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Minutes for HB2207 - Committee on Agriculture

Short Title

Hunting on private land by written permission only.

Minutes Content for Wed, Feb 15, 2017

Chair Hoffman opened the hearing on HB2207 at 3:36pm.

Kyle Hamilton, Assistant Revisor, Office of The Revisor of Statutes, provided an overview of HB2207 and the statutes that it affects. (Attachment 1) There is a Fiscal Note for HB2207.

Representative Ken Corbet, 54th District, Kansas House of Representatives, appeared before the Committee in support of HB2207.  Illegal trespass is a serious problem.  The intent was to make sure that if someone was pursuing wounded game and had to enter onto your property that they obtain written permission prior to entering said property.  A good example for this is someone trespassing onto your property without permission and leading to the possible danger of you doing hunts on your property and not knowing you have a trespasser on your property who is also hunting.  I think that HB2207 should carve out an exemption for controlled shooting permit because they are licensed through the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism and their hunters are already registered prior to the hunt.    (Attachment 2)

Representative Corbet answered questions from the committee.

Representative Joe Seiwert, 101st District, Kansas House of Representatives, appeared before the Committee in support of HB2207.  The reason that he supports this bill is because of the number of hunters that use the excuse to get on your land by saying they are pursuing a wounded deer.  Representative Seiwert used as an example a single elderly lady living alone who sees someone walking through the back yard at 10pm with flashlights.  When she asked why they were on her property, they said they didn't need permission because they were looking for a wounded deer.   (Attachment 3)

Representative Seiwert answered questions from the committee.

Tim Nedeau, Scranton KS, appeared before the Committee in support of HB2207.  Under current law, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism allows anyone who holds a hunting licenses the right to cross our property in pursue of wounded wildlife.  In reality, KDWPT gives them the right to trespass on my property without even notifying me.  I should be the only one to allow hunting or access on the land I purchased, maintain, pay taxes on, and insure.  While I want a hunter to find a wounded deer that enters my property, I want them to contact me before entering my property.  I have given permission and even assisted in finding of the deer.  The key is that the hunter asked "first".   (Attachment 4)

Mr. Nedeau answered questions from the committee.

Brent Scott, Belleville KS, submitted written testimony in support of HB2207(Attachment 5)

Dan Rodlund, Stilwell KS, submitted written testimony in support of HB2207(Attachment 6)

Harry Koster, Shawnee KS, submitted written testimony in support of HB2207(Attachment 7)

James Melton, Belleville KS, submitted written testimony in support of HB2207(Attachment 8)

Jeff Vernon, Birmingham AL, submitted written testimony in support of HB2207(Attachment 9)

Mary Vawter Burgett, Carbondale KS,submitted written testimony in support of HB2207(Attachment 10)

Randy Treas, Kaw Bluff LLC, submitted written testimony in support of HB2207(Attachment 11)

Tyler Riedel, Holyrood KS, submitted written testimony in support of HB2207(Attachment 12)

Colonel Kevin Jones, Law Enforcement Division Director, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, appeared before the Committee in opposition of HB2207.  This bill attempt to solve the problem of trespass or hunting and fishing on private lands without permission of the landowner by mandating written permission.  While we are sympathetic to this goal, we do not believe it will in fact remedy the problem and it will have unintended consequences.   The majority of landowners still allow access by verbal permission - how would this be handled when the landowner lives in another location or state?  Would the children, grandchildren or extended family of the landowner be required to have permission to hunt or fish on family property?  The family may think they don't but a law enforcement officer checking the grandchild with a different name will be required to issue a citation because of the written permission mandate.    (Attachment 13)

Colonel Jones answered questions from the committee.

Tucker A. Stewart, Associate Counsel, Kansas Livestock Association (KLA), appeared before the Committee in opposition of HB2207.  The KLA Board of Directors supports the requirement of permission when pursuing wounded game.  There have been many instances when hunters utilizing current law to gain unauthorized access to property under the guise of pursuing wounded game.  KLA would suggest that instead of written permission, the committee adopt an amendment to just require permission rather than written permission.  A quick phone call would suffice to obtain permission.   (Attachment 14)

Mr. Stewart answered questions from the committee.

Matt Zumbrunn, Burlington KS, submitted written testimony in opposition of HB2207(Attachment 15)

The hearing on HB2207 was closed at 4:58pm

Chair Hoffman adjourned the meeting at 4:59p