Contact: Nick Buggia, Upper Midwestern States Manager
As the 2020 legislative session in the Great Lakes State draws to an end, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) would like to provide updates on recent activity in the state legislature. Below is a summary of two bills of particular interest to sportsmen and women that were recently passed by the Michigan State Legislature.
Michigan Pheasant Hunting Initiative
House Bill 4313 (HB 4313) requires anyone 16-years-of-age or older hunting pheasants on public land to purchase a $25.00 pheasant stamp. Since CSF first reported on this bill in March, it has been amended to alter the allocation of funds collected from the purchase of pheasant stamps. As introduced, all pheasant hunters would have been required to purchase the stamp, whether hunting on public or private lands. Revenues generated from the stamp would have been divided with 75% going to support the Michigan Pheasant Hunting Initiative and 25% to maintaining and expanding pheasant habitat. As the bill reads now, only public land hunters are required to purchase the stamp, and all the monies generated will go to purchasing pheasants for the state’s pheasant hunting initiative. Although the habitat funding portion has been removed, this legislation is still seen by many as an important recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) effort meant to retain and attract new hunters by providing opportunities to hunt pheasants on designated public lands. The bill was sent to the Governor’s desk on December 16.
Youth Fishing License
Under current statute, only anglers who are 17-years-old or older are required to purchase a fishing license in Michigan. House Bill 5002-5003 allows anyone under the age of 17-years-old to purchase a fishing license at the discounted rate of $2.00. Although it will not be required, this creates an opportunity for anyone under the age of 17 to contribute to the American System of Conservation Funding in support of the state’s fisheries. This legislation was sent to the Governor’s Desk on December 15 and is expected to be signed into law by the end of the 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?