Are You Allowed to Take Home an Arrowhead You Found in Montana?
Native American artifacts are absolutely amazing, because their resourcefulness allowed them to make literally anything out of what they had. Arrowheads are one of those artifacts, made usually of stone, they were extremely deadly and used for purposes of hunting and for war. Tons of arrowheads exist today, and many of them can be found on the ground in Big Sky Country. But, if you find one, you may not want to pick it up and take it with you out of there.
Arrowheads are Designated as Archaeological Resources
Since most arrowheads are over 100 years old, they are protected by the Archaeological Resource Protection Act. This means that they can't legally be vandalized, stolen, or their location be public knowledge. However, there is no law in place that you can break if you just pick up the arrowhead to examine it closer.
In fact, you're more than welcome to take photos of it, pick it up, admire it, and even share the location with an archaeologist you know. However, you can get into major trouble if you are caught by a game warden trying to take it home with you. It's a federal offense and can net you a variety of fines depending on the total cost of what was taken; up to $100,000.
But Isn't it Just an Arrow Tip made of Stone?
It's way more than that. Archaeologists have been able to determine the history of certain Native American tribes, as well as how smart and resourceful the tribes were just by the shape of their arrowheads. It's extremely important for history to preserve these artifacts as best as possible.
So, next time you're out on the land in Montana and find one of these awesome and beautiful arrowheads, feel free to admire it, but leave it where you found it when you're done. They deserve to be preserved, so let's make sure we do that.