Sept. 28 is National Hunting & Fishing Day
STAFF REPORTS | September 22,2013
National Hunting and Fishing Day on Sept. 28 is a perfect day to celebrate the contributions by hunters and anglers to fish and wildlife conservation through the Sportfish and Wildlife Restoration Program.
“Celebrating National Hunting and Fishing Day helps recognize that hunters and anglers have been the leaders in major conservation programs since the beginning of the 20th century,” said Vermont Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Patrick Berry. “They are re-
sponsible for the majority of funding for Vermont’s Fish & Wildlife Department through the federal excise taxes they lobbied to create and through the annual licenses they purchase. Thanks to the federal Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson Acts, the money collected must be dedicated to supporting fish and wildlife conservation.”
The resulting scientifically based fish and wildlife conservation programs have led to the dramatic comeback of many species that appeared to be headed for extinction in Vermont. For example, Vermont’s populations of white-tailed deer, moose, beaver, bear, and wild turkey, are now restored to abundant numbers.
“We can thank our sportsmen and women for their continuing efforts to ensure the wise use and proper management of our fish and wildlife resources,” said Commissioner Berry. “And we can also thank them for providing most of the funding for the fish and wildlife conservation programs here in Vermont and throughout the United States.”
The program was jumpstarted in 1937 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act (also known as the Pittman-Robertson Act), which raises funds through a dedicated excise tax on sporting guns and ammunition.
In 1950, the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act (also known as the Dingell-Johnson Act) was enacted. This law provides funds for fish conservation and boating and fishing recreational programs in each state through an excise tax on fishing and boating equipment and fuels.
Both sources of federal funding, coupled with license dollars, continue to pay for most of the fish and wildlife conservation work done by state fish and wildlife agencies throughout the country.
Congress established National Hunting and Fishing Day to recognize hunters and anglers for their leadership in fish and wildlife conservation. Since launching in 1972, National Hunting and Fishing Day has been formally proclaimed annually by every U.S. President.
“National Hunting and Fishing Day gives us a chance to reflect on the foresight of generations of hunters and anglers who have worked ceaselessly to protect the resources we all enjoy,” said Commissioner Berry. “We can use Saturday as an opportunity to enjoy firsthand the legacy they have created and that we all must work together to preserve.”
To learn more about fish and wildlife conservation in Vermont, go to www.vtfishandwildlife.com. For more information about National Hunting and Fishing Day, check in at www.NHFDAY.org. And for detailed information about the federal Sportfish and Wildlife Restoration program, go to: http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/ .
Rules for importing
deer, elk from
Hunters traveling outside Vermont to hunt deer or elk need to keep in mind that the regulation designed to protect Vermont’s wild deer from chronic wasting disease remains in effect, according to a reminder from the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal disease of the brain and nervous system in deer and elk. Abnormal prion proteins produce lesions in the brain that cause disorientation and emaciation in conjunction with other abnormal behaviors. For the latest information on CWD, check these websites: www.vtfishandwildlife.com and www.cwd-info.org.
The potential exists for CWD prion proteins to be introduced to the environment through the bodily fluids of CWD-positive ungulates and then persist in the environment for extended periods of time. Thus, hunters are reminded to help reduce the risk of disease transmission through limiting the utilization of real deer urine attractants while hunting.
Vermont rules on importing and possession of deer or elk from areas with chronic wasting disease (CWD) and captive hunt areas or farms:
It is illegal to import or possess deer or elk, or parts of deer or elk, from states and Canadian provinces that have had chronic wasting disease, or from captive hunt or farm facilities with the following exceptions:
- Meat that is cut up, packaged and labeled with hunting license information and not mixed with other deer or elk during processing;
- Meat that is boneless;
- Hides or capes with no part of the head attached;
- Clean skull-cap with antlers attached;
- Antlers with no other meat or tissue attached;
- Finished taxidermy heads;
- Upper canine teeth with no tissue attached.
Vermont’s CWD importation regulations currently apply to hunters bringing in deer or elk carcasses from the following states and provinces:
Alberta, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan,Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, NewYork, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Saskatchewan, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
“CWD is a very persistent disease that can resurface after years of absence,” said Adam Murkowski, Vermont’s deer project leader. “Vermont’s CWD regulation is designed to help prevent CWD from infecting Vermont’s deer and the drastic de-population measures that would be required if it appears here.”
“Hunters bringing deer or elk from any of the CWD-listed states or provinces into or through Vermont simply have to get them processed according to the regulation before doing so.”
A fine of up to $1,000 and loss of hunting and fishing licenses for one year are applicable for each deer or elk imported illegally.