Hughes’ landowner hunting permit bill advances to select file

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Sen. Dan Hughes is working on his bill LB 126, which will be up for select file today (Thursday).
The bill suggests providing special landowner deer hunting permits.
“This is a way for the Game and Parks to recognize what the landowners bring to the table for the state’s wildlife,” Hughes said. “They are feeding the state’s wildlife all year long and there’s no recognition for them at all.”
LB 126 will give landowners a discounted hunting permit and allow them to hunt on their land the Saturday through Wednesday prior to rifle season each November.
“It allows the landowner to take his kids or grandkids hunting with him,” Hughes said. “When everyone else isn’t out hunting, it’s a lot safer for kids.”
But the bill isn’t just a benefit for the landowner.
“I think the benefit to the hunting community is if the landowner has his deer first then he’s much more likely to open up his land for other hunters to hunt on,” Hughes said. “The landowner is going to hunt his land first regardless because that’s his right.”
The bill is currently on select file, “so that’s the second round of debate,” Hughes said.
There are a few changes Hughes will make to the bill before the next step.
“The latest version says that the landowner can qualify for up to four (pre-season) permits,” he said. “We’re going to make a minimal charge for those permits, like $5.”
“Because if Game and Parks charges for a permit to hunt then they get federal dollars that come from the sale of things like ammunition,” he added. “We want to minimize the financial impact on Game and Parks as much as we can.”

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