Contact: Joseph Mullin, Assistant Manager, Northeastern States
- On September 28, the Fisheries and Wildlife Board for the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) voted in unanimous support of proposed regulatory amendments that “establish a pheasant/quail permit, eliminate the seasonal bag limit for pheasant and quail, remove rooster-only restrictions, and eliminate the hunter registration process for pheasant hunting at Martin Burns WMA.”
- Establishing a pheasant and quail permit will generate increased funding for MassWildlife’s conservation efforts, which serves to benefit all Bay State residents alike.
- The removal of seasonal bag limits for these pursuits will afford sportsmen and women the opportunity to spend additional time introducing new hunters into the community while further contributing to the American System of Conservation Funding (ASCF).
- The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation’s Joe Mullin, Assistant Manager, Northeastern States, submitted a letter of support that highlighted the crucial role that upland hunting plays in the ASCF and towards providing new hunters with engaging, hands-on learning opportunities.
Why it Matters: Upland hunting plays an integral role as one of our nation’s time-honored sporting traditions. It is a pursuit that cultivates an environment based on open dialogue while afield, allowing new hunters to have a much more engaged experience alongside their mentors. With relation to new hunters, a state fish and wildlife department’s decision to remove seasonal bag limits means more days spent in the field, resulting in additional time spent learning through hands-on experiences and under the sound guidance of seasoned hunters. Relatedly, the removal of seasonal bag limits, in conjunction with the establishment of upland-related permits, will undoubtedly increase funding for conservation efforts through the American System of Conservation Funding.
In a unanimous vote of support during the September meeting of the Fisheries and Wildlife Board for the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife), the proposed amendments relative to pheasants and quail regulations were accepted for the 2022-2023 hunting season. This result reflects a strong appreciation for the many potential benefits included within the proposal, such as providing additional funding for conservation efforts through the American System of Conservation Funding (ASCF), as well as increasing opportunities for new hunters to learn and improve through hands-on experiences.
The regulatory amendments establish a pheasant and quail permit, which will be required for sportsmen and women engaged in those particular pursuits. Through the ASCF, the funds collected by way of this permit will support MassWildlife’s on-the-ground conservation efforts, highlighting the important role that upland hunting has towards the funding of our state’s fish, wildlife, and natural habitats. Revenue generated for conservation by sportsmen and women through license sales, such as a pheasant and quail permit, along with excise taxes on sporting-related goods in this unique “user pays - public benefits” structure is what makes our sporting traditions possible.
When first introduced to hunting, many new sportsmen and women quickly realize the advantages to upland hunting. There is a heavy social consideration, as positions and communication in the field are coordinated to allow hunters to take a targeted approach towards their quarry. What new hunters need, arguably more than anything, are opportunities to spend as much time as possible in the field, absorbing techniques in practice, which is precisely what the regulatory amendments will provide. By removing the seasonal bag limits on pheasants and quail, sportsmen and women will be able to effectively hunt for the respective seasons in their entirety. Thus, beginning hunters will be able to continuously improve throughout the season, spending more hours learning alongside their mentors.
The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation is proud to have supported these regulatory amendments during the public comment period and looks forward to the many benefits that will ultimately result.
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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. (5.19%)
- Increase access to public lands. (24.77%)
- Provide more information for new participants. (4.09%)
- Provide hands on opportunities to improve skills and knowledge. (13.19%)
- Engage youth through hunter and conservation programs in schools. (42.98%)
- I feel we have enough sportsmen and women and do not believe R3 programs are necessary. (9.79%)