OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5412

AN ACT CONCERNING DEER MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS ON PRIVATE PROPERTY AND AUTHORIZING BOW AND ARROW HUNTING ON PRIVATE PROPERTY ON SUNDAYS.

SUMMARY:

This bill permits Sunday deer hunting with a bow and arrow. The hunting (1) must be in accordance with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's (DEEP) wildlife management principles and practices and (2) cannot take place within 40 yards of a blazed (clearly marked) hiking trail. When hunting on private land, the hunter must have the private property owner's written consent to hunt there and carry it during the hunting. By law, no one is permitted to hunt deer with a bow and arrow without first obtaining a DEEP bow and arrow permit.

A violation of the Sunday hunting rules is a class D misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $250, imprisonment of up to 30 days, or both (CGS 26-81). The bill eliminates a provision that makes possessing a bow and arrow outdoors on Sunday prima facie evidence of hunting in violation of the law.

The bill also authorizes the DEEP commissioner to allow landowners to take (kill) deer under certain specified conditions and in accordance with a plan the commissioner approves. By law, the commissioner already may allow municipalities, homeowner associations, or nonprofit land-holding organizations to take deer under the same conditions.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2013

TAKING OF DEER

The bill authorizes the DEEP commissioner to permit a landowner to take deer in a manner consistent with professional wildlife management principles if the landowner can show to his satisfaction that the deer present a severe nuisance or are causing ecological damage. The landowner must (1) submit for the commissioner's approval a plan describing the extent and degree of the nuisance or damage and the proposed methods of taking the deer and (2) notify abutting landowners of the approved plan before implementing it. The taking of deer cannot involve the use of snares or occur on Sundays.

A first violation of these provisions is punishable by a fine of between $200 and $500, imprisonment of between 30 days and six months, or both. Subsequent violations are punishable by a fine of between $200 and $1,000, imprisonment of up to one year, or both (CGS 26-82(b)).

COMMITTEE ACTION

Environment Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

21

Nay

7

(03/27/2013)