By Joe Mullin, New England States Coordinator
On January 25, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) New England States Coordinator Joe Mullin joined the Connecticut Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus in Hartford as they discussed administrative opportunities, reviewed sportsmen-related legislation, and took public comments regarding the first few weeks of the legislative session.
A subcommittee for organizing Caucus events was formed during the meeting. Following the formation of this new subcommittee, the focus turned towards legislation. Included in the discussion were a number of anti-sportsmen’s bills that would: prohibit hunting in specific areas, prevent any further expansion of hunting opportunities in the state, increase the price of ammunition by raising the associated sales tax to 50%, and cede authority to regulate hunting and trapping to local and municipal governments.
During the public comment period, Mullin presented information on the important role of the American System of Conservation Funding in the Constitution State. Through this “user-pays, public-benefits” System, sportsmen and women provide the vast majority of the funding for state fish and wildlife agencies. In 2018 alone, Connecticut’s sportsmen and women generated a total of $16 million, which benefits all residents of Connecticut, consumptive and non-consumptive users alike.
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?