On February 20, members of the Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus (GSC) gathered in Washington, DC for a reception hosted by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF). Coinciding with the National Governors Association meeting, this reception provided an opportunity for governors to discuss upcoming priorities for sportsmen and women in their states.
CSF President Jeff Crane welcomed attendees, including gubernatorial staff, congressional and agency staff, and CSF partners, and thanked the 34 governors who signed proclamations last year recognizing National Hunting and Fishing Day.
GSC Co-Chair Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (WV) praised efforts of sportsmens’ caucuses across the country. “Last year, we were able to create a sportsmen’s caucus in our legislature for the first time. [The National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses] continues to expand across the country, and that’s something I’m very proud of,” said Gov. Tomblin.
GSC Co-Chair Governor Phil Bryant (MS) spoke about how important the outdoor traditions are to his family, and to future generations. “If it was not for the hunters, and anglers, and those who care about the great outdoors, then it would not exist in the manner that we know it,” said Gov. Bryant.
During the reception, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead was introduced as the newly appointed GSC Vice-Chair, and thanked the sportsmen’s community for their work on fish and wildlife conservation. “I can’t think of another group, other than sportsmen and women, who have done more for conservation. These groups have brought tremendous awareness in terms of how we need to sustain [fish and wildlife resources] for future generations,” said Gov. Mead.
CSF then presented GSC Vice-Chair Governor Peter Shumlin (VT) with the 2016 GSC Heritage Award for his work on behalf of sportsmen and women in his state. “Governor Shumlin is a regular fixture at Caucus events in Montpelier, played an instrumental role in ensuring the 2015 National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses Sportsman-Legislator Summit was successful, and has been a staunch advocate for sportsmen and women in the Green Mountain State,” said CSF Northeastern States Director Brent Miller. “This was most recently demonstrated when he signed into law last year a bill that legalized ownership of firearm suppressors.”
“Hunters and anglers are the ones who are making sure that we are managing our natural resources in a smart way,” said Gov. Shumlin. “I really believe that if we want to see an example of how gun ownership works well, come to the Green Mountain state. We make sure that we safely, and with extraordinary dignity, maintain our natural resources.”
Title Sponsors were CropLife America, National Rifle Association, Reynolds American, Inc., and Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America, Inc. Host Sponsors were Ducks Unlimited, JC Larkin Company, LLC, and Outtech, Inc. Co-Host Sponsors included: American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s Outdoor Fund, Dallas Safari Club, Exxon Mobil Corporation, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Remington, Richard Childress Racing, Safari Club International, Shell Oil Company, Shimano American Corporation, Vista Outdoor Inc., and Winchester Ammunition.
About the Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus
Formed in 2009, the GSC, a bipartisan caucus of governors, facilitates communication and information exchange between participating offices in support of policies and regulations that promote and advance hunting, angling, recreational shooting and trapping. Guided by a bipartisan leadership team of governors and staffed through CSF, the GSC complements and enhances the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus and the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses. Presently, the bipartisan GSC consists of 32 members, one being a lieutenant governor, representing diverse regions of the nation.
GSC Vice-Chair Gov. Peter Shumlin (VT) holding the 2016 GSC Heritage Award, with SilencerCo CEO and CSF Board of Directors Member Joshua Waldron
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?