On Friday January 7, 2022, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) President and CEO Jeff Crane was the keynote speaker at the Dallas Safari Club’s (DSC) 2022 Convention and Expo. According to the DSC, the Convention is one of the biggest fundraising events in Texas, and over the last 5 years it has generated more than $5 million for conservation, education, and hunter advocacy initiatives around the world.
Further solidifying the longstanding relationship between DSC and CSF, this speech was attended by over 700 individuals and was preceded by the CSF’s DSC Convention and Expo Reception. In attendance at the reception were several legislators including current leaders of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Rep. Richard Hudson (North Carolina), Rep. Bruce Westerman (Arkansas); CSC Members Rep. Jack Bergman (Michigan), Rep. Jeff Duncan (South Carolina), Rep. Kevin Hern (Oklahoma), and Rep. Randy Weber (Texas); former member Rep. Bill Brewster (Oklahoma).
Mr. Crane’s address focused on the challenges of educating the non-hunting public on the importance of hunting as a critical conservation tool. While the sportsmen’s caucuses at the federal and state levels are winning the policy battles for now, the hunting community’s ability to maintain and expand support among the non-hunting public is key to the future of our hunting heritage. Using the positive examples of the Wildlife Councils in both Colorado and Michigan, CSF and DSC have pledged to expand this model to more states. The goal of a Wildlife Council is to develop and oversee a targeted media and education campaign – using message-tested data about the public’s attitudes – and reinforce the importance of hunting to not our community, but to the non-hunting public.
“I was honored to address the DSC Convention and would like to congratulate their organization on 40 years of serving the sportsmen’s community,” said CSF President and CEO Jeff Crane. “We share a common commitment to wildlife, hunting and land conservation efforts, and it is through events such as this that we can continue supporting critical efforts to educate the public and reach lawmakers.”
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?