On September 5, the House Natural Resources Committee marked up and passed H.R. 6013, the Migratory Bird Framework and Hunting Opportunities for Veterans Act, on a voice vote.
This legislation was introduced by Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Member and Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee Congressman Rob Bishop (UT) on June 6. This bill will amend the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to establish January 31 as the Federal framework closing date for hunting of ducks, coots, and mergansers. This provision also maintains the flexibility for state wildlife agencies to collaborate with their respective flyway council to establish the closing date for hunting of ducks, coots, and mergansers in their specific state.
Additionally, H.R. 6013 would establish two additional hunting days for veterans, youth, and members of the Armed Services on active duty to hunt ducks, coots, and mergansers. The two additional days will be determined by the state, and may not fall within the regular hunting season, must be on a weekend, holiday or other day that schools are not in session, and are not more than 14 days before the start or after the closing date for the duck, coot, and merganser season.
H.R. 6013 now awaits to be scheduled for a floor vote in the House of Representatives. The Senate bill S. 2942, which was introduced by CSC Member Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (MS), awaits to be scheduled for a markup in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
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?