By Brett Stayton, Mid-Atlantic States Coordinator
On February 12, the Maryland Senate Committee on Health, Education, and Environmental Affairs convened to hear testimony on several pieces of legislation, including a bill that would authorize the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to allow for migratory game bird hunting on Sundays during the open season on private property and designated public land.
SB 293 is one of two Sunday hunting bills recently introduced by Senator Jack Bailey, a newly appointed Co-Chair of the Maryland Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus. Sen. Bailey invited several children to testify in support of the bill who provided personal accounts of how Maryland’s prohibition against hunting waterfowl on Sundays has impacted their participation due to scheduling conflicts with sports and extracurricular activities.
Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) Mid-Atlantic States Coordinator Brett Stayton joined the panel to testify in support of the bill. The panel was also comprised of representatives from other sportsmen’s organizations, including Ducks Unlimited, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, and Safari Club International.
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- Improve hunter and target shooter involvement in regulatory and legislative processes. (13.75%)
- Enact or expand temporary hunter education deferral programs (apprentice license programs, multiyear options, programs for all first-time hunters regardless of age, and programs promoting hunting of multiple game species). (11.25%)
- Offer shooting sports and hunter education as school activities and recreation programs. (61.25%)
- Link existing programming into family-oriented organizations (such as churches and home-school groups) where participants will have the social support to continue. (13.75%)