Have your State Reps Support The Outdoor Heritage Act

Your support and outreach to your state legislators is requested

The Outdoor Heritage Act S-437, new MA state hunting and outdoorsmen laws under considerations are now progressing to Committee and then onto to the MA State House and Senate for enactment. The Heritage Act is sponsored by Senator Anne Gobi and Representative Gailanne M. Cariddi, with GOAL and Worcester County League of Sportsmen’s Clubs providing advice and guidance for the many favorable changes, see text further done in this post for the layman’s version and rationale.

GOAL and WCLSC have requested member clubs and its members to make outreach to their local state senators and representatives by phone, postal mail, or email requesting their support.

So, if you need to find out how to reach your local representatives, please visit this GOAL site, http://goal.org/legislatorinfo.html , which will provide the email, postal addresses, and phone numbers.

Norco has provided a MS Word document as a template that can be downloaded and emailed to your local legislators. DO make sure to change the senator and representative names, as well as their postal address. Download your Template letter to support Heritage Act

An easy to read overview for the Outdoor Heritage Act, as posted on GOAL

An Act Relative to Outdoor Heritage S.437
Section 1. The current ATV laws under Chapter 90B of the general laws require that any gun be unloaded and enclosed in a case. Many hunters who utilize recreational vehicles are not aware of this law. There is also no exemption for lawful citizens who ride these vehicles and carry firearms for defense reasons. This language does away with the need for a cased gun as that part of the law serves no purpose. It also provides rightful exemptions for carrying defense arms.

Sections 2. Would allow the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife to establish Sunday as a lawful hunting day as it sees fit.

Section 3. GOAL has received many stories about a new increase in hunter harassment. These include property damage, threats of violence and posting of land that was not so authorized by the owner. This update to the hunter harassment law addressed these new issues and provides for stiff penalties for property damage and injuries caused by vandalism.

Section 4. Since the infamous passage of Question 1 in 1996 certain wildlife populations have increased dramatically. One of those species is the black bear. This is caused in part because the species adapts very well to our suburban settings. It is also caused in part because the use of bait and dogs was banned under Question 1. As this species encroaches on more urban areas it will become crucial to manage the population through safe and proven methods. One such method that will be vital is baiting. Hunting over bait in more heavily human populated areas will allow the hunter to put the animal in exactly the place need for a safe and successful harvest. This language would strike the statutory prohibition on such baiting.

Sections 5 & 6. Part of the language necessary to remove the prohibition on crossbow hunting.

Section 7 & 8. This language strikes the confusing current law dealing with hunting ammunition restrictions and replaces it with simplified language that allows the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife to regulate as needed. This also prevents the need for constant law changes as ammunition technology advances.

Section 9. Would allow the use of artificial lights for the hunting of coyote at night.

Section 10. Part of the language necessary to remove the prohibition on crossbow hunting.

Section 11. Under current law there is a prohibition for the use of dogs during the modern gun season for deer. There is one exemption for waterfowl hunter in the coastal zone only. This language would remove the statutory prohibitions and allow the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife to regulate the use of dogs for upland and waterfowl hunting should the seasons overlap.

Section 12. Would remove the statutory prohibition on moose hunting.

Section 13. Would remove the requirement that guns must be enclosed on a public way. This is a very troublesome law for hunters that are not aware of the requirement as they traverse through hunting areas. Furthermore, there is no safety issues that justify this particular legal requirement. GOAL also argues that the only reasoning behind it is to force us to hide who we are. No other sector of society would ever have to face such a requirement.