- Associated Press - Saturday, March 4, 2017

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - There might be a bill that could bring major changes to deer season in Alabama.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports (https://on.mgmadv.com/2mjKDWj ) that some lobbying for the bill would allow hunters to use bait for deer and feral hogs. The bill passed the House on Tuesday. It heads next to the Senate for consideration.

The Legislature passed a “supplemental feeding” law last year, that went into effect this past hunting season. State Rep. Jack Williams, who sponsored the bait bill, wants to clear up some of the confusion around that law.

“There have been some problems come up about just what out of sight means under the current law,” Williams said. “Is it out of sight when you can’t see it from a stand, but you can see it from the ground? I just think this is a better way to go.”

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources say whitetail deer is the most popular game animal in the state. Hunting generates a $1.8 billion yearly economic impact in Alabama, according to the Hunting Heritage Foundation.

After the bait license fee, $14 will be returned to the conservation department with $1 being an administrative fee for issuing the license.

“We calculated that the annual license will raise between $1.2 and $1.5 million for the conservation department,” Williams said. “Like every other state agency, the conservation department needs more money.”

The Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division of the conservation department is funded through the sale of hunting and fishing licenses and permits and matching federal funds from excise taxes paid on firearms, ammunition, archery equipment and fishing tackle.

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Information from: Montgomery Advertiser, https://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com


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