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February 20, 2004   Email to Friend 

Debra Davis
(334) 613-4686
February 20, 2004

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Members of the Alabama Farmers Federation's State Wildlife Committee met with Sen. Myron Penn, D-Union Springs, Tuesday to discuss amendments to a bill he's proposing in the Legislature.

Penn's bill, Senate Bill 49, would allow deer and turkey hunters statewide to legally use game feeders during hunting season.

Currently, a game feeder must be emptied or consumed at least 10 days before hunting is legal in its vicinity.

Penn agreed to offer a substitute bill that will include changes recommended by the committee.

According to Federation Wildlife Division Director Steve Guy, the biggest change in the bill would be the qualifications for permits that allow supplemental feeding during the hunting season. The bill would stipulate that landowners and leasees must be involved in an overall deer management program to qualify for permits.

Another change offered by the committee, and accepted by Penn, specified that hunters cannot hunt within 100 yards of the feeder and it must be out of the line of sight of the hunter. An original portion of the bill that remains in place requires that a feeder must be in the proximity of a wildlife food plot.

"Members of the state committee were very appreciative that Sen. Penn allowed them to have input into this legislation," Guy said. "And the committee feels that the bill will clarify laws concerning the feeding of wildlife and Alabama's wildlife baiting laws."

Rep. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, has agreed to sponsor the bill in the House.

Twenty-six other states, including all of Alabama's neighbors, allow supplemental feeding during hunting season. The bill provides penalties for violators which range from $300 to $500 upon conviction. The bill requires that bucks harvested under the feeding program must have at least three one-inch points above the hairline on one side.

Click here to view the entire bill.

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