April 3, 2014

California: Houndsmen Look to Restore Hunting Rights

In September of 2012, California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 1221, legislation outlawing the use of dogs for hunting bears and bobcats in the state. Sponsored by anti-hunting groups, the bill was seen by many as a direct attack on California’s sportsmen and women which limits the ability to use hunting as the preferred management tool used to reduce human-wildlife conflicts.

Fortunately, those who use dogs to pursue bears and bobcats have an ally at the California Legislature in Assemblyman Tim Donnelly. A member of the California Outdoor Sporting Caucus, Assemblyman Donnelly has introduced AB 2205, a bill that would repeal the prohibition on hound hunting put into place by SB 1221 two years ago. AB 2205 would also require the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to provide the state Fish and Game Commission and counties with periodic reports containing information on bear interactions with the general public, public safety impacts and concerns, bear depredation permit requests, economic impacts due to bear damage, status of bear populations, bear management and other related issues.

The sponsor of AB 2205, California Houndsmen for Conservation, is hosting a rally in support of Assemblyman Donnelly’s bill on the west steps of the State Capitol on Monday, April 21 from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm. Following the rally, Houndsmen for Conservation members will meet with legislators to voice their support for this effort to restore their hunting rights.

For more information on the California Outdoor Sporting Caucus or how to participate in the rally, please contact CSF Western States Manager Andy Treharne at andy@sportsmenslink.org.

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?

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