On June 29, in the heart of California’s wine country, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) gathered members of the sportsmen’s conservation community and other supporters for the 2nd Annual “California Wine, Wings & Wildlife,” western regional event.
This event offered an opportunity for Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Members from the western United States and supporters of the sportsmen’s conservation community to discuss regional and federal policy priorities. It commenced with a sporting clays competition at the Wing & Barrel Ranch, followed by a wine reception and dinner.
CSF President Jeff Crane welcomed attendees. “We are fortunate to have strong supporters of the hunting and angling community in a beautiful place like Sonoma. Thank you to Members of Congress and CSF partners for joining us to discuss and celebrate the future of hunting and angling.” Crane also announced the sporting clays competition “Top Gun” shooter: Larry Turley, of Turley Wine Cellars.
CSC Member Congressman Mike Thompson (CA), who represents Sonoma County, welcomed attendees prior to the shooting competition. “CSF in conjunction with the CSC is the one voice on Capitol Hill [that represents] the things we believe in, the things we do. Hunting and fishing is very important to me, that’s why I joined the Caucus,” said Rep. Thompson. “This Caucus has done so much to influence the policy on outdoor recreation and habitat [conservation].”
CSC Member Congressman Tom McClintock (CA), Chairman of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands spoke during the dinner event on the state of America’s public lands. “[America’s first public lands] were managed well, not only to be preserved for future generations, but also for the use, resort, and recreation of the current generation. The people who founded our public lands policies understood that preserving these lands for future generations did not mean closing it to the current generation.”
Congressman Thomas Massie (KY), another Member of the CSC, also attended the event and spoke on the importance of recruiting youth to hunting and the outdoor sports.
Crane presented an award to Darius Anderson, owner of Wing & Barrel Ranch, for his commitment to sportsmen and women. Anderson stated, “If you want to get legislation passed, it’s not easy. And we are fighting for something that has been around for hundreds of years in this country. There is no better advocate that we have than the CSC.”
The Title Sponsors of the event included: Cabela’s Outdoor Fund, California Waterfowl Association, and the Wing & Barrel Ranch. The Host Sponsors included: Bass Pro Shops, Kenneth E. Fait – San Joaquin Refinery, Holland & Holland, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Remington, Richard Childress Racing, Safari Club International, Shimano American Corporation, and Vista Outdoor Inc.. The Co-Host Sponsors included: Arthur & Thelma French, Greg Jeffress, Napa Wine Company, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, National Rifle Association, and Yamaha Motor Corporation.
The Auction Sponsors included: Beretta, U.S.A., Clint Orms Engravers and Silversmiths, Colorado Mountain Adventures, David Light, Holland & Holland, Laurentian Wildlife Estate, Leland Fly Fishing Outfitters, Montana Watch Company, Open Fences, and Wing & Barrel Ranch.
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?