Sportsmen and Women Defeated Restrictive Legislation in the Granite State

Contact: Joe Mullin, Manager, Northeastern States

  • Throughout regular sessions, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) works alongside the New Hampshire Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus and in-state and national partners on a variety of sportsmen’s policies in the Granite State.
  • Defeated – House Bill 1308: Legislation that would have prohibited individuals and sporting dog clubs from the live taking of snowshoe hares or rabbits from the wild for the purpose of using them for dog training, to stock a training site, or in field trials
  • Defeated – House Bill 1310:  A bill that would have prohibited the discharge of a firearm in the direction of a building, livestock, or pets that are within eyesight of the person discharging the firearm while hunting.
  • Defeated – House Bill 1356:  Legislation that could have subverted the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s authority in setting the gray squirrel hunting season.

Why It Matters: CSF has a tenured history of working alongside the New Hampshire Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus, and in-state and national partners in the Granite State to support our time-honored outdoor sporting traditions, and 2022’s regular sessions were no different. Though primarily defensive, CSF fought to protect opportunities for the sporting dog community, as well as to maintain wildlife management authority within the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. There was no shortage of activity in New Hampshire this year, and the recap below only captures a fragment of CSF’s activity within the state.

During New Hampshire’s 2022 regular sessions, CSF fought ardently alongside the New Hampshire Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chairs and in-state and national partners towards the protection of the state’s outdoor sporting pursuits. The list of examples highlighted below is by no means exhaustive, but it does provide insight into the topics for which CSF dedicated significant efforts on behalf of the state’s sportsmen and women.

As was previously reported, House Bill 1308 would have prohibited the live taking of wild snowshoe hares or rabbits for the purpose of using them for dog training, to stock a training site, or in field trials. One month prior to this bill being taken up by the General Court, the New Hampshire Fish and Game (NHFG) Commission’s Legislator Committee and Strategic Planning Committee voted 9-1 in opposition to this proposal during a regular meeting. CSF submitted a letter of opposition to the NHFG Department for its consideration. One month later, the New Hampshire House Fish and Game and Marine Resources Committee voted 18-1 for this bill to be “Inexpedient to Legislate” during a hearing in which CSF testified in-person and submitted comments. The bill ultimately died in Committee thanks in large part to the hard work of the sportsmen and women’s community who made their voices heard during the hearing.

CSF also worked alongside partner organizations in opposing House Bill 1310 (H. 1310). This legislation would have prohibited the discharge of a firearm in the direction of a building, livestock, or pets that are within eyesight of the person discharging the firearm while hunting. For sportsmen and women, the ramifications would certainly obstruct, if not eliminate hunting with dogs. Ultimately, H. 1310 died in Committee.

CSF also testified and submitted comments against House Bill 1356 (H. 1356) in its original form. If enacted, this bill would have undermined the New Hampshire Fish and Game (NHFG) Department’s authority in setting the gray squirrel hunting season. As CSF argued, the Department is composed of highly educated and widely-experienced staff who have instrumental roles in determining the appropriate seasons and bag limits for not only gray squirrels, but all game species. The bill was amended to create a year-round season on gray squirrels, but it ultimately died in Committee.

To learn more about these bills and other, we encourage you to check out New Hampshire’s Media Room on CSF’s website.

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