State Looks to Ban the Selling of GPS Data for Big Game Locations

A piece of legislation has been introduced in Montana to ban the selling of GPS data for big game locations. The bill if enacted into law would make it illegal to sell things GPS locations, maps, and other location identifying items that show the location of big game animals.

According to the Helena Independent Record, Senate Bill 127 was heard before the Senate Fish and Game Committee. It prohibits the sale of wildlife identification information for hunting, specifically geographic locations such as GPS coordinates, descriptions, maps, drawings or photographs.

Guides, outfitters, and property owners guiding on their own land would be exempted from the law.

Sen. Jill Cohenour, D-East Helena, who introduced the bill, stated, “We do not want people to buy an unfair advantage.”

The idea for the bill came from Cohenour’s husband who saw the information of a specific elk for sale online. He testified before the committee that, He believed the service brought ethical concerns and a mentality of selling wildlife to the highest bidder.

The bill has been backed by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, the Montana Wildlife Federation, Back Country Hunters and Anglers and the Montana Bowhunters Association.

Montana is not the first state to propose such legislation. Wyoming proposed a similar law would ban the selling of GPS data back in 2018. I can not find if the law was passed or not. But this is defiantly not a new idea.