Contact: Joe Mullin, New England States Coordinator
With the conclusion of the 2019 regular legislative sessions in several New England states, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) recognizes the diligent efforts by the numerous bipartisan and bicameral legislative sportsmen’s caucuses within the region.
Though several legislatures have only stopped for recess, and some are continuing to hold sessions at this moment, the midway point in the year provides an ideal opportunity to reflect on some of the caucuses’ accomplishments to date. Working alongside CSF, these caucuses were driven by their collective mission to protect and advance hunting, angling, recreational shooting, and trapping.
Pro-sportsmen’s legislative highlights include:
- Maine LD 27 – Signed by the Governor[TB1] , this allows the use of a crossbow for a limited duration during the archery season on deer and the fall season on wild turkey;
- Maine LD 33 – Signed by the Governor, this encourages the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to establish a Youth Turkey Hunting Day during the fall season;
- Maine LD 79 – Signed by the Governor, this allows the discharge of a firearm on a sport shooting range that is within a certain distance of a building, if the sport shooting range was established and in regular operation prior to the erection of the building;
- Maine LD 1298 – Signed by the Governor, this provides the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife the authority to change the closing date of the recreational ice fishing season by rule;
- Maine LD 490 – Signed by the Governor, this authorizes the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to change a trapping season opening date if weather conditions or other unforeseen factors make that change necessary;
- Massachusetts SB 472 – Heard by the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture, this authorizes the hunting of deer by bow and arrow on any date, including a Sunday or legal holiday; and
- Massachusetts SB 488 – Heard by the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture, this authorizes the use of crossbows for hunting purposes.
There were also numerous anti-sportsmen’s bills that were introduced, but failed to pass during the 2019 regular legislative sessions, including:
- Connecticut SB 20 – Prohibits the import, sale and possession of African elephants, lions, leopards, black rhinoceros, white rhinoceros and giraffes;
- Connecticut SB 245 - Prohibits hunting along the Quinnipiac River in New Haven;
- Maine LD 695 – Prohibits fishing in inland waters using nonbiodegradable hooks or certain nonbiodegradable artificial lures; and
- New Hampshire HB 442 – Prohibits hunting coyote during certain months to coincide with coyote pup rearing.
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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?Vote Here
- Increase the number of states with discounted license tailored to specific groups. (6.04%)
- Increase access to public lands. (24.74%)
- Provide more information for new participants. (3.95%)
- Provide hands on opportunities to improve skills and knowledge. (12.95%)
- Engage youth through hunter and conservation programs in schools. (43.09%)
- I feel we have enough sportsmen and women and do not believe R3 programs are necessary. (9.23%)