By Brett Stayton, Mid-Atlantic States Coordinator
On March 13, the Maryland Senate Committee on Education, Health, and the Environment convened to hear public input on several issues, including expanding Sunday Hunting opportunities throughout the state. Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) Mid-Atlantic States Coordinator Brett Stayton testified in support of S.B. 817, which would permit the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MDDNR) to authorize additional Sunday Hunting opportunities.
CSF, along with 11 other sportsmen-conservation groups, submitted a formal letter supporting the elimination of restrictions on Sunday hunting in the Old Line State. As a member of the Sunday Hunting Coalition, CSF works with partner organizations to reduce barriers to hunting on Sundays and expand Sunday hunting opportunities for sportsmen and women.
Expanded access and opportunity is key to improving hunter recruitment, retention, and reactivation, and helps provide more stable and consistent conservation funding through the American System of Conservation Funding. Sunday hunting would also have a positive effect on Maryland’s economy, which already benefits from the more than $815 million the state’s 445,000 sportsmen and women spend each year.
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?