Hunting

NSSF Witness to President Trump Signing Great American Outdoors Act into Law

NSSF®, the trade association for the firearm industry, was honored to be present at the White House as President Donald Trump signed into law the Great American Outdoors Act, H.R. 1957. This historic federal law is among the most meaningful legislative measures for sportsmen conservationists ever.

“This is a proud moment for the firearm industry which supported this legislation to see it passed into law by the Trump administration which has kept the promise that public lands and waters belong to all of America’s sportsmen and women,” said Joe Bartozzi, NSSF President and Chief Executive Officer. “The Great American Outdoors Act is bold in its scope and historic in the guarantee that public lands and waters will be accessible to America’s conservation-minded hunters and recreational target shooters. Outdoorsmen and women are the greatest stewards of our natural resources of wildlife, natural habitats and conservation-minded traditions that pass along the benefit of the preservation of public lands access for all. This law enables current and future generations of Americans to enjoy and preserve our national outdoor heritage.”

The Great American Outdoors Act delivers on the promise of sustained wildlife conservation, public land hunting and recreational shooting for current and future generations of outdoorsmen and women. The law was conceived with bipartisan support and ensures full, dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). It addresses the maintenance backlog of public lands and water projects across the United States. Those projects include wildlife habitat conservation, road and trail repairs and increased recreational access to our public lands and waters.

NSSF Hails Congressional Passage of Great American Outdoors Act

NSSF, the trade association for the firearm industry, praised the U.S. House of Representatives’s bipartisan passage of H.R. 1957, the Great American Outdoors Act. This historic legislation is among the most meaningful legislative measures for sportsmen conservationists ever. The bill now moves to President Donald Trump’s desk.

The Great American Outdoors Act is a leap forward to delivering on the promise of sustained wildlife conservation, public land hunting and recreational shooting for current and future generations of outdoorsmen and women. The bipartisan legislation ensures full, dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and addresses the maintenance backlog of public lands and water projects across the United States. Those projects include wildlife habitat conservation, road and trail repairs and increased recreational access to our public lands and waters. NSSF is confident that the legislation will be signed into law by President Trump who has previously expressed support for the bill.

“This will be a great example of a promise kept by the Trump Administration for America’s sportsmen and women,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs and General Counsel. “Secretary David Bernhardt and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Aurelia Skipwith recognize that our nation’s public lands belong to all Americans and the Trump Administration delivered on the guarantee that those lands and waters are accessible to America’s conservation-minded hunters and recreational target shooters. Those men and women are the greatest stewards of our natural resources and this initiative to expand and open new opportunities will nurture the next generation to enjoy and preserve our national outdoor heritage.”

Southeast: States Provide Hunter Education Course Options and Ease Restrictions during COVID-19 Pandemic

As the nation continues to adjust to social distancing requirements, some state fish and wildlife agencies are providing alternatives to hunter education course requirements while other states are easing access restrictions for anglers that were imposed due to COVID-19.

These waivers and revisions allow sportsmen and women to participate in hunting and fishing activities as long as the necessary social distancing requirements are maintained. The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) and conservation partners are promoting the #ResponsibleRecreation social media campaign that encourages people to hunt and fish while adhering to the Centers for Disease Control guidelines. In a related effort, CSF and other members of the American Wildlife Conservation Partners sent a letter to governors to encourage them to maintain open access for hunters and anglers.

Kentucky

The Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources altered the range day requirement for their internet-based hunter’s education course. In response to the COVID-related restrictions, a “virtual range day” has been instituted for those wanting to complete the hunter education course prior to May 15. A few different vendors offer an online hunter education course, including one that offers the course for free. Interested individuals can access the courses and the virtual range day here.

North Carolina

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC) waived the field day component for their hunter education course for individuals who want to purchase their hunting license during the COVID-19 pandemic. The WRC offers three online hunter education courses, ranging from $13.00 to $29.00, as an alternative to the traditional classroom course. Upon successful completion, the hunter can print the temporary hunter education card to purchase their license. Those interested in this convenient alternative can access the online course offerings here.

Mississippi

In an effort to ease restrictions for anglers in Mississippi, Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus Member Governor Tate Reeves issued Executive Order 1473, which allows the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) to reopen state lakes and state park lakes for fishing and boating on April 20. The MDWFP announced that bank fishing will also be permitted on these lakes as long as social distancing requirements are observed.

South Carolina

In similar fashion, Governor Henry McMaster granted authority to local governments or managing authorities to reopen public boat landings and ramps for launching and retrieving boats on April 17. Executive Order 2020-25 also clarified that while public access may be reopened for lakes, the rafting or beaching of boats is still prohibited for the duration of the State of Emergency.

With turkey seasons and fishing seasons underway across the South, CSF commends these efforts to ease restrictions for hunters and anglers during this time.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Seeks Comments on Firearm Possession Revision

Last week, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) published an announcement to seek public comment on a proposed revision to an existing regulation governing the possession and transportation of firearms and other sporting equipment at USACE managed projects and locations.

Currently, sportsmen and women are prohibited from possessing firearms, ammunition, and archery equipment on USACE managed lands and waters unless the equipment is unloaded during transportation to hunting and fishing sites, in possession at authorized shooting ranges, or written permission has been received from a USACE District Commander. As such, sportsmen and women may not possess such equipment for personal protection while participating in outdoor recreation activities unless they have received written permission.

This proposed revision will eliminate the requirement to obtain written permission to carry a firearm and other equipment on USACE projects, which will strengthen the ability of sportsmen and women to safely participate in hunting and fishing on federal lands and waters. Furthermore, the proposal will also align USACE’s regulations to be more consistent with other federal land management agencies as well as state and local regulations regarding the possession for firearms, ammunition, and archery equipment.

The public comment closes on June 12.

NRA Urges Governors to Keep Public Lands Open

The National Rifle Association, along with other pro-hunting organizations, sent a letter to governors of all 50 states on Friday urging them to keep public lands open for hunting and fishing during the COVID-19 pandemic.​

“Now, perhaps more than ever, families need access to hunting and fishing grounds so they can put food on the table for their families,” said Jason Oumet, executive director, National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action. “There is no reason why people should be prohibited from spending time alone in America’s wide-open spaces. At its core, hunting is the original social distancing.”

The NRA teamed with the Dallas Safari Club, Hunter Nation and Safari Club International in the effort. The letter outlines the reasons why keeping public lands is crucial during this period while strongly supporting efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, such as social distancing.

In part, the letter reads:

“Closing these areas significantly limits the ability of our nation’s millions of sportsmen and women who take to our woods, waters, and wild lands every year to pursue their passion for the outdoors — an activity that is, at its core, America’s most traditional form of “social distancing.” Further, given the economic effects of COVID-19, it is more important than ever to allow hunters and anglers access to healthy and inexpensive sources of food to support their families.”

The letter was sent to governors of all 50 states Friday morning.

Girls with Guns Unveils New Hunting Gear at SHOT

logoChances are if you are a female interested in the outdoors, hunting, or shooting, you have heard of Girls With Guns (GWG). GWG started in 2008 with apparel designed to be fashionable while still allowing a young woman to wear camouflage to the store. From humble beginnings in a garage, GWG started out designing and embroidering their own hats and now their items can be found in national chains such as Cabela’s and Dick’s.

Norissa Harman and Jen Adams are two friends who are young, fashionable, and avid hunters. They grew tired of having to wear small men’s, and probably large boy’s, clothing while hunting. When you are out in the field hunting, ill-fitting clothes can cause many problems, such as exposed skin, being noisy, and restricted movement. They eventually expanded their clothing line to include hunting clothes, designed by women for women.   Continue reading

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