By Senator Penn
RFD Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry
Rd 1 03-FEB-04
||Under existing law, by regulation of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, hunting of game may not take place where feeding has taken place until all feed has been removed or consumed for at least 10 days prior to hunting.
||This bill would provide for the voluntary feeding of game by spincast, broadcast, or any other container feeder at any time during the year and would require permits for use of each feeder. This bill would not affect the ability of a person to operate a feeder for purposes other than hunting game.
||The bill would set the amount of the fee for a permit for each feeder and provide for the deposit of the funds in the Game and Fish Fund of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
||The bill would also provide penalties for violations.
||Amendment 621 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901 prohibits a general law whose purpose or effect would be to require a new or increased expenditure of local funds from becoming effective with regard to a local governmental entity without enactment by a 2/3 vote unless: it comes within one of a number of specified exceptions; it is approved by the affected entity; or the Legislature appropriates funds, or provides a local source of revenue, to the entity for the purpose.
||The purpose or effect of this bill would be to require a new or increased expenditure of local funds within the meaning of Amendment 621. However, the bill does not require approval of a local governmental entity or enactment by a 2/3 vote to become effective because it comes within one of the specified exceptions contained in Amendment 621.
TO BE ENTITLED
To provide for the feeding of game by spincast, broadcast, or any container feeders; to require a permit for each spincast, broadcast, or container feeder; to prescribe the fees for each permit; and to prescribe penalties for violation of the act; to supersede Sections 9-11-244 and 9-11-245, Code of Alabama 1975, for any activity in compliance with this act; and in connection therewith would have as its purpose or effect the requirement of a new or increased expenditure of local funds within the meaning of Amendment 621 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA:
Section 1. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources shall allow the feeding of game by spincast, broadcast, or container feeders and shall issue permits for spincast, broadcast, or container feeders each year for the entire year. For the purposes of this act, the term “game feeder” shall mean only a spincast, broadcast, or container game feeder.
Section 2. The judge of probate, license commissioner, or other county official who issues licenses in the county may be duly appointed by the Commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources to issue permits pursuant to this act. All permits issued shall be dated when issued and shall authorize the individual named on the permit to operate a game feeder for the feeding of game during hunting season or for one calendar year. The permits shall be numbered consecutively at the time they are printed and shall be furnished by the Commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources. The issuing official shall sign the permit and the individual requesting the permit shall also sign on the margin of the permit. The official issuing the permit shall keep in a book or on specially prepared sheets furnished by the Commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources a correct and complete record of all permits issued, which record shall remain in the office of the issuing official and shall be open to inspection by the public at all reasonable times.
Section 3. (a) An individual may procure a separate permit to operate each game feeder by filing an application with the county license issuing official in the county in which the feeder will be located, stating his or her name, age, place of residence, and mailing address. The individual receiving a permit shall be issued a numbered decal to be placed on the game feeder to correspond with the number of the permit. The cost for issuance of a permit to operate a game feeder effective for one year shall be twenty dollars ($20). This permit may only be purchased each year from February 1st through March 15th.
(b) In addition to the prescribed cost of each permit in subsection (a), there shall be a five dollar ($5) issuance fee for each permit issued, to be collected by the issuing official and retained by the official to be paid into the general fund of the county issuing the permit.
Section 4. The use of each feeder permitted pursuant to this act shall be subject to all of the following:
(1) The contents of a game feeder shall contain at least 20 percent protein.
(2) No game feeder permit shall be issued to be operated upon any privately owned land without the written consent of the owner or individual in lawful possession of the land.
(3) No buck harvested using this feeding program may have less than three one-inch points above the hairline on one side. However, this restriction does not apply to hunters under the age of 16 or a licensed hunter who is legally handicapped.
(4) No feeder may be placed within 500 feet of a public road.
(5) The requirements of this act are for hunting purposes only. This act does not affect or place obligations on any person that desires to feed game for any reason other than hunting.
(6) Each feeder shall be located within 100 yards of a prepared seedbed food plot or green field during the deer season and the field shall be at least 1/4 of an acre in size. A waiver of this requirement may be applied for with the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources on leased property that has a written prohibition on the clearing of land.
(7) Each feeder shall be located at least 300 feet from any adjacent property line.
(8) Feeders used on property during deer or turkey season may not be hunted over. A hunter may not hunt within a minimum of 100 yards from any grain broadcast or the feeder shall be out of the hunter’s line of sight.
Section 5. A violation of this act constitutes a misdemeanor, and upon conviction, an individual shall be fined not less than three hundred dollars ($300) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500) for each violation.
Section 6. All revenue received from fees under this act shall be forwarded by the issuing official to the Commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources on the first day of each month and shall be deposited into the Game and Fish Fund of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. All revenue received from fines and penalties for violations of this act shall be forwarded to the Commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources by the trial court on the first day of each month to be deposited into the Game and Fish Fund of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Section 7. The Commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources may promulgate rules and regulations to carry out this act. In addition to this authority, the State Veterinarian in agreement with the Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries and the Commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources may declare an emergency because of disease or other outbreak and suspend this feeding program.
Section 8. This act is voluntary for hunters. Hunters not wanting to participate are under no obligations or restrictions of this act.
Section 9. Although this bill would have as its purpose or effect the requirement of a new or increased expenditure of local funds, the bill is excluded from further requirements and application under Amendment 621 because the bill defines a new crime or amends the definition of an existing crime.
Section 10. All laws or parts of laws which conflict with this act are repealed. Sections 9-11-244 and 9-11-245, Code of Alabama 1975, shall not apply to any activity in compliance with this act.
Section 11. This act shall become effective on the first day of the third month following its passage and approval by the Governor, or its otherwise becoming law.