On June 14, the Oregon Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, with assistance from the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), hosted an end-of-session Caucus meeting and shoot at Mid-Valley Sporting Clays near Salem, OR. The event brought together legislators, sportsmen’s groups, and outdoor industry partners to discuss the Caucus’s legislative accomplishments during the 2017 session, and to participate in a friendly sporting clays shoot.
Over the past few years, the bipartisan and bicameral Oregon Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus and its associated meetings has become a key voice and forum for discussion on legislative and regulatory issues affecting Oregon’s hunters and anglers. As noted during the Caucus meeting, multiple pieces of pro-sportsmen legislation, backed by the Caucus, passed during Oregon’s legislative session this year. Among those that passed were a bill to expand participation eligibility in the state’s mentored hunting program, a bill to incentivize the reporting of wildlife law violations, and a bill to increase penalties for poaching and other wildlife law infractions.
The Caucus was joined at the event by a wide array of state and national sportsmen’s groups and partners, including Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, Ducks Unlimited, National Rifle Association, and Pac/West Communications, in addition to Washington Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chair Senator Phil Fortunato, CSF Board Member Brad Franklin of Yamaha Motor Co., and officers with the Oregon State Police. ODFW staff were on hand to serve as safety instructors, providing their expertise and guidance to first-time shooters.
Longtime Caucus Co-Chair Representative Sal Esquivel noted, “This year’s shoot offers us the opportunity to reflect on the growth of the Oregon Sportsmen’s Caucus, both in terms of actual membership and in our effectiveness on behalf of sportsmen and women at the State Capitol. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished, and want to offer our sincere thanks to all of our state and national partners who’ve supported our mission of protecting and advancing hunting, angling, recreational shooting, trapping and other outdoor activities in Oregon.”
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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%)