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What Is the Tennessee Hunter Protection Act?

 Posted on August 25,2022 in Criminal Defense

Knox County criminal defense lawyerThere are certain topics and activities that people are very passionate about. One of those topics is hunting. While hunting is a tradition in Tennessee and many other states, there are also many people who have become animal-rights activists who engage in activities to stop hunting. Unfortunately, one activity that some activists take is harassing hunters and trying to disrupt their hunts. According to state officials, these incidents are occurring on a more frequent basis, but those people who do engage in these activities should be aware that doing so can lead to criminal charges.

Hunter Harassment Law

Tennessee lawmakers passed the Hunter Protection Act in 1995, forbidding individuals to interfere with anyone who is engaged in the lawful taking of a game animal by another party or parties. This also includes the forbidden use of lights, drones, or any type of noisemakers in an attempt to disrupt someone who hunting in compliance with the law.

If someone does any of the following, they can be charged with a crime:

  • Engages in any activity that will disturb wild animals in an effort to prevent those animals from being legally hunted.
  • Engages in any activity that disturbs the individual or individuals who are attempting to hunt legally.
  • Goes on public land or private land without the owner’s permission with the intention of disrupting lawful hunts.
  • Uses a drone to spy or disrupt a person legally hunting without the hunter’s consent.
  • Disobeys law enforcement who orders the person to stop the violating conduct.

If You Are Charged

A person charged with violating the Hunter Protection Act can be charged with a Class C misdemeanor, which can result in jail time and a fine if convicted.

Depending on the circumstances of the case, there could be additional charges. For example, in one case, a Knoxville, TN woman tried to interfere with a bear hunt by removing the hunter’s dog’s GPS collar. Not only was the woman charged with violation of the hunter harassment law, but she was also charged with theft for taking the collar.

In addition to criminal charges, a person violating the law could also face civil charges if the hunter decides to sue for financial compensation for the money they lost from having their hunt disrupted. And that amount could get expensive when losses such as expenses for equipment, transportation, and other costs are added up – up to thousands of dollars in losses.

Contact a Knox County Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with any crime in Tennessee, you should have a seasoned Knoxville, TN criminal law attorney representing you and ensuring that your rights are protected. Call Jeffrey Coller, Knoxville Criminal Defense Attorney at 865-281-1000 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.



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