibly an odd question, but one that I’m curious about.  A family member brought the following to my attention:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/10/09/1580008/-Breaking-News-Bigfoot-hunting-is-legal-in-Texas-but-not-in-California

Obviously each state is different.  As a Montana resident, my question is — if bigfoot creatures exist in Montana, what would be the regulations on hunting them?

Thanks
Sarah

 

Sarah,

Great question! I am not a legal expert and appreciate your understanding in my honest attempt to candidly answer your question without confusing you further or complicating this hypothetical situation.
You are correct in that each state varies in the ways hunting regulations are created and enforced. Most likely Bigfoot would be classified as a non-native exotic species. Hypothetically, if Bigfoot creatures do exist in Montana the regulations on hunting them would most likely not exist- this would be due to its classification as exotic species.

“Exotic species” are any species that are not native to that ecosystem. They are broken into three categories:

Controlled

“Controlled species” means live, exotic wildlife species, subspecies, or hybrid of species that may not be imported, possessed, sold, purchased or exchanged in Montana unless a person obtains written authorization from the department.

Noncontrolled

“Noncontrolled species” are live, exotic wildlife species, subspecies, or hybrid of that species that may be possessed, sold, purchased or exchanged in the state without a permit, except as provided in this subchapter or in Montana statutes or federal statutes. An uncontrolled species may not be released into the wild unless authorized in writing by the department. This definition does not authorize the sale, possession, transportation, importation or exportation of a noncontrolled species in violation of any applicable federal or state statute or regulation or county or city ordinance.

Prohibited

“Prohibited species” are live, exotic wildlife species, subspecies, or hybrid of that species, including viable embryos or gametes, that may not be possessed, sold, purchased, exchanged, or transported in Montana, except as provided in MCA 87-5-709 or ARM 12.6.2220.

Hopefully this helps, and please let me know if you have any further questions. Check out this link for more info:

http://fwp.mt.gov/fishAndWildlife/species/default.html

Thank you-

 

Hi  —

Wow, thank you for your quick response.  I certainly wasn’t expecting one so soon.  I guess the only obvious question is why would they be determined to be non-native?  If a creature which isn’t common to Montana migrates to Montana naturally, through its own power, is it still ‘non-native’ for legal purposes?
Cheers,
Sarah

Hi Sarah,

 

Excellent question- I would argue that  the fact the creature isn’t common to Montana and migrates to Montana (natural or unnatural) is what makes it a “non-native.” Regardless of how it gets there the fact remains that it is a non-native species. The classification is required in order to determine the correct way to quantify and care for the species according to Montana statute.

If we can get past the state’s assumption that bigfoot are not native to Montana — I feel like Montana needs to update its codes on “exotic species” as the regulations cited by the FWP representative imply that the questionable species has been bodily transported into the state.  With bigfoot, this is probably unlikely.  Unless I pick up one who’s hitchhiking next time I’m in Washington state, bring it home in my Tercel, and release it into the wilderness.  I guess that’s not so unlikely after all.

 

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