Natural Resources

Voluntary hunting and fishing guide database proposed

The state Game and Parks Commission could create a hunting and fishing guide and outfitter database on its website under a proposal heard Jan. 31 by the Natural Resources Committee.

Sen. Bruce Bostelman
Sen. Bruce Bostelman

LB867, introduced by Sen. Bruce Bostelman of Brainard, also would allow the commission to charge a registration fee to administer the service. Applicants who meet the bill’s requirements would be placed in the database for three years.

Among those requirements, Bostelman said, is that an applicant would have to own a business registered in Nebraska and could not have been convicted of a felony or violated state or federal game law within three years prior to application.

In recent years, he said, several guides and the hunters who hired them have been charged with or convicted of violating state and federal game law. The proposed database would provide Nebraska hunters and those visiting from outside the state some assurance that they are working with a “trusted” business, Bostelman said.

Timothy McCoy, director of the state Game and Parks Commission, testified in support of LB867. He said it would encourage current guides and outfitters to comply with the law and could be a step toward eventually requiring them to apply for a state license.

John Heaston testified in support of the bill on behalf of the Nebraska Sportsmen’s Foundation. He said the database would provide a valuable resource for those who are planning hunting and fishing trips to Nebraka and recognize guides and outfitters who are “good actors.”

“We know that our values will be judged by the least of us,” Heaston said, “and so when there are bad actors in the system, it reflects poorly on everyone who hunts, fishes and traps.”

No one testified in opposition to the bill and the committee took no immediate action on it.

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