On November 24, the Delaware Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus hosted its inaugural meeting at the state capitol in Dover, Delaware. The bipartisan and bicameral Caucus is chaired by Senators Bruce Ennis and Brian Pettyjohn, and Representatives Jeff Spiegelman and William Carson. Over a dozen legislators attended the meeting to discuss the goals of the Caucus as well as potential legislative priorities for the upcoming year. Caucus members were joined by David Saveikis, Director of the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife and many members of the Delaware sportsmen’s community, who provided valuable input to the discussion.
“I was very pleased to see the turn-out from my fellow elected officials, representatives from the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife, and the general public,” noted Representative Spiegelman. “In the view of many, this Caucus was formed to facilitate a forum for these groups and it seems that idea was embraced by those in attendance and those who wished they could have attended. The Delaware Sportsmen’s Caucus can only benefit hunters, anglers, and trappers in the First State and we are off to a great start.”
Director Saveikis offered his full support of the Caucus and noted the importance of protecting and promoting Delaware’s sporting traditions. “The Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife looks forward to working with the newly formed Delaware Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus to advance hunting, trapping, fishing and the shooting sports in the First State. The Caucus provides a focused opportunity for the division to continue to collaboratively work with the Delaware General Assembly on behalf of our hunters, trappers and anglers to further these outdoor sporting traditions and fish and wildlife conservation.”
At the event, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) staff provided information about the structure and history of the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses, and the supportive services CSF provides for state legislative sportsmen’s caucuses and their members. Caucus members were also educated on the economic impact of hunting and angling in Delaware, as well as the contributions Delaware sportsmen and women make to conservation through the American System of Conservation Funding.
CSF would like to thank the National Wild Turkey Federation, Delaware State Chapter and Little Caesars Pizza for sponsoring the meeting.
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?