Legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate to allow states to extend their duck hunting seasons.
The U.S. Senate’s newest member, Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi, has introduced legislation to allow states around the country to extend their duck hunting seasons in response to demands from hunters and pro-sportsmen’s groups such as Safari Club International.
The bill, called the Migratory Bird Framework and Hunting Opportunities for Veterans Act, or S. 2942, is the very first bill introduced by Senator Hyde-Smith, who was sworn in on April 9 to replace Senator Thad Cochran, Chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee.
If enacted, S. 2942 would require the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to give all states the ability to manage their own wildlife by allowing the local wildlife management authorities the option of extending their duck season closing dates to January 31. It also sets aside the first weekend in February as a short duck hunting season exclusively for youth, veterans and active duty service members.
SCI President Paul Babaz praised Senator Hyde-Smith for introducing the measure that creates 10 additional days of duck hunting over the next several years.
“What an honor for millions of America’s hunters that Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith’s first bill introduced in the Senate is one dedicated to promoting our hunting heritage,” SCI President Babaz said. “Her bill helps our veterans and service members who hunt and addresses a critical need to ensure that hunting is handed down to the next generation.”
The outdoor industry is a nearly $3 billion economic dynamo in Mississippi alone. Hunting accounts for more than $1 billion of that economic activity. Any extension of a state’s duck hunt creates even more economic activity and drives more funds through the Pittman-Robertson Act to protect and restore duck populations and habitat. In addition, 98 cents of every additional dollar spent on Federal Duck Stamps would be deposited into the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund to protect and restore migratory bird habitat.
Safari Club International joins other hunting groups such as Delta Waterfowl and National Shooting Sports Foundation in supporting this Hyde-Smith legislation.