A plan to provide disabled veterans and members of the Alaska National Guard, or ANG, with free trapping licenses is working its way through the Alaska Legislature.
The free trapping licenses would be added to the free hunting and fishing licenses disabled and ANG members currently receive.
The Alaska Beacon first reported last week that Senate Bill 10, by Sen. Jesse Kiehl of Juneau, passed the Senate in a 20-0 vote last week and advanced to the House for consideration.
Kiehl spoke about the plan from the Alaska Senate floor last week.
“Today, an Alaskan who turns 60 qualifies for a lifetime permanent identification card, where at no additional charge, you can hunt, fish and trap. An Alaska resident, however, who is a service-disabled veteran, gets a lifetime hunting and fishing card, which, for reasons I’ve never been able to figure out, despite significant research, excludes trapping. Senate Bill 10 fixes that,” Kiehl said.
The bill was heard Feb. 22 in the House Resources Committee and has supporters in that body, like Committee chair Rep. Kevin McCabe. He thanked Sen. Kiehl for bringing the bill forward.
“Thank you, Senator Kiehl, for bringing this forward,” McCabe said. “Being a disabled veteran over 60 as well, I can speak for the group of folks that can’t speak and say that we are very grateful.”
Committee member Rep. Tom McKay praised and commended all trappers in the State of Alaska.
“I respect anyone that goes out at 40 below zero to trap animals in the middle of winter,” McKay said. “I think it’s a very noble practice and I think it’s a great tradition in the State of Alaska that we can be very proud of.”
Senate Bill 10 is the first bill passed by either half of the Alaska Legislature this year. Senator Donny Olson of Golovin is a cross-sponsor of the bill.
Rep. Mike Cronk of Tok has introduced an identical companion bill in the House.
Image at top: Vulpes vulpes, the red fox, hunting in the sub-Arctic snow. Photo in the public domain, via Pixabay.