Trapping ban discussed in House wildlife committee

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.”

Categories: Gunrights

15 replies »

  1. I don’t know what Rep McCullough’s issue is, but he seems to always be on the other side of Fish and Wildlife issues from that of the department. It pains me to admit that he is evidently a Native Vermonter as he sides with the “Wannabes” so often. What’s up with that ? I would almost suspect that he harbors a resentment towards those in the department that actually achieved their goals of working in a science based fish and wildlife management organization .

    • McCullough just has an aversion to self-sufficiency and the do-it-yourselfer. A real kool-aid drinker, he has in the past tried to make it illegal for Vermonters to do wiring/ electrical work in our own homes without the supervision of a licensed electrician. He is the perfect example of a public “servant” who doesn’t trust the very people who fund his legislative paycheck. He needs to retire and go away…like 10 years ago.

  2. Hunting AND Trapping ARE cost effective and useful in Maintaining a viable level of wild life. NO control of wildlife, will eventually result in UN controlled levels of wildlife,. Then people may complain when coyotes and other predators start to feed on their beloved pets. Also deer will decimate their Vegetable and flower gardens. hunting and fishing licenses are self supporting ways to control wildlife.

  3. The provision that bear tracking dogs stay within visual and verbal control is reasonable response to the customary use of dogs wearing radio tracking collars. It doesn’t seem “sporting” to follow along in a vehicle ( as I am told they do) until your dog trees the bear. If you can’t keep up with the dog you don’t get the kill.

    • This is only your opinion,tradition speak louder than people that enjoy hunting!!

      • Ms. Page, Visual and verbal control ? You obviously do not know much about hunting with dogs be they bear, coon, rabbit or upland birds. Stay within sight of the dogs ? Don’t be ridiculous. None of them, even pointers are within sight of the hunters 100% of the time. These dogs are worth a lot of money, thus the use of radio collars even on bird dogs. Even rabbit hunting with beagles the objective of the following hunters, is to stay within hearing of the pursuing hounds.Larger game like bears, coyotes, and bobcats may lead hunters for miles from where they are started. If hunting in this manner doesn’t seem “sporting” enough I would suggest that you try it, and then tell me it’s not “sporting”.

  4. I moved to Vermont in 1986 because it was a quiet and peaceful State,and the freedom to hunt and fish and work and have community gatherings was just free and easy! Now,it is a very nasty place to live and work! WE cannot blame the unrest on Covid 19,surely that is another problem of civil unrest,but the Government in Vermont is way to invasive concerning hunting and fishing.Because of 472 emails that is not any reason to change anything.There has to be many things,hunting being just one to be left alone to be enjoyed;as well as being with friends and family,town meeting,and working without fear of taxes over taxes to support big government!!

  5. Sarah Page. Obviously, you have never been on a hunt with dogs. So, in my opinion, you should not be making comments that might influence someone else’s opinion when they listen to or read your hearsay.

    Hunting with dogs is a long Vermont tradition. It’s not like you walking your poochie down the street to do it’s business. These dogs are bred for hunting and do pretty much what they are instinctively bred and trained to do when they are on track.

    I have a suggestion: Why don’t you and the members of the house Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife committee contact a hounds-man or woman and ask if it’s okay for you to go with them on a hunt? If you do, you will have a point of reference when you decide what verbal control is reasonable, customary or “sporting”?

    It makes me sick to hear you or one of the members of the committee, (most of whom have never been on a real Vermont hunt) ask a question of a Protect Our Wildlife lobbyist or legislative counsel (who also probably doesn’t know anything about the subject) instead of asking a Vermont state game warden, biologist or hounds man, who does it for a living? They would be glad to come and answer your questions.

    Nobody cares about your hearsay (“as I am told they do”) when your comments may incorrectly influence the committee members who are making decisions which may affect Vermont Tradition, hunting, fishing, trapping, or shooting.

    Just saying…

    • I only clicked on “Like” for you Sheppy because there is no Here, Here,or Bravo or you tell um Sheppy !!

    • Yes, sometimes you are in a vehicle going to try to get into a place that would be the closest to get your dogs. With that being said that could still be an all-day trip by the time you park your vehicle start walking in the woods and get to where they are. I spent many days starting out at 4:35 in the morning and not getting home till 7:30 8:00 at night in the summer. The miles up and down the rolling hills of Vermont, days I’ll never forget.

  6. People who regard existing hunting laws as “not sporting” typically obtain their meat from a styrofoam tray. How sporting is that to have someone do the dirtywork of slaughtering and butchering for you?

  7. Well at least no animals were hurt in the for the”making” of the meat from the grocery store ! LOL!!!!! (that was sarcasm of course!)

  8. I have to say it’s interesting to hear about the culture and lore that goes with hunting and all the opinions citizens have about it. But isn’t it disturbing that legislators actually feel empowered to fiddle with it and shape it for us? This whole culture of legislative activism is at the root of our discontent. How will we convince them that legislative action would better be exercised REPEALING laws rather than continuing their intrusive tsunami?

  9. vcurtis – I believe that the liberal/progressives are trying to do as much damage this biennium as they can because they honestly believe that they have awoken a sleeping giant and that real Vermonters who appreciate our traditions will finally rise up and boot them out of their cushy jobs in zoomland. Those who appreciate Vermont traditions (hunting, fishing, trapping and shooting) had better wake up before these things are all gone! Vote them Out!

    • “Vermont traditions…” like maybe living our lives without government underfoot, over our shoulder, under the bed??????

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