On March 16, legislation that would increase hunting and angling access and opportunities for non-resident, full-time college students in Alabama headed to the Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus member Governor Robert Bentley’s desk.
Sponsored by Alabama Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus member Representative Tommy Hanes, House Bill 3 authorizes a nonresident student at an institution of higher education to purchase resident hunting or fishing licenses under certain conditions. Similar legislation was also previously introduced in the Senate by Caucus members Senator Tom Whatley and Senator Rusty Glover.
College student hunting and angling licenses measures currently exist in 22 states and are a great tool to assist with the retention and recruitment of college students who may consider nonresident hunting and angling licenses as cost-prohibitive. With the aging demographics of sportsmen and women, efforts to increase access for younger participants are essential to ensuring future generations continue to enjoy hunting, angling, and recreational shooting. Additionally, the potential increase in license sales to this user group would greatly impact the funding available to the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources through the American System of Conservation Funding (ASCF). College student hunting and angling licensing is one of many issue briefs available on the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation website.
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?