PA 15-204—sHB 6034

Environment Committee

AN ACT AUTHORIZING BOW AND ARROW HUNTING ON CERTAIN PRIVATE PROPERTY ON SUNDAYS

SUMMARY: This act allows Sunday deer hunting with a bow and arrow on private land in overpopulated deer management zones, as the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) determines. The law prohibits any other type of Sunday hunting, and a violation is a class D misdemeanor (see TABLE ON PENALTIES).

The Sunday deer hunting (1) must be in accordance with DEEP's wildlife management principles and practices and (2) cannot take place within 40 yards of a blazed (clearly marked) hiking trail. The hunter must (1) have the private landowner's written permission to hunt there and carry it while hunting and (2) obtain the required DEEP permit to hunt deer with a bow and arrow.

The act eliminates a provision that makes possessing a bow and arrow outdoors on Sunday prima facie evidence of hunting in violation of the Sunday hunting law.

The law requires the DEEP commissioner to adopt regulations establishing standards for deer management and regulated areas for hunting deer with a bow and arrow, among other things. DEEP has identified 13 deer management zones throughout the state, and currently estimates that 10 of them are overpopulated (i. e. , with at least 20 deer per square mile).

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2015

OLR Tracking: JLK; KD: VR; BS