H.B. 2499 would increase the percentage of acreage in a county which the Secretary of the Department of Wildlife and Parks could license as a controlled shooting area. The bill would increase the percentage from the current 2 percent to 3 percent.
Representative Neufeld appeared before the Committee as a proponent. He indicated that because of an individual in Haskell County there had been a proviso in the budget bill permitting extra acreage to be included in a license application for a controlled shooting area to keep this individual from going out of business. He stated that the bill also would allow entrepreneurs to provide expanded hunting opportunities in other counties.
The Secretary of Wildlife and Parks appeared as a neutral conferee on the bill. The Secretary stated that the agency has two concerns. One is cumulative impact of controlled shooting areas on the state's wild pheasant population. He stated that on controlled shooting areas hen pheasants may be taken and that there is no way to ensure that the hens being taken are those that are released and not from the wild population. He stated that his second concern was that expansion of controlled shooting areas would reduce the acreage available for public hunting through the traditional hunter/landowner permission process. He indicated that because the increase in percentage was small and because the agency cannot determine the definitive impact on the wild pheasant population, the agency was neutral on the bill.
The fiscal note on the bill from the 1997 Legislative Session indicates that there would be no fiscal impact if the bill were to pass.
1. *Supplemental notes are prepared by the Legislative Research Department and do not express legislative intent. The supplemental note and fiscal note for this bill may be accessed on the Internet at http://www.ink.org/public/legislative/fulltext-bill.html.