September 12, 2013 (Washington, DC) – Sixty-five members of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC), joined with the sportsmen’s community from the DC area and beyond on Wednesday night for an evening of camaraderie and appreciation at the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation’s (CSF) 24th Annual Banquet & Auction. Held at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, this event – known as DC’s largest gathering of the sportsmen’s community – comes during a pivotal time for CSC members, as a comprehensive bipartisan package of sportsmen’s legislative priorities is being advanced in hopes of passage by the end of the year.
This year’s Banquet theme, “Advancing Conservation through Partnerships,” highlighted the dedication of CSF’s partners to conservation efforts in the United States. In choosing this theme for the Annual Banquet, CSF recognized the value of conservation partnerships in advancing the nation’s sportsmen’s traditions in the halls of government. Prior to the event, CSF Chairman of the Board of Directors, Bob Model, highlighted the historical significance of sportsmen’s traditions, noting that “Hunting and angling are the bedrock – to this day – of [fish and] wildlife conservation.”
This year’s event provided a forum for the sportsmen’s and conservation community to gather and celebrate the strides CSF, CSC, the Governor’s Sportsmen’s Caucus (GSC) and the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC) have made in supporting America’s fish and wildlife resources. In recognition of the work that CSF and the caucuses have been engaged on, Safari Club International’s President Craig Kauffman stated, “We are all very excited about the potential to pass a sportsmen’s package bill this Congress. The Sportsmen’s Caucus leaders and [members of] the Senate are already supporting legislation.”
CSF President Jeff Crane stated, “We work with members of the caucuses every day on issues of importance in keeping sportsmen and women active in hunting, fishing and the shooting sports- and the banquet is the best opportunity we have all year to thank them for their leadership.”
The evening kicked off with a VIP reception hosted by the Outdoor Channel and Safari Club International. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell addressed the group and spoke on the priorities of the Department and her plans to advance sportsmen’s issues. Jewell stated, “[Sportsmen and women] think about things on a landscape level – they protect the historical use of land.”
The dinner’s speakers included CSC leadership, distinguished outdoor-industry partners, and CSF Chairman, Bob Model, of the Boone & Crockett Club.
The Title Sponsors of the 24th Annual Banquet and Auction were ATK and the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The Host Sponsors included Diageo, Ford Motor Company, Hornady Manufacturing Company, InterMedia Outdoors, Outdoor Channel, Safari Club International, Sportsman Channel, and Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America. The Co-Host Sponsors were Amgen, Ash Grove Cement Company, The Babcock & Wilcox Company, Bass Pro Shops, The Buck Bomb, Cabela’s Outdoor Fund, CropLife America, Crossroads Strategies, LLC, Dallas Safari Club, Houston Safari Club, Independent Petroleum Association of America, Natural Resource Results, Richard Childress Racing, Shimano American Corporation, Sports South, LLC, and Yamaha Motor Corporation.
Since 1989 the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) has maintained a singleness of purpose that has guided the organization to become the most respected and trusted sportsmen’s organization in the political arena. CSF’s mission is to work with Congress, governors, and state legislatures to protect and advance hunting, recreational fishing and shooting and trapping. The unique and collective force of the CSC, the Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus (GSC) and the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC), working closely with CSF, and with the support of major hunting, recreational fishing and shooting, and trapping organizations, serves as an unprecedented network of pro-sportsmen elected officials that advance the agenda of America’s hunters and anglers.
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?