On July 2, HB 6034, championed throughout the process by the Connecticut Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, was signed into law in Connecticut. Following the effective date of October 1, 2015, Sunday archery hunting for deer on private lands in the state will be allowed, with some exceptions. With the enactment of HB 6034, Connecticut now joins the 45 other states throughout the nation that allow for Sunday hunting in some capacity.
As provided in HB 6034, Sunday hunting for deer with archery tackle will be allowed with written permission of the landowner in deer management zones that have been deemed overpopulated by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (currently 11 of 13 zones). Archery hunting for deer on Sundays will not be allowed within 40 yards of a blazed hiking trail.
“[This bill] is not all that we wanted, but it represents years of hard work in a bipartisan fashion,” said Caucus Co-Chair and Member of the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses Executive Council, Representative Craig Miner. “The members of the entire Caucus worked both chambers so that the pitfalls of the past did not spoil the deal.”
As a member of the Sunday Hunting Coalition, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation has supported the repeal of unreasonable Sunday hunting restrictions in which they currently exist. Allowing Sunday hunting in Connecticut will fundamentally increase private property owners’ freedom to choose how to manage their land and its natural resources, and will provide an additional adaptive management tool for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to effectively manage wildlife resources within the state. Additionally, Sunday hunting will result in increased economic activity for the state and will increase access to the resource for Connecticut’s 21,000 archery hunters.
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?