Legislative Update: See What’s Happening with Hunting in These States

Texas deerTracking the Capitols is a source of legislation currently being tracked by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation state policy team to keep you informed of the most pertinent and timely state legislation affecting hunting, angling, recreational shooting and trapping and other conservation issues.

Connecticut H 6034
Introduced
: 01/21/2015
Sponsor: Joint Committee on Environment
Issue Brief: Sunday Hunting
Summary: Authorizes bow and arrow hunting on certain private property on Sundays; establishes that Sunday shall be a closed season except for hunting deer with bow and arrow on private property and for the purpose of trapping under these provisions; establishes that any person shall conduct such hunting only in deer management zones determined by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection; requires any person to have the written permission of the private property owner where such hunting is conducted.
Status: Signed by Governor. Public Act No. 15-204, on July 2

 

Maine H 100
Introduced: 01/21/2015
Sponsor: Representative Gary Hilliard, Member, Maine Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus
Issue Brief: Recruitment
Summary: This bill allows an adult holder of an antler-less deer permit to transfer that permit to a holder of a junior hunting license if the holder of the junior hunting license takes an antler-less deer while in the presence or under the supervision of the antler-less deer permit holder. Once the permit is transferred, the adult antler-less deer permit holder loses the right to take an antler-less deer under that permit.
Status: Became law without the Governor’s signature (Public Law No. 219) on June 21

Maine H 633
Introduced: 03/11/2015
Sponsor: Representative Michael Shaw, Co-Chair, Maine Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus
Issue Brief: Wildlife Council for Public Education
Summary: This bill increases hunting license fees by $1 and directs the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to use that revenue on an annual basis to educate the public on the management of game species. It also directs the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to convene a stakeholders group to develop a 5-year public outreach campaign on the efforts of the department to manage game species, including a plan on how to use the increased revenue. The commissioner is directed to report.
Status: Governor’s veto overridden House and Senate (Public Law No. 245) on June 23

Maine S 94
Introduced: 02/02/2015
Sponsor: Representative Paul Davis, Member, Maine Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus
Issue Brief: General License
Summary: This bill provides that a nonresident enrolled as a full-time student in an institution of higher education in this State is eligible for any trapping, fishing, hunting or combination fishing and hunting license or permit at the resident fee and has the same privileges as a resident of this State in regard to trapping, hunting and fishing.
Status: Governor’s veto overridden by House (Public Law No. 226) on June 22

Maine S 333
Introduced: 03/12/2015
Sponsor: Representative Garrett Mason, Member, Maine Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus  Issue Brief: Firearm Suppressors
Summary: Allows a person to use a noise suppression device while hunting under certain circumstances; provides for enhanced penalties for a person who commits a hunting violation while in possession of a firearm with a noise suppression device; defines hunting crime and serious hunting violation; directs a chief law enforcement officer to provide the certification within a certain number of days under certain circumstances; requires an officer who denies an application to provide the reasons for the denial.
Status: Became law without Governor’s signature (Public Law No. 262) on June 25

New Jersey A 2443
Introduced: 02/06/2015
Sponsor: Assemblyman John Burzichelli, Co-Chair, New Jersey Angling and Hunting Conservation Caucus
Issue Brief: Apprentice Hunting Licenses
Summary: Establishes certain apprentice hunting licenses.
Status: From Assembly Committee on Budget as substituted on June 22

New Jersey S 573
Introduced: 01/14/2015
Sponsor: Senator Shirley Turner
Issue Brief: Apprentice Hunting Licenses
Summary: Establishes apprentice hunting licenses for residents and non-residents; includes a small game license.
Status: To Governor on June 25

Vermont H 5
Introduced: 01/08/2015
Sponsor: Representative David Deen
Issue Brief: Firearm Suppressors
Summary: Requires the Commissioner of Fish and Wildlife to report free permanent fishing, hunting, or combination licenses issued to persons with a permanent, severe, physical mobility disability or age 65 or older; relates to bows and arrows; provides for mentored hunters; provides that license agent fees are the property of the state and shall be promptly paid to the state; creates the Migratory Waterfowl Advisory Committee; provides for protection of endangered species and law enforcement officers.
Status: Signed by Governor (Act No. 61) on June 19

UPPER MIDWESTERN STATES

Ohio H 267
Introduced: 06/22/2015
Sponsor: Representative Margaret Ruhl
Issue Brief: Deer Management
Summary: Establishes a deer sanctuary license; allows a licensee to raise deer; establishes requirements governing such a license; requires the Chief of the Division of Wildlife to issue a wild animal permit to allow a permit holder to rehabilitate deer; establishes procedures that certain law enforcement officers must follow when responding to accidents involving injured or deceased deer; requires training for those officers regarding humane procedures for euthanizing injured deer.
Status: To House Committee on Rules and Reference on June 22

Wisconsin A 107
Introduced: 03/20/2015
Sponsor: Representative Joel Kleefisch, Co-Chair, Wisconsin Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus
Issue Brief: Game Meat Donations
Summary: Authorizes reimbursement to counties for the costs incurred in processing and donating wild turkeys; provides that any applicant for a hunting license may, in addition to paying any fee charged for the license, elect to make a voluntary contribution for the venison and wild turkey processing and donation program; relates to processing and donating meat from wild turkey carcasses.
Status: Signed by Governor on July 1

 

LOWER MIDWESTERN STATES

Illinois H 3234
Introduced: 02/25/2015
Sponsor: Representative Jerry Costello, Member, Illinois Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus
Issue Brief: Apprentice Hunting License
Summary: Amends the Wildlife Code; provides that any resident youth of a certain age and under may apply for a Youth Hunting License, which extends limited hunting privileges; provides that at a certain age or when the youth chooses to hunt by himself or herself, he or she is required to successfully complete a hunter safety course prior to being able to obtain a full hunting license and subsequently hunt by himself or herself; makes a corresponding change.
Status: To Governor on June 29

Illinois H 3674
Introduced: 02/26/2015
Sponsor: Representative Mike Smiddy, Member, Illinois Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus
Issue Brief: Crossbows
Summary: Amends the Wildlife Code; provides that an individual with a youth hunting license may use a crossbow during the first half of the regular deer archery season, provided that the individual remains under the direct supervision of an adult who possesses a valid permit; provides that youths authorized to take deer with a crossbow shall first obtain a specified Deer Hunting Permit.
Status: To Governor on June 29

Nebraska L 394
Introduced: 01/16/2015
Sponsor: Senator Ken Schilz, Chair, Nebraska Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus
Issue Brief: General
Summary: Prohibits interference with hunting, trapping, or fishing by intimidation using a telephone or other communication device.
Status: First Regular Session Adjourned. Carried over to Second Regular Session on June 17

 

SOUTHEASTERN STATES

North Carolina H 640
Introduced: 04/14/2015
Sponsor: Representative Jimmy Dixon, Member, North Carolina Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus
Issue Brief: Sunday Hunting
Summary: Amends various Wildlife Resources Commission laws; establishes the Outdoor Heritage Advisory Council; provides membership and duties for the Council; modifies the three strikes rule for hunting on posted property and review suspension of hunting privileges for negligence; relates to method of taking on Sunday; exempts landowners from civil liability for giving permission to retrieve hunting dogs; relates to firearm regulations.
Status: To Governor on June 30

Louisiana S 133
Introduced: 04/13/2015
Sponsor: Senator Barrow Peacock
Issue Brief: Enforcement
Summary: Provides criteria for parish governing authorities to consider when determining a heavily populated area within the unincorporated area of the parish for purposes of prohibiting, restricting, or regulating the shooting of firearms; targets to ensure a sustainable population.
Status: Signed by Governor (Act No. 259) on June 29

Louisiana S 210
Introduced: 04/13/2015
Sponsor: Senator Neil Riser, Member, Louisiana Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus
Issue Brief: Game Meat Donations
Summary: Provides for the administration and uses of monies in the Hunters for the Hungry Account.
Status: Signed by Governor (Act No. 271) on June 29

Louisiana S 212
Introduced: 04/13/2015
Sponsor: Senator Rick Ward
Issue Brief: Guns
Summary: Authorizes bowhunters to carry any caliber firearm on their person while hunting with a bow.
Status: Signed by Governor (Act No. 273) on June 29

Texas S 1978
Introduced: 03/13/2015
Sponsor: Senator Ed Lucio, Member, Texas Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus
Issue Brief: Game Meat Donations
Summary: Relates to a voluntary contribution to help feed hungry Texans when a person applies for a hunting license.
Status: Signed by Governor on June 19

Texas Constitutional Amendment 2015
Introduced: 01/09/2015
Sponsor: Senator Brandon Creighton, Member, Texas Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus
Issue Brief: Right to Hunt and Fish
Summary: Proposes a constitutional amendment relating to the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife.
Status:  To Texas Voters as Proposition 6 on November 3 Ballot

WESTERN STATES

California A 665
Introduced: 02/24/2015
Sponsor: Assembly Member Jim Frazier, Co-Chair, California Outdoor Sporting Caucus
Issue Brief: General
Summary: Provides that the State fully occupies the field of the taking and possession of fish and game. Provides that unless otherwise authorized by the Fish and Game Code, other state law or federal law, the Fish and Game Commission and the Department of Fish and Wildlife are the only entities that may adopt or promulgate regulations. Requires the Commission to consider certain factors when adopting regulations relating to the taking of fish, amphibians and reptiles and to consider public health and safety.
Status: In Senate. Read second time and amended. Re-referred to Committee on Appropriations on June 29

 

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