Contact: John Culclasure, Southeastern States Assistant Director
On February 25, Alabama Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus (Caucus) Co-Chair Representative Danny Crawford introduced legislation that would increase hunter opportunity and help efforts to manage feral swine and coyote populations in the state.
House Bill 458 (HB 458) would allow sportsmen and women in Alabama to hunt feral swine and coyotes at night on privately owned or leased land. To hunt feral swine and coyotes at night, individuals would have to purchase a “nighttime hunting license.” These additional funds would contribute to the American System of Conservation Funding (ASCF). Alabama’s 948,000 sportsmen and women contribute more than $1.9 billion to the state’s economy and last year alone generated more than $44.09 million for state-based conservation through the ASCF.
Feral swine are categorized as an invasive species and have been well documented to negatively impact habitat for both game and non-game wildlife species as well as forestry and agricultural operations through rooting and the consumption of seedlings and row crops. Feral swine have an extremely high reproductive rate, which makes managing populations difficult. HB 458 would provide sportsmen and women with additional hunting opportunities that would help manage invasive species and predator populations while also providing additional funding for wildlife conservation in the state.
The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation supports HB 458 and will continue to monitor its status and work with the Caucus to support the bill’s advancement.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?