On Thursday, February 14, SB 56, which would have banned the practice of taking bears over bait in New Hampshire, was defeated by a voice vote. This bill was initially introduced on January 3 by Senator Jeanie Forrester. Members of the New Hampshire Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus were successful in educating legislators on the value of this traditional activity, and when the bill was heard in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on February 6, it received a report of “Inexpedient to Legislate” which lead to the bill being defeated the following week. According to the Sportsmen’s Economic Impact Report – recently released by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation – in 2011 there were 247,000 people who hunted or fished in New Hampshire who spent $270 million and supported 4,537 jobs.
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?