Contact: Brent Miller, Senior Director, Northeastern States
On October 24, Governor Phil Scott, a member of the Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus held a press conference to recognize the importance of hunting, fishing, recreational shooting, and trapping to the economy of the Green Mountain State. The Governor was joined by the Commissioner of the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, Louis Porter; Commission staff; and leaders and members of sportsmen’s conservation organizations at the Barre Fish and Game Club for the event.
A recent news report by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis found that sportsmen’s activities are the second largest driver of Vermont’s outdoor recreation economy (only behind snow sports). The report highlighted that over 17,000 Vermonters work in outdoor recreation, and Commissioner Porter states that “each year, nearly 80,000 people are licensed to hunt in Vermont, and more than 132,000 are licensed to fish,” which are impressive figures considering the state counted less than 650,000 residents in 2018.
“Vermont has a rich history of hunting and angling, extending back before we were even a state. It’s a major part of our way of life,” said Gov. Scott. “For me it was a family tradition, and I encourage more Vermonters who have an interest to get out there and try it. Take your son, daughter, niece, nephew, cousin or mentee, and learn what the tradition is all about.”
Beyond the obvious economic benefits that these traditions provide for the state’s rural economies, the press conference also highlighted the fact that more than 4 million servings of local, sustainable, and healthy food were consumed by Vermonters last year as a direct result of participation in hunting and fishing.
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Recently, Virginia has proposed legislation that would make the punishment for poaching, in their state, a 1-5 year prison sentence through HB-449. Poaching undermines the social acceptance of hunters, jobs, recreation, local and state economies, and conservation efforts. How should poachers be punished?Vote Here
- By sentencing them to jail time. (33.33%)
- By giving them a cash fine. (18.18%)
- By banning their hunting and fishing privileges and their ability to buy the necessary licenses. (12.12%)
- By putting them on a probation period. (0.00%)
- There should be some discretion in the penalties depending on the motivations for the poaching incident. (36.36%)