Tax Season Means Fighting for New Hampshire’s Shooting Preserves and Sporting Dog Kennels

Contact: Joe Mullin, Assistant Manager, Northeastern States

Earlier this morning, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation’s (CSF) Joe Mullin, Assistant Manager, Northeastern States, testified during a New Hampshire House Municipal and County Government Committee in opposition to House Bill 467 (HB 467). This proposed legislation intended to amend the current use taxation law to exclude “farm land or forest land used to harbor non-native, non-domesticated animal species” from the definition of “open space land” – actions that undermine shooting preserves and dog training operations. Following the hearing, in a vote of 17-2, HB 467 was declared “Inexpedient to Legislate” and thus died

As Mullin stated during the hearing and in a letter of opposition, shooting preserves offer sportsmen and women the ability to pursue game in a controlled environment. In New Hampshire, it is common to take part in a preserve hunt for upland birds, such as pheasants and Hungarian partridge – both of which are non-native species and would have affected a landowner’s ability to receive conservation tax incentives undwe HB 467. For sportsmen and women who are new to hunting, these operations provide the model learning environment. Additionally, each shot taken on shooting ranges and in the pursuit of game – which more often than not results in a significant number of shots taken – reflects a contribution made to the American System of Conservation Funding. Similar to shooting preserves, sporting dog kennels are an ideal location for sportsmen and women to train their dogs under controlled conditions. Field exercises for these dogs include live firing at non-native species; thus, these kennels would have suffered the same fate under HB 467 as shooting preserves.

CSF commends the in-state and national conservation organizations that weighed in to oppose HB 467 during today’s hearing, and looks forward to working alongside them in the Granite State.

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