September 28, 2018

House Passes Bill Expanding Hunting Opportunities for Youth and Veterans

On September 25, the House of Representatives 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 House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (UT) on June 6. This legislation will amend the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to establish January 31 as the Federal framework closing date for hunting of ducks, coots, and mergansers, and will provide additional hunting opportunities for youth, veterans, and active duty military. Section 2(1) will provide added flexibility to state wildlife agencies to establish January 31 as the closing date for ducks, coots, and merganser hunting in coordination with their respective flyway councils.

Additionally, Section 2(2) of the bill would provide an option for the states to add two additional special hunting days outside of the normal season for youth, and two additional days for veterans and members of the Armed Services on active duty to hunt ducks, coots, and mergansers. H.R. 6013 will provide additional opportunities to America’s youth, which complements the states’ hunter recruitment, retention and reactivation efforts.

H.R. 6013 now heads to the Senate where similar legislation has been introduced in the Senate by CSC Member Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, which awaits a hearing in the 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?

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