The legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee has acted on several interesting bills.
A bill (LD 337) to allow a spring bear hunt went down to a quick and unanimous defeat.
A bill (LD 27) to allow the use of crossbows in the bowhunting deer season was unanimously approved – after an extensive discussion during which DIFW Commissioner Judy Camuso expressed support, including the possibility of crossbows in expanded archery seasons. Judy also suggested allowing crossbows for turkey hunting, but the committee did not include that. There are a bunch of turkey bills coming later, so there’s still a chance this will be approved. The use of crossbows was approved for just 3 years (2020, 2021, 2022), and if that is to continue, the legislature will have to act again sometime before the end of 2022.
A bill (LD 79) to protect shooting ranges won the unanimous support of the committee. A relatively new law prohibits shooting ranges within 100 yards of any building. LD 79 would protect the shooting range if it was there before a structure was built within 100 yards of the range. The Committee unanimously supported this bill.
A bill (LD 490) to allow DIFW to expand the trapping season up to 21 days due to bad weather also won the unanimous support of the committee.
And a bill (LD 525) to increase the snowmobile registration fee from $45 to $55 was unanimously opposed.
All of these bills will now go to the full legislature for action.