March 9, 2020

Florida: Hunter Harassment Legislation Advances

Contact: John Culclasure, Southeastern States Assistant Director

On March 5, legislation that would increase harassment protections for hunters, anglers and trappers passed the Senate (40-0).

Sponsored by Florida Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus member Senator Debbie Mayfield, Senate Bill 1414 would expand the statute prohibiting the harassment of hunters, anglers and trappers by extending protections to sportsmen and women on public lands and public waters.

Additionally, the legislation would add the green iguana (Iguana iguana) and the Teguna lizard (any species of the genera Salvator or Tupinambis) to the list of exotic invasive species that are prohibited for possession, importation, sale, barter, trade, or breeding.

Companion legislation House Bill 777 previously passed the House Committee on State Affairs (21-0) on February 27. SB 1414 now moves to the House of Representatives where it awaits further action.

Enhanced harassment protections for hunters, anglers and trappers will help ensure that Florida’s 3,152,000 sportsmen and women can pursue their pastimes which in 2019 contributed more than $70 million to state-based conservation in Florida through the American System of Conservation Funding.

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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