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    Maryland Sportsmen Block Effort to Erode Sportsmen's Rights

    Join our e-mail alert list

    Maryland sportsmen’s grassroots action put an end to a run of anti-trapping victories in the state.

    Senate Bill 822, which would have banned leg hold traps and snares, died in the Senate Environmental Affairs Committee when the legislative session ended on April 9. Its companion, HB 1369, failed in the House Environmental Matters Committee. Sportsmen’s action sealed the fate of these dangerous proposals.

    The Maryland Fur Trappers and Maryland Sportsmen’s Association helped mount a grassroots campaign against the threatening legislation. The USSA is proud of the sportsmen who demonstrated their opposition to the bills after receiving action alerts.

    “Hats off to the organizations and the sportsmen who helped lead the fight to defend trappers’ rights,” said Rob Sexton, vice president for government affairs. “The defeat of these bills again proves that a network of active sportsmen can disrupt anti-hunters’ momentum and block efforts to outlaw hunting and trapping.”

    Senate Bill 822 was sponsored by Sen. Gwendolyn Britt, D-Baltimore. The house bill was sponsored by Rep. Barbara Frush, D-Calverton.

  • #2
    Anti's Will Protest As Sportsmen Prepare to Bag Marylan

    Anti's Will Protest As Sportsmen Prepare to Bag Maryland Bears
    Anti's will demonstrate at governor's mansion

    October 20, 2007 (Maryland)

    Animal rightists plan to protest at the governor’s mansion tomorrow to demand the state’s black bear hunt be cancelled.

    Members of the Humane Society of the United States, the nation’s largest anti-hunting group, with picket signs in tow, will demonstrate in front of Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s residence Oct. 21. O’Malley has already shot down anti-hunters’ requests to stop the state’s recently-established black bear hunt, which is scheduled to begin Monday.

    Last week, HSUS placed a full-page ad in The Baltimore Sun insisting that Gov. O’Malley call off the hunt. The new administration did not concede as the anti’s had hoped. The governor’s office responded that the hunt will remain part of the effort to control the state’s black bears.

    “The growing bear population and its impact on citizens, especially in Western Maryland, requires some action," said O'Malley spokesman Rick Abbruzzese.

    In 2004, the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance worked with key legislators and drummed up grassroots support to help establish Maryland’s bear hunt. Its legal arm, the U.S. Sportsmen’s Legal Defense Fund, had gone to court in 2005 to protect the hunt.

    Maryland’s black bear hunt will run through Oct. 27 or until the harvest goal of 50 bears is reached.
    Saltwater Fishing Articles & More by Outdoor Writer Jerry LaBella


    • #3
      Maryland Bill Establishes Minimum Hunting Age

      Maryland Bill Establishes Minimum Hunting Age

      Youth Recruitment Efforts in Jeopardy

      Legislation has been introduced in Maryland that will establish a minimum hunting age while devastating youth recruitment efforts.

      House Bill 655, sponsored by Del. Barbara Frush, D-Beltsville, and Virginia P. Clagett, D-Annapolis, prohibits anyone under the age of 13 from receiving a hunting license. Under current law youth under the age of 15 must pass a hunter education course and be under the supervision of a licensed hunter. There is no justification for establishing a minimum age requirement.

      “If passed, this bill will have a devastating effect on recruiting young hunters and the future of wildlife conservation in Maryland,” said Rob Sexton, USSA vice president for government affairs. “The bill is a deliberate attempt to sabotage the future of hunting.”

      Research has shown that people are far less likely to take up hunting after age twelve. Research also has shown that young hunters are the safest hunters in the field when accompanied by an experienced mentor. In other words, this bill does nothing to ensure safe hunting, but it will accelerate the destruction of hunting.

      “Parents, not the government, are far more equipped to know when their sons and daughters are ready to hunt,” said Sexton.

      This bill goes against the nationwide trend of lowering barriers and easing restrictions on recruiting the next generation of sportsmen. Twenty-two states, including Virginia, have passed Families Afield-style measures since 2004 aimed at improving youth participation and recruitment.

      House Bill 655 has been referred to the House Environmental Matters Committee.

      Take Action! Maryland sportsmen should contact their legislator to reject HB 655. Let them know that you oppose unnecessary restrictions on youth hunting. To find your representative, call (410) 946-5400 or use the Legislative Action Center at

      The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance is a national association of sportsmen and sportsmen’s organization that protects the rights of hunters, anglers and trappers in the courts, legislatures, at the ballot, in Congress and through public education programs. For more information about the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance and its work, call (614) 888-4868 or visit its website,
      Saltwater Fishing Articles & More by Outdoor Writer Jerry LaBella


      • #4
        Anti-Hunting Bill Stripped of Worst Provisions Thanks t

        Hunting Will Continue in Maryland County

        Anti-Hunting Bill Stripped of Worst Provisions Thanks to Grassroots Effort

        Sportsmen in Maryland united to save hunting in Howard County.

        A measure had been introduced before the Howard County Council that would have practically shut down hunting throughout the county. However, the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance and other groups pushed a successful grassroots response that resulted in the removal of the most offensive restrictions.

        As reported previously in On Target, the Executive of Howard County, Ken Ulman, proposed a set of overly restrictive regulations for hunters. Among the worst was a provision increasing the distance one may hunt near an occupied dwelling from 150 to 300 yards. Another prohibited hunting on parcels of land smaller than 10 acres. If those regulations had been implemented, almost all hunting would have been effectively closed in Howard County.

        Fortunately, sportsmen voiced their concerns during a January 21 public hearing and persuaded members of the council to drop the worst provisions. Instead of increased safety zones and prohibitions on where hunting could take place, the final version makes hunters liable for a civil fine of up to $1,000 should they ignore safety rules.
        Saltwater Fishing Articles & More by Outdoor Writer Jerry LaBella