On January 11, members of Georgia’s sportsmen’s community gathered with elected officials and their staff at the Georgia State Capitol for the 16th Annual ‘Keeping Georgia Wild Day,’ formerly known as Sportsmen’s and Coastal Day at the Capitol.
Annually held at the beginning of the legislative session, this event provides a venue for elected officials to discuss issues of importance with the conservation community as well as express their support for the sportsmen’s community.
Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) Southeastern States Director Bee Frederick joined a host of in-state conservation organizations in the State Capitol Rotunda to jointly promote Georgia’s natural resources, hunters, anglers, recreational shooters and trappers. Groups included the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) as well as representatives from the Coastal Conservation Association, Ducks Unlimited, Georgia Canine Coalition, Georgia Wildlife Federation, Georgia Trappers Association, National Rifle Association, National Wild Turkey Federation, Quality Deer Management Association and many others.
Introduced by DNR Commissioner Mark Williams, Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus member Governor Nathan Deal spoke to the assembled group in the Rotunda and noted Georgia’s vast natural resources and associated economic impact. Additionally, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp addressed the group. Recognized during the program were Georgia Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chairs Senator Bill Heath, President of the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC) Executive Council, and Representative David Knight, Chairman of the House Game, Fish, and Parks Committee.
Following the event, Sen. Heath noted the important work of the NASC around the country. “Sportsmen’s caucuses play a vital role in protecting and advancing our sporting traditions across the country. I’m proud of the work we’re doing through the NASC and individual caucuses to be a voice for sportsmen and women.”
The Georgia Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, a bipartisan, bicameral group of legislators working to protect and advance hunting, angling, recreational shooting, and trapping, was first established in 2003 and has continued since to provide a strong voice for the sportsmen’s community in the state.
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?