It wasn’t but 8:30 A.M. when cars started filing into the parking lot and the registration line began to serpentine up the hill. A much anticipated event, I could feel the energy in the humid air as everyone anxiously waited to check in, buy raffle tickets and get their shooting vests. The 2017 August Recess Shoot Out had commenced and the hard work of the events team and other Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) staff was ready to be showcased.
With an impressive turnout of nearly 200 attendees, it was all hands on deck for CSF. However, that didn’t bother me. I was able to see so many smiling faces—beginner shooters, intermediate shooters, expert shooters, democrat staffers, and republican staffers, all having a great time and enjoying the day. In such a hyperpartisan world, it is refreshing to know that sportsmen’s issues have the ability to bridge the partisan divide. This was just one of the many events that I was able to enjoy during my time at CSF.
As a student studying government at Georgetown, it is rare to find others that share the same sentiments about hunting and fishing. In fact, it is nearly impossible. However, I have not lost my passion for either during my time at Georgetown. If anything, my affection and appreciation has grown and that is why I was so excited to intern for CSF this summer. I would not have to wait to go home to Florida to talk about hunting and fishing, but instead be fully engaged with both at work.
I was surprised about how much I was able to learn about not only the procedural elements of sportsmen’s issues, but also the biology and management techniques that come along with keeping wildlife populations healthy and drafting appropriate sportsmen’s legislation. This is only possible through the coordination of state wildlife agencies, state legislators and CSF’s States Program Team.
After working with the States Program Team, I now better understand state legislation that is critical to protecting the rights of sportsmen and women across the country, especially since each state has unique interests and needs. Federal legislation alone is not enough. Instead, the approach must be all encompassing. I appreciate the hard work of the States Program Team and enjoyed working with and learning from its members throughout my time at CSF.
I will be forever grateful for my experience at CSF. I loved being surrounded by people who are truly passionate about what they do every day. It’s not exactly a bad work day when you can spend the afternoon shooting guns, going to events with Congressmen or attending receptions with key members from the industry. Thank you to everyone who made this possible, especially world famous biologist Gary “ICEMAN” Kania and Brent Miller. If you are passionate about hunting or fishing, want to work in a positive and engaging environment, and want to be at the epicenter of policy and legislation, apply to be a Brad Rowse Policy Fellow!