It May Be Winter But Legislatures Are Heating Up Across the Northeast

Contact: Joe Mullin, Manager, Northeastern States

  • As sessions begin across the northeast, members from the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation’s (CSF) States Program Team in the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions are gearing up to continue protecting and advancing our sporting heritages.
  • Each year, a mix of new and perennial policy proposals make their way into the state capitals, and CSF is forecasting that conversations around trapping bans, predator hunting, electronic duck stamps, trophy import bans, and the right to hunt and fish will be center stage in the region throughout 2023.
  • CSF looks forward to another eventful year in the northeast, advocating on behalf of the region’s hunting, fishing, recreational shooting, and trapping communities.

Why It Matters: With the new year kicked off, legislatures across the nation are gearing up for busy sessions in the months ahead. Your contacts at the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation are hard at work tracking policies relevant to hunting, fishing, recreational shooting, and trapping, and will continue to operate alongside the pertinent sportsmen’s caucuses within each state. Though we are only a few weeks into January, bills have been crossing our desks at significant rates, and it’s the perfect time to take a look at what priorities have caught our attention thus far.               

As we head into another year that will prove to be packed with engagement opportunities in the northeast, members from CSF’s States Program Team in the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions want to share a glimpse of the policies that have crossed their desks in the first few weeks of the year thus far. However, keep in mind that this review is by no means comprehensive, as new bills are introduced across the region each day.

  • Connecticut House Bill 5122: This bill would prohibit the use of commonly used foothold and body traps, severely restricting trappers in Connecticut. CSF has consistently fought against attempts to restrict and ban trapping in New England, as well as across the country, in order to protect a necessary tool for wildlife management.
  • Connecticut House Bill 5155: This bill would institute a regulated black bear season in Connecticut. CSF has worked with leaders of the Connecticut Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus on this topic in the past and will continue to support science-based predator management strategies.
  • New Hampshire Senate Bill 18: Under this legislation, waterfowl hunters will have the option to carry electronic confirmation of a valid electronic duck stamp instead of the physical stamp. Electronic duck stamps are a topic that CSF is highly familiar with, as it promotes ease of access for waterfowl hunters while afield.
  • New York Assembly Bill 518: As was expected, another attempt at a trophy import ban has been introduced by way of this legislation. CSF has opposed similar legislation in the Empire State in the past and will continue to do so in the coming months.
  • New York Senate Bill 870: This legislation would begin the process of creating a new Article within the New York Constitution to create a right to hunt, fish, and trap. The bill language reads “Fish and wildlife shall be managed by state laws and regulations that provide persons with the continued opportunity to take, by traditional means and methods, species traditionally pursued by hunters, anglers and trappers.”

To stay on top of sportsmen’s policies within your state or across the nation, register for Tracking the Capitols – a free resource offered by CSF that allows you to receive email updates on your choice of specific legislation and/or regulations.

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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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