Contact: Aoibheann Cline, Western States Coordinator
On June 25, the California Outdoor Sporting Caucus hosted its annual trap and skeet shoot at the Yolo Sportsmen’s Association facility in Davis.
The annual event provides a unique forum for legislators and their staff, youth shooting teams, sportsmen’s organizations, and community members to discuss issues impacting the sportsmen’s community in California and to provide education on the critical role hunters, anglers, and recreational shooters play in the conservation of California’s wildlife habitat and populations.
The California Outdoor Sporting Caucus is a bipartisan and bicameral caucus within the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC), a network of state legislators designed to protect and enhance California’s wildlife resources and to further the understanding and acceptance of outdoor recreation activities in the golden state.
The California Youth Shooting Sports Association (CYSSA) volunteered local youth shooting teams to host the barbeque and support the shoot. There are 1,100 youth registered in the CYSSA clay shooting program and 55 teams spanning much of northern and central California. Volunteer teams included the Clay Crusaders Gun Club, Colusa Gun Club, Granite Bay High School Trap Team, Oakmont High School, Sutter High School Trap Team, The Clay Dogs Trap Team, and the Yolo Sportsmen Association.
“CYSSA brings together a group of athletes and coaches who are passionate and dedicated to shooting sports. At the event they displayed this passion by educating adults, some of whom had never picked up a shotgun, and taught them how to trap shoot,” explained Amy Cooper and Michelle Pascual of CYSSA.
CYSSA Interim President Stan Chan shared, “One of my personal goals is to get more kids out in the field, whether it be hunting, fishing or just being in the outdoors; but above all I would like to help them understand the public policy aspect of what goes on behind the scenes.”
Game wardens from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, led by Chief David Bess, provided safety demonstrations for all participants, as well as one-on-one firearm safety instruction for novice shooters.
The California Bowmen Hunters/State Archery Association set up an archery range to provide an opportunity for attendees to learn about archery shooting and learn to shoot compound bows.
In addition to CSF, sponsors for the 2019 California Legislative Outdoor Sporting Caucus Annual Trap Shoot included: Butte County Fish and Game Commission, California Bowmen Hunters/State Archery Association, California Houndsmen for Conservation, California Rifle and Pistol Association, California Waterfowl Association, Ducks Unlimited, Gaines and Associates, Monterey County Fish & Game Commission, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter – SCI.
Photo credit: Wayne Tilcock, California Waterfowl Association
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?