Last week, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) traveled to Las Vegas, Nevada for the annual SHOT Show, hosted by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).
CSF staff met with partners from the sportsmen’s community, including outdoor celebrities, NGO groups, and industry partners who support the mission of advancing hunting and recreational shooting.
On January 23, CSF staff joined NSSF and other partners during a press conference to announce a milestone for the successful program, Families Afield. To date, more than 2 million apprentice licenses have been officially sold in the United States. Now sold in 40 states across the country, this program was designed to allow new hunters to “try before you buy,” by allowing new participants to go afield with a licensed hunter for the experience. This milestone is critical to increasing hunter participation, which has been declining for years. Today, data shows that there are 13.3 million hunters in the U.S., only a small fraction of outdoor recreation participants.
Later that evening, CSF hosted a reception to gather supporters from the sportsmen’s community to discuss numerous other federal and state policy priorities for the hunting and shooting sports. Among reception speakers were Lieutenant Governor Larry Rhoden of South Dakota and CSF Board of Directors Chairman Jason Hornady. Reception sponsors included: Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Federal Premium Ammunition, FN America, Hornady Manufacturing, and NSSF.
Left to right: Dan Reid, NRA; Becky Humphries, NWTF; Evan Heusinkveld, Sportsmen’s Alliance; Larry Keane, NSSF; and Andy Treharne, CSF
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- Improve hunter and target shooter involvement in regulatory and legislative processes. (11.52%)
- 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). (11.52%)
- Offer shooting sports and hunter education as school activities and recreation programs. (64.40%)
- Link existing programming into family-oriented organizations (such as churches and home-school groups) where participants will have the social support to continue. (12.57%)