By Joe Mullin, New England States Coordinator
On March 15, Connecticut’s Legislative Office Building was abuzz with sportsmen and women who traveled to Hartford to attend a meeting of the Connecticut Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus and the Sportsmen’s Day at the Capitol.
The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation’s (CSF) Joe Mullin was in attendance for both events, along with several in-state and regional fish and wildlife conservation organizations, such as Ducks Unlimited, Delta Waterfowl, and the Nutmeg State Council of Sportsmen.
A key component of the Caucus meeting was a discussion on sportsmen-related legislation, including bills to authorize the use of blaze pink clothing for hunting, and Co-Chair Senator Craig Miner’s SB 586, An Act Authorizing Black Bear Hunting in Litchfield County. Regarding SB 586, the Caucus recognized the importance of protecting and advancing black bear hunting opportunities, especially after acknowledging the string of recent legal challenges that have risen out of New Jersey.
The Caucus also discussed plans for its upcoming game meat tasting reception on April 2. This event will offer attendees the opportunity to sample a wide variety of locally-sourced, organic game meat and will showcase the role of hunters as food providers – both for their families and for others through game meat donation programs.
Following the Caucus meeting, attendees headed to the Capitol Atrium to celebrate Sportsmen’s Day, which is dedicated to recognizing the important role that sportsmen and women play as Connecticut’s original conservationists. Attendees were able to meet and greet representatives from several hunting, angling, and trapping conservation organizations, many of whom have reliable and long-lasting relationships with the Connecticut Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus.
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?