By John Culclasure, Central Appalachian States Manager
On February 21, the Virginia Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus partnered with the Virginia Sportsmen’s Foundation to host the 28th Annual Wild Game Chili Cook-Off in Richmond.
Approximately 150 people, including more than 30 legislators, attended the non-partisan event held in the Old City Hall where attendees sampled a variety of wild game chili recipes. The event brings together legislators and state officials from both sides of the aisle, provides an opportunity for nonhunters to try wild game, and helps promote Virginia’s outdoor traditions. The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation was a proud sponsor of the event.
Sheriff Ken Stolle started the event in 1992 in his session apartment when he was a freshman State Senator, and it has grown to one of the most popular events while the General Assembly is in town.
“We continue to put on this event, because it’s one of the rare times when you can get everyone involved in the General Assembly together just for fun. It’s a no-politics zone and frankly is, for many of the attendees, the only time of the year they get to try wild game,” said Virginia Sportsmen’s Foundation President Will Payne.
Virginia’s 1.07 million hunters and anglers spend over $2 billion dollars annually on their pursuits which supports over 39,000 jobs in the state and generates more than $242 million in state and local taxes.
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- Improve hunter and target shooter involvement in regulatory and legislative processes. (11.11%)
- 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). (12.96%)
- Offer shooting sports and hunter education as school activities and recreation programs. (62.59%)
- Link existing programming into family-oriented organizations (such as churches and home-school groups) where participants will have the social support to continue. (13.33%)