Contact: Ellary TuckerWilliams, Inter-Mountain Western States Coordinator
Last week, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) Inter-Mountain Western States Coordinator, Ellary TuckerWilliams, attended the annual Western Hunting and Conservation Expo (WHCE) hosted by the Mule Deer Foundation (MDF) and Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife (SFW) in Salt Lake City, UT. CSF, MDF and SFW have historically collaborated on various conservation policy initiatives and continue to do so at the state and federal levels. Specifically, CSF and MDF have a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in which both groups agree to collaborate on sportsmen’s policy and engagement to enhance the efforts of both organizations for the benefit of sportsmen across the nation.
While in attendance at the WHCE, TuckerWilliams attended the Mule Deer Working Group (MDWG) Meeting and the MDF 2020 Federal Partners Meeting. Present at the MDWG Meeting were top western states mule deer biologists and managers, as well as representatives from the National Deer Alliance (NDA), MDF, United States Forest Service (USFS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Governor Herbert’s Office, and others. Topics of discussion included mule deer range-wide survival analysis, the implementation of Secretarial Order 3362, chronic wasting disease (CWD), and the status of a Wildlife Movement and Migration Working Group, just to highlight a few.
Additionally, the MDF Federal Partners Meeting consisted of representatives from various western state agencies, USFS, BLM, MDF and others discussing mule deer conservation priorities, habitat restoration efforts, as well as past, present and future collaborative projects.
The WHCE was a huge success with over 450 exhibitors present, representing the diversity of the western outdoor sporting community. Expo attendees were provided with the opportunity to attend seminars on a variety of topics including long range hunting and ethics, mature mule deer patterning and hunting, the use of calls in the pursuit of game, mentoring the next generation of hunters, and many others. Keynote speakers included U.S. Interior Secretary, David Bernhardt, and U.S. Navy SEAL, Lieutenant Commander, (Ret.) Jack Carr, author of The Terminal List, True Believer, and Savage Son.
“CSF highly values its collaborative working relationship with MDF and SFW. The opportunity that the WHCE provides to engage with critical western state and federal agency personnel, as well as industry and in-state partners on western conservation priorities is unparalleled,” said TuckerWilliams. “The WHCE effectively brings the western sporting community together in the name of conservation and CSF is honored to be a part of that effort. We look forward to continuing our relationship, advancing hunting heritage and science-based conservation policies.”
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?