Attn all hunters/trappers/fishers and wildlife lovers:
Three hearing dates have been set for the proposed Fish and Wildlife Board Rule on Retrieval and Utilization of Wildlife. This is a rule that addresses the worst behavior by a few slobs that don't respect wildlife and make us all look bad. Some have argued that we don't need the rule because the vast majority of hunters, anglers and trappers do make a strong attempt to retrieve all wildlife the attempt to take and they do use all eatable meat and hides of the critters they kill. I fully agree. But, and this is a big but, we do have some so called sportsmen who don't bother to walk over and look for blood sign when the deer they just blasted from the road side doesn't go right down, and through out small perch in the access areas because they got some bigger ones and do dump deer over the guard rails because they waited too long to skin it out. And these few hurt us all. They become the public face of us all to folks that don't know a hunter personally. Yes, we have the road hunters, sign shooters and deer jackers. But at least the Wardens can arrest them for law violations. The wildlife wasters in most cases are not violating the way our laws read now. This needs to be changed.
We have this opportunity to be the agents of positive change by supporting the spirit of this rule. Or we can abdicated our responsibilities and let others impose their version of this rule on us. According to my contacts in Legislature and in the Department, that is exactly what will happen if the board does not adopt this rule.
So its up to us. Lead or be led. Is the rule perfect? No. But it is a very good start. The proposed rule is supported almost in entirety by the Vt Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs (who I represented on the working group), Vt Trappers Assn and the Traditions Coalition. HAT did not support it as they appeared to be opposed to any new regulations, arguing both that the rule did not go far enough and that no rule is needed.
Here are the meeting dates - I hope to see you there!
March 10th in Essex Jct at the Dept’s District office at 111 West Street from 6PM to 8PM
March 11th in Montpelier at the Pavilion Building auditorium from 6PM to 8 PM
March 12th in Castleton at the Dept’s Kehoe Conservation Camp from 6PM to 8 PM
For the draft wording go to my previous post