March 15th, 2022

Anti-Hunting Groups Seek to Ban Transport of Harvested Game

Nikki boxler winchester hunting

Report Based on Article by NSSF
Two anti-hunting groups, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Natural Resources Defense Council, want to severely restrict hunting in the USA. These two organizations have petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and Department of the Interior (DOI) to ban transport of harvested wild animals and most birds across state lines. That would have a devastating effect on hunting throughout the USA.

The petition of the anti-hunting groups calls for a complete ban on interstate transport of not just live animals, but also the meat, hide, horns, antlers and skulls of harvested animals. The petition targets hunters who take animals in other states and transport them home, even if the game has been professionally prepared by a butcher or taxidermist.

These two groups are attempting to impose legislation through regulation. By petitioning the USFWS and DOI to promulgate rules to end the ability for hunters to fill their coolers in another state and bring home the meat, hides, antlers and horns, they’re attempting to bypass the legislative process. They’re abusing a rule-making process to impose a radical anti-hunting agenda without lawmaker input.

The NSSF considers this the most serious threat to hunting in the United States since Dan Ashe, former USFWS director, attempted to ban the use of traditional ammunition on federal lands. That attempt was rolled back by former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

hunting petition ban transport

The groups’ petition would amend the Lacey Act regulations to prohibit the importation, transportation, or acquisition of wild animals. Since the USFWS regulates interstate transportation and importation of wild animals, that’s a death knell to hunting in the United States. That means the trophy Texas buck wouldn’t be able to be brought home to Virginia, or a Rocky Mountain elk would never fill a Florida freezer.

Extremist Anti-Hunting Groups Have Filed Hundreds of Lawsuits
Both the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) — are known extremist anti-hunting groups. The Center for Biological Diversity boasted of suing the Trump administration 266 times. And the Center attacked hunting by suing the Environmental Protection Agency for denying a petition to ban traditional ammunition. A federal judge dismissed that suit. But the group alleges that hunters shooting traditional ammunition is the same as industrial dumping of lead waste. The case was dismissed three times but is being appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for the third time.

The Natural Resources Defense Council has been party to many of the same lawsuits as the Center for Biological Diversity. The NRDC will typically petition for a rule change and then sue the agencies when it believes the federal agency is taking too long.

The actions by these two groups to limit the transport of legally-harvested wildlife across state lines is a direct threat to the 15+ million people who buy hunting licenses in America each year. These actions need to be challenged, since 23 states have statutes or State Constitutional provisions which guarantee citizens’ rights to hunt and fish.

The NSSF says hunters need to fight back: “The petition to halt hunting in its tracks is beyond irresponsible. It is dangerous and potentially harmful to America’s wild scenes. This is a moment not just for USFWS and DOI to reject political special interests, but for every hunter, outdoorsman and woman to recognize how extremist organizations are weaponizing government bureaucracies against them.”

Fighting Legal Challenges to Hunting on Federal Lands

In a related development, Safari Club International, Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and NRA-ILA have filed motions to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to expand hunting and fishing opportunities on more than 2.3 million acres of land at 106 National Wildlife Refuges. The suit is Center for Biological Diversity v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“The National Wildlife Refuge System was created to increase opportunities for families to engage in traditional outdoor actives including hunting, fishing, hiking and more,” said Erica Tergeson, NRA-ILA’s director of hunting policy. “Denying access to more than 2.3 million acres runs counter to the entire concept of public lands.”

Where is hunting allowed in your state? Click the map below for more info:

On the website, click any state on the interactive MAP, and resource links will load.

Hunting license information Form Permit map NSSF
Hunting license information Form Permit map NSSF

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