August 25, 2019

New Bill Would Change How Wildlife is Managed in Alaska

Sen. Ralph Seekins has revived a bill that he introduced last year with some changes to it. The bill, SB170, fired up debate from both opponents and proponents. In short, this is what Seekins bill is proposing:

To make the wildlife commission more accountable to the Legislature. Require the commission to spend user fees on hunting opportunities not wildlife viewing. The bill would make it mandatory that the main priority be focused on providing game for hunters. It would also require the board to get approval from the Legislature before it could transfer more than $20,000 from one project to another. It would incrementally increase resident hunting license fees from $25 to $60 and increase non-resident fees substantially more.

A similar bill last year was defeated. Read more about it here.
Tom Remington

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Connecticut One Step Closer to Sunday Hunting

The Connecticut Senate voted 27-8 in favor of allowing limited Sunday hunting. The bill moves over to the House. The bill would allow for restricted bow and arrow hunting in areas where there is a serious problem with over population of deer. The bill requires this to be done only on private land, with permission from the landowner and if there is a recognized population problem.

If this bill passes, it would eliminate a Sunday hunting ban that dates back to colonial times. Connecticut is one of a small contingency of states that does not permit Sunday hunting.

Tom Remington

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Seeking Public Input

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public input on an environmental impact study on migratory bird hunting. If this is an issue you are concerned with, give them your input. Often times the majority of comments received are from anti-hunters and animal rights groups. Below is the press release along with information on how to make comment.

PUBLIC INPUT INVITED FOR ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT ON MIGRATORY
BIRD HUNTING
Public meeting in Hadley, Mass., on April 10, 2006

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has published a notice inviting
public comment and participation as a part of the scoping process in
drafting a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) on the hunting
of migratory birds. Comments can be sent directly to the Service or
provided at a dozen scoping meetings to be held around the country.

“Migratory bird management is a key mission of the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service,” said Service Director H. Dale Hall. “This National
Environmental Policy Act process will ensure that all voices are heard as we
further our Nation’s migratory bird hunting tradition and examine its
role as a wildlife management tool.”

The Service invites Federal and State Agencies and the public to
present their views on the scope and substance of an SEIS, options or
alternatives to be considered and important management issues. The SEIS will
update the 1975 EIS and 1988 SEIS for issuing of annual hunting
regulations.

Under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Fish and Wildlife
Improvement Act, the Secretary of the Interior has the authority to determine
whether migratory bird hunting can take place and issue regulations to
guide management. Migratory game birds are species designated in
conventions between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Japan, and Russia.

The draft SEIS — which will contain management alternatives — will be
published for comment next year. The notice of the public scoping
process was published in the March 9, 2006, volume of the Federal Register.

Written comments regarding SEIS scoping are due by May 30, 2006, to
Chief, Division of Migratory Bird Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service, Department of the Interior, MS MBSP-4107-ARLSQ, 1849 C Street, NW,
Washington, DC 20240. Alternately, comment may be sent by fax to (703)
358-2217 or by e-mail to huntingseis@fws.gov. All comments received
from the initiation of this process on September 8, 2005, (when the
Service published a Notice of Intent to prepare a SEIS) until May 30, 2006,
will be considered.

For more information, please see
http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/fedreg/MGBHR.HTML.

PUBLIC SCOPING MEETINGS are being held around the country, including a
meeting at 7 p.m. on April 10, 2006, in Hadley, Massachusetts, at the
Northeast Regional Office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 300
Westgate Center Drive.

The Service regulates the hunting of waterfowl, cranes, rails, snipe
and woodcock and doves and pigeons. Regulations governing seasons and
limits are created annually since bird populations change from year to
year. These “annual” regulations have been written by the Service each
year since 1918. Other regulations, termed “basic” regulations such as
those governing hunting methods, are changed only when a need to do so
arises.

In the September 8, 2005, Federal Register, the Service provided
information on the current process for establishing sport hunting
regulations, the tribal regulations process, the Alaska subsistence process, and
past NEPA considerations.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency
responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and
plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American
people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge
System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of
small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69
national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 ecological
services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws,
administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations,
restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores
wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign and Native American
tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the
Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of
dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state
fish and wildlife agencies.

For more information about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, visit
our homepage at http://www.fws.gov.

Nicholas Throckmorton
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Public Affairs
Room 3357
1849 C. Street, NW
Washington D.C. 20240

202/208-5636 – phone
202/219-2428 – fax
Copyright 2006 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive,
Concord, NH 03301. Comments or questions concerning this list should
be directed to lpoinier@wildlife.state.nh.us.

Tom Remington

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Deer Baiting Bill Dies in Mississippi

One more time, the lawmakers in Mississippi could not reach a consensus and come up with a bill to legalize or define baiting. Lawmakers have debated, hashed, re-hashed, debated some more and still can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel in deciding on this baiting issue.

With that said, it will continue to remain against the law to hunt deer over bait.

The state wildlife officials continue to say they have not asked for this legislation. They have said that baiting deer for the purpose of hunting them will not help in the management of the deer. They provide statistic that show that it actually is detrimental to other wildlife, deer and their habitat.

On average each year, hunters harvest between 300,000 and 350,000 deer. Some regions of the state there are too many deer and others the numbers are low.

Tom Remington

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Tom Delay Wants His Concealed Weapons Permit Re-Instated

Texas has an odd law that was passed back in 1995 the says that anyone charged with, not convicted of, a Class A or Class B misdemeanor or indicted on felony charges, cannot carry a concealed weapon.

Tom Delay has been indicted on charges of money laundering, which is a felony, and a Texas judge has revoked Delay’s permit to carry. Whether you think Delay is guilty or innocent, you have to ask yourself why would Texas have a law like this? – or any other state for that matter. Isn’t a person innocent until proven guilty?

Here’s an explanation of the founding of the bill.

The author of the original bill, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, who was a state senator, said the section of law calling for suspension of licenses of people under indictment should probably be removed from the statute.

“It is clearly not rational, not called for, but it was one of those things we did to make somebody say, ‘OK, I’ll vote for it,’ ” Patterson said Monday.

Another day in the life of sleezy politicians. This kind of behavior that goes on daily in the halls of Congress is one reason why people don’t trust, don’t like, and don’t want anything to do with these people. What kind of lawmakers, yield away a person’s Constitutional rights in order to get some other bill through Congress? All kinds, that’s who. This is one very big reason that we all need to pay attention to what our lawmakers are doing so this doesn’t happen.

During a question and answer period when representatives of Delay were announcing the plan to appeal the decision, a reporter asked why Delay wanted to carry a concealed weapon. Of course the representative replied that that was a personal issue, angering some in attendance who felt that they had a right to know.

Why is taking away one right of a presumed innocent individual considered acceptible? Why didn’t they pass a law the makes free speech illegal to someone accused of a felony? Or they could tell someone under indictment they cannot practice freedom of religion. The key here is where is the presumption of innocence?

Tom Remington

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No Electronic Turkey Calls in Wisconsin

This is just a reminder in case someone has forgotten or didn’t know, Wisconsin has banned the use of electronic turkey calls. This spring the turkey hunt will begin on April 12, 2006.

Tom Remington

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Should the Commerce Clause Apply To Hunting?

The so-called and much abused, in my opinion, commerce clause, a part of the U.S. Constitution that in its most basic interpretation says that no one should be restricted in doing business from one state to another. Sounds simple enough, right? What that means is if your friend John Smith is selling beaver pelts in Vermont and you live in Maine, you should be able to go to Vermont and sell beaver pelts too.

But what about hunting and trapping as a business. Not the selling of furs but the actual act of hunting or trapping, or fishing for that matter? Let me give you an example. Maine’s deer hunting season opens on a Saturday. That opening day is for residents only. If you’re an out-of-state hunter, you have to wait until the following Monday. Does this violate the commerce clause? If you’re a guide living in Pennsylvania and you have clients from Texas who want to go to Maine and hunt that opening Saturday, shouldn’t they be allowed to under the commerce clause?

Let’s look at it from another angle. Let’s take the state of North Dakota. In North Dakota it is legal for you to hunt ducks on your land without a license if you are a resident of the state. When duck season opens, the first week is exclusively for the residents of North Dakota. Again, the question is, does that violate the commerce clause? Here’s a sticky wicket. It is legal, as I said, to hunt ducks on your own land without a license. But it illegal to hunt ducks on land you might own in North Dakota if you are a resident of another state. You can hunt ducks on your land after the first week of duck season and if you buy a license to do it. Is this discrimination and does it violate the commerce clause?

There are two issues here that are being challenged in North Dakota in the 8th U.S. District Court of Appeals. The two issues are discrimination and violation of the commerce clause.

You don’t need to be a business scholar to realize that hunting, trapping and fishing are all big business, bringing billions of dollars annually into the pockets of everyone. The courts recognize that and it will be interesting to see how the court is going to rule on this issue of commerce.

The discrimination suit may be more difficult to prove but if the courts rule in favor of the plaintiff, this will set a precedence that could have a sweeping affect all across the country. I’ll do my best to stay on top of this ruling.

Tom Remington

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The Relentless Onslaught By Anti-Hunters in New Jersey Never Stops

Just when you thought the coast was clear, along come the dregs who will not give up until they get their own way – acting like spoiled brats. I will give them credit for one thing – they are determined, but not too smart.

The antis are proposing a bill in New Jersey to ban bear hunting, fund their animal rights agenda and strip the wildlife agency from its management authority.

Democrat Assemblyman Michael Panter of Red Bank introduced bill AB525. This bill would remove regulation of the bear from the Fish and Game Commission and the Department of Environmental Protection and place that control in the hands of a Black Bear Study Commission.

This Black Bear Study Commission, as proposed in this assinine bill, would be appointed by the Governor AND would have reserved seats on the board for anti-hunting and environmental groups including the Humane Society of the United States. No seats would be reserved for hunters, sportsmen or game officials.

Taxpayer’s money would be used to fund already proven to be non-effective means of birth control and a bear stamp program would be required to fund reimbursement costs of damages caused by the over population of bears to property owners.

This bill is one of the most absurd proposals I have seen coming from a group so brazen they actually think they can get this passed. It is clearly not an attempt in any positive way to help alleviate a growing bear population. It’s a socialistic program to reimburse property owners for any damages created by nuisance bears and at the same time, an attempt to further the agenda of anti-hunters – at the expense of taxpayers.

Please, residents, and in particular sportsmen, you need to contact your state Assembly person in your district and tell them how you stand on this issue. It needs to be stopped before it can even get out of committee. This group is hoping that you will give up and go away. We can’t let this happen.
You can contact your Assemblymen at this number (609)-292-4840 or if you visit the Legislative Action Center at the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance web site, you can find information there.

Tom Remington

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