by Guy Page
A bill that would ban almost all trapping in Vermont (H.172) was reviewed this week by the Vermont House Natural Resources, Fish & Wildlife Committee.
“This bill proposes to prohibit trapping of animals unless conducted by a licensed nuisance wildlife control operator. It establishes a nuisance wildlife trapping license. It also prohibits the use of dogs in hunting black bears,” H172 says it its introduction.
In testimony concerning H.172, sponsor and committee vice-chair Rep. Jim McCullough (D-Williston) stated that Vermonters were demanding this bill because he received 472 emails in support.
“Only 472 emails? Since it is apparent that Rep McCullough thinks that hearing from 0.07% of Vermonters is enough to influence the Committee – let’s slam them with thousands,” the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs VTFSC said in a notice to supporters. Rep. McCullough’s comment on banning trapping can be seen on video here; his comment on hounding is seen here.
At his press conference today, Gov. Scott said H172 may not get out of committee or be sent over to the Senate. “We continue to review some of our traditions,” he said.
The VTFSC expressed concern about others hunting-related bills.
H.316 would clarify that a hunter training dogs or using dogs to hunt black bear must retain visual and verbal control over the dogs while hunting.
H.167 adds another layer of bureaucracy to oversee the Agency of Natural Resources and the Fish & Wildlife Board.
Also, gun rights advocates are now dealing with H.411, this is year’s version of the 2020 ‘Wanton Waste’ bill, which would “establish standards for the retrieval and disposal of certain wild animals that are intentionally killed.”