Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting Blog

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting Blog

Lawmaker wants hunting licenses revoked for animal cruelty

PENNSYLVANIA
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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A state lawmaker says he will introduce legislation that would allow the Pennsylvania Game Commission to deny hunting licenses to people convicted of severe animal abuse.

State Rep. Tony DeLuca (D-Allegheny) said his legislation was prompted by a recent viral video in which two western Pennsylvania hunters appear to kick and torture a wounded white-tailed deer. The game commission continues to investigate the incident.

DeLuca said Act 10 of 2017, which overhauled Pennsylvania’s animal cruelty laws and prohibits torturing animals, did not give the game commission the power to deny or revoke hunting licenses. He said his legislation seeks to change that and hold people accountable for cruel acts they commit.

“The concept behind my legislation is simple: if you were convicted of torturing an animal, you should not be able to go out there and engage in hunting activities,” DeLuca said in a statement.

The legislation would give the game agency the power to revoke or deny a hunting license to any person convicted of aggravated cruelty to animals. The duration of a license suspension would be determined by the game commission.

Notable 2019 hunting rule changes: No antlerless deer hunting, liberalized black bear season

Thu., Sept. 12, 2019, 6 a.m.

In this Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018, photo, Stuart Schueller waits for other hunters during a hunt in Sherrill, Iowa. (Eileen Meslar / AP)
In this Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018, photo, Stuart Schueller waits for other hunters during a hunt in Sherrill, Iowa. (Eileen Meslar / AP)

No more antlerless deer hunting. That’s the biggest change for Eastern Washington hunters in 2019.

Earlier this year, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission voted to end all antlerless hunting in Eastern Washington units (Game Management Units 101 through 121).

That comes on the heels of a more liberalized 2018 season when archers, black powder hunters and modern rifle hunters had a chance, for the first time in a long time, to hunt antlerless deer. Prior to 2018, there were longstanding youth and senior antlerless hunts.

All that is gone in 2019.

“There are no antlerless harvests,” District 1 wildlife biologist Annemarie Prince said. “Our total harvest this year might be a little deceiving. We will have to compare the antlered to antlerless.”

The change, recommended by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, is in response to decreasing harvest numbers, tough winters in 2016 and 2017 and a devastating outbreak of bluetongue in 2015.

The other big change for Washington hunters is a liberalized black bear hunting season.

On July 1, the commission simplified black bear hunting regulations, opening the season statewide on Aug. 1 and allowing hunters to kill two bears anywhere in the state. Previously, hunting had opened later in Eastern Washington and hunters could only kill one bear from the east side of the state.

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Ballot measure on right to hunt and fish becomes political flashpoint

Voters in North Carolina will be asked this November whether or not the right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife should be enshrined in their state’s constitution.

The ballot measure, which easily passed through the Republican-controlled state Senate in June in a 44-4 vote, has become an unexpectedly divisive issue in North Carolina. Supporters argue the amendment would protect certain hunting practices, but opponents claim it’s little more than a ploy to draw Republican voters to the polls.

If it passes in November, the measure would not change state hunting regulations or modify any existing provisions in state law.  But it would – particularly the language protecting “the right to use traditional methods, to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife” – help ward off any legal challenges to certain hunting methods and the hunting of certain animals.

More on this…

The bill’s sponsors say that with North Carolina’s changing demographics and a population shift to cities like Charlotte and Raleigh, they worry anti-gun and animal rights activists could impinge on the rights of hunters and fishers.

“This change creates a situation that in the future could bring conflict between those who enjoy hunting and fishing and those who don’t,” North Carolina state Sen. Norman Sanderson, who co-sponsored the bill to have the measure put on the ballot, told Fox News. “We don’t want the rights of hunters and fishers to be infringed upon.”

In a message to the state Senate Agriculture/Environment/Natural Resources Committee, John Culclasure, the coordinator of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, said the amendment would act to preemptively halt restrictions like those for bear hunting in Maine and dove hunting in Michigan.

“Constitutionally safeguarding the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife is critical to the future of North Carolina’s outdoor heritage,” Culclasure said.

Out Pheasant Hunting on the prairie with his dog

The ballot measure, which easily passed through the Republican-controlled state Senate in June in a 44-4 vote, has become a divisive topic in North Carolina, with its supporters arguing that the amendment would protect certain hunting practices while opponents claiming its little more than a ploy to get Republicans to head to the ballot box.  (istock)

Many Democratic lawmakers in Raleigh, however, argue that there is currently no push in North Carolina to restrict any type of hunting and fishing and that the ballot measure is simply about Republicans playing politics ahead of the hard-fought midterm elections.

“There are no threats to the right to hunt and fish in North Carolina,” state Sen. Floyd McKissick told Fox News. “This is just a move by Republican lawmakers to motivate their base to go the polls on Election Day because they’re worried they are at risk of losing power.”

McKissick pointed to three other measures slated to be on the upcoming ballot in the Tar Heel State – a voter ID requirement, an amendment on judicial seats and a measure to make the legislature responsible for appointments to state commissions – as similar attempts by Republican lawmakers to increase turnout among conservative voters.

Grandpa and Grandson going duck hunting in North Dakota

Many Democratic lawmakers in Raleigh, however, argue that there is currently no push in North Carolina to restrict any type of hunting and fishing and that the ballot measure is simply about Republicans playing politics ahead of the contentious midterm elections.  (istock)

While Sanderson admitted that “anything I can do to increase voter turnout is a good thing,” he brushed off the idea that this, and other ballot measures in the state, are just a way to increase Republican turnout.

“I’ve enjoyed hunting and fishing since I was six years old and I don’t want to have that threatened,” he said. “Having this in the state’s constitution would mean it would need to be taken into consideration every time someone wants to take a rifle out of the hand of a hunter.”