On June 6, over a dozen national and in-state sportsmen’s groups gathered at the North Carolina General Assembly for the annual Legislative Sportsmen’s Day. The purpose of the day was to highlight the important economic, cultural and conservation benefits of North Carolina’s outdoor traditions.
The day started off with a breakfast in the Legislative Cafeteria hosted by Delta Waterfowl and Kilpatrick, Townsend, and Stockton, LLP. Dr. Frank Rohwer, Delta Waterfowl President and Chief Scientist, gave a presentation on changing hunter demographics and policy initiatives to support hunter recruitment, retention and reactivation.
Throughout the day representatives from various sportsmen’s groups interacted with legislators and hosted educational tables with information about their organizations, programs and policy priorities. Fly-fishing, archery shooting, falconry hunting and retriever demonstrations were held on the lawn, and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission staffed numerous tables with information about the various divisions and conservation programs of the agency.
The National Rifle Association; the National Shooting Sports Foundation; Safari Club International; and Kilpatrick, Townsend, and Stockton, LLP sponsored a Lexington-style barbecue lunch on Halifax Mall.
Groups represented included the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, American Kennel Club, Casting for Recovery, Coastal Conservation Association of North Carolina, Core Sound Decoy Carvers Guild, Delta Waterfowl, Ducks Unlimited, East Carolina Houndsmen Association, National Rifle Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation, North Carolina Bowhunters Association, North Carolina Falconers Guild, North Carolina Trappers Association, Ruffed Grouse Society, and Safari Club International.
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- Improve hunter and target shooter involvement in regulatory and legislative processes. (11.07%)
- Enact or expand temporary hunter education deferral programs (apprentice license programs, multiyear options, programs for all first-time hunters regardless of age, and programs promoting hunting of multiple game species). (12.92%)
- Offer shooting sports and hunter education as school activities and recreation programs. (62.73%)
- Link existing programming into family-oriented organizations (such as churches and home-school groups) where participants will have the social support to continue. (13.28%)