By Brett Stayton, Mid-Atlantic States Coordinator
On March 15, HB 7, sponsored by Maryland Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Member Delegate Johnny Mautz, passed the Senate with a unanimous vote of 47-0. The legislation would provide a tax credit of $50 to individuals who donate a deer to a venison donation program or food shelter. The tax credit is capped at $200 per individual but does not include a cap for farmers donating deer harvested through Maryland’s Deer Management Permit (DMP) system.
The Senate version, SB 182, was sponsored by Caucus Co-Chair and former President of the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses Executive Council Senator John Astle.
The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) submitted written testimony in support of the House version of the bill when it was heard in Committee. However, CSF’s testimony recommended the issue of not capping the credits for deer harvested through the DMP system be examined further.
The legislation now heads to Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus Member Governor Larry Hogan for his consideration.
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?