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Contact Your Congressperson, Help Pass the Sportmen's Heritage Act of 2012

February 29, 2012

If you're interested in protecting your hunting, fishing, and shooting rights, it's time to pick up the phone. The U.S. House Committee of Natural Resources is expected to vote on H.R. 4089, a package of bills aimed at protecting these rights, later today (click  the link for highlights on H.R. 4089). 

If the bill passes the committee meeting, it will go before the rest of the House. Contact your congressperson and follow the bill with the contact information below.

0 | Read the full entry

Guide to America's Public Land

Click on your state in the map below.

Find the top public-land destinations in your state, including:

  • Wildlife Refuges
  • State WMAs
  • National Forests
  • Fishing Access Sites

About Open Country

Hunters and anglers across the nation consistently list one challenge as their primary obstacle to spending more time in the field: Access.

Outdoor Life's Open Country program aims to tackle that issue head on and with boots on the ground. The program highlights volunteer-driven efforts to improve access along with habitat improvements to make existing public lands even better places to hunt and fish. The program's goal is to substantially increase sportsman's access across the country by promoting events that make a difference.

Here on Open Country's blog page, contributors take a close look at access issues across the country. Some are public-policy discussions, where we investigate the nuances of public access. In other blogs, we shine a light on attempts to turn public recreation opportunities into private hunting and fishing domains. In still other blogs, we interview decision makers about access issues. Together, we fight for the ability of America's hunters and anglers to have a place to swing a gun or wet a line.

We promise the discussion is always lively, interesting, and fresh, so visit this page frequently to tune into the latest access issue.

The Open Country program culminates in grants and awards with top projects and participants being honored.

Submit a project for the Open Country Grant Award.
Nominate an individual for the Open Country Award.

Open Country



Event Calendar

  • June 1: Red Oak Planting in Gwinn Forest Management Unit
  • June 7: Pinegrass Restoration, Willamette River (Eugene, OR REMF Chapter). Contact.
  • June 7-8: Lower Deschutes River Thistle Cut (OR Foundation for North American Wild Sheep and OR Fish and Wildlife). Contact.
  • June 13-15: Prairie City Aspen Habitat Enhancement (Oregon Hunters Association, Capitol Chapter) Contact: 503-399-1234
  • June 21: Smith Ridge Meadows (Eugene, OR Chapter RMEF). Contact.

  • February 29, 2012

    Just How Much is a Deer Hunting License Worth?-10


    Maryland’s DNR is proposing an increase in deer hunting license fees and of course, hunters are not too happy about it. The increase comes, poorly timed, on the tail end of a bevy of other tax and fee increases. While some of the increases seem extraneous, it's clear the DNR could use the money.
    This from the Baltimore Sun:
    "Verbal shots are being fired in the direction of the Department of Natural Resources and the lawmakers who soon are expected to vote on the first increase in hunting license fees in more than two decades. The proposal has put the DNR in the political cross hairs of its largest — albeit shrinking — constituency…

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • February 22, 2012

    MT Wildlife Commission Allows Hunters to Shoot Bison That Wander Outside Yellowstone Area-4


    Montana's wildlife commission voted 4-1 Thursday to authorize hunters to shoot bison that stray beyond extended "tolerance areas" north of Yellowstone National Park and areas outside the Fort Peck and Fort Belknap Indian reservations.

    The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department says the move is designed to ease public resistance to bison roaming freely outside of the designated areas. The move is also designed to complement other bison management efforts implemented by officials such as driving or guiding bison back into the parks, or capturing them for relocation or slaughter.

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • February 10, 2012

    Should Landowners Be Allowed to Sell Their Game Tags?-6


    There are two bills being hashed out in the Idaho state Legislature that would allow landowners to sell their hunting tags to the highest bidders.

    The current law allows landowners to transfer tags to other hunters, but they cannot charge for them. There's an appreciation program that designates deer, elk and pronghorn tags in a separate pool for people who own at least 640 acres in lottery units. However, if Senate Bill 1282 or Senate Bill 1283 are passed, landowners in these areas would be allowed to cash in on their tags.

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • February 3, 2012

    Iowa Lawmakers Consider Overturning Lead Shot Ban-3


    If you're interested in an example of how politics and bureaucracy can screw with your hunting, just take a look at what's happening in Iowa.

    The Iowa house recently voted 68-27 on a measure to overturn the rule banning use of lead shot for dove hunting. Initially, the Natural Resources Commission banned the use of lead shot for doves, but now some lawmakers are saying the commission overstepped it's bounds and doesn't have the authority to estate such a ban.

    [ Read Full Post ]