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Critics Say Hunting Bill Will Loosen Restrictions On Poachers

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Hunting
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A bill making its way through the Nevada Legislature is being criticized for loosening restrictions on poachers.

A new bill making its way through the state assembly is intended to loosen regulations or penalties on hunters in Nevada.

The bill is being pushed by Republican Assemblyman Ira Hansen, who has battled publicly with state wildlife officials. Hansen was accused of illegal trapping and won a court case over the accusations. 

Right now, Department of Wildlife officials give out demerits for breaking hunting and fishing rules. The demerits given depend on the severity of the violation.

When someone reaches 12 demerits, their license for hunting, fishing or trapping will be revoked. 

AB 142 reduces the demerit value for several violations, making it more difficult to take away a license.   

Nevada’s Department of Wildlife thinks it is a bad idea.

Tyler Turnipseed, head of the department, said if the bill became law, it would loosen regulations that are supposed to keep poachers in check. 

Turnipseed told KNPR's State of Nevada that the current system allows them to stop chronic violators.

“There are a lot of people who don’t see an issue with fines or any of those kinds of penalties. It's really the license revocation that really gets their attention,” Turnipseed said.  

He said the majority of outdoorsman in Nevada are law-abiding people who agree with the current system. 

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“The only people I’ve heard complain about wildlife laws are people who have broken them and that seems to be the case with this bill," Turinpseed said. 

Turnipseed said he has spoken to legislators and some understand his point. 

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Tyler Turnipseed, director, Nevada Department of Wildlife 

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