Connecticut: Caucus Gathers for First Meeting of 2020

Contact: Joe Mullin, New England States Coordinator

On January 8, the Connecticut Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus gathered in Hartford for the first meeting of the year, serving as an opportunity to discuss Caucus infrastructure, upcoming events, and state and federal policy priorities. The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) was in attendance, along with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and in-state conservation partners.

The meeting began with a vote to elect a fourth Co-Chair for the Caucus for the upcoming legislative session. Representative Patrick Boyd, who was already an active and engaged member of the Caucus, was duly elected by his peers to serve in this capacity, allowing the leadership bench to remain both bipartisan and bicameral.

Sticking with administrative items, the next proposal was to form a subcommittee tasked with organizing this year’s game meat tasting reception – an event that serves as an opportunity for hunters and non-hunters alike to taste different wild game recipes, while also learning about the vital role that sportsmen and women have towards state-level conservation funding through the American System of Conservation Funding (ASCF). Similar to last year, Caucus Co-Chair Representative David Wilson will be spearheading efforts towards organizing the many logistics that it takes for this event to be successful. Representative Wilson’s unwavering commitment towards facilitating last year’s reception (reportedly the most widely attended event in the history of the Legislative Office Building) was recognized through being awarded the 2019 National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses Heritage Award for the Northeast. With a vote of approval, the subcommittee was thus formed.

Following these actions, the Caucus was able to turn its attention to policy planning for the 2020 legislative sessions – both at the state and federal levels. The conversation included discussions regarding hunting access, active forest management, and conservation funding, to name a few. The Caucus also heard testimony provided by DEEP, which offered an account of ongoing conservation efforts across the state.

CSF looks forward to another successful year of working alongside the Caucus, DEEP, and both in-state and national conservation partners towards protecting and advancing hunting, fishing, recreational shooting, and trapping in the Nutmeg State.

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Recently, Virginia has proposed legislation that would make the punishment for poaching, in their state, a 1-5 year prison sentence through HB-449. Poaching undermines the social acceptance of hunters, jobs, recreation, local and state economies, and conservation efforts. How should poachers be punished?

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