August 29, 2022

Idaho Sportsmen Named Advisory Council to the Idaho Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus

Contact: Ellary TuckerWilliams, Rocky Mountain States, Assistant Manager

Why It Matters: Formalizing official Advisory Councils to state legislative sportsmen’s caucuses provides Caucus members with a direct line to their outdoor sporting constituency that can deliver invaluable insight to policy as it relates to conservation and our shared outdoor sporting heritage. As Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Members rotate in and out of the legislature, Advisory Councils provide continuity between sessions and act as a repository for critical institutional and historical knowledge that is vital to the success and relevancy of the Caucus.

In 2004, the Idaho Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus (ILSC) joined the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC), a bipartisan and bicameral group of state legislators committed to protecting and advancing hunting, angling, trapping, and recreational shooting. Since inception, the ILSC has continued to work collaboratively for the benefit of conservation and Idaho’s shared outdoor heritage and sporting community by advocating for science-based pro-sportsmen’s policy.

ILSC continues to maintain a collaborative relationship with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, the Fish and Game Commission, and their sportsmen and women constituents. Recently, the ILSC recognized a need for continuity between sessions as there is natural attrition, retention, and recruitment with each election.  In an effort to maintain institutional knowledge between sessions and further solidify ILSC’s direct line to the states outdoor sporting community, the ILSC leadership identified a need to establish an official Advisory Council for consistency and guidance on key issues facing sportsmen and women in the Gem State.

Established in 2020 with an already impressive track record, Idaho Sportsmen is an Idaho based non-profit that aims to unite the men, women, and youth of Idaho who hunt, fish, trap, and shoot recreationally to protect and advance our shared outdoor heritage. With a professional and ethical approach, Idaho Sportsmen exists to serve the State of Idaho’s outdoor sporting public holistically, looking to science-based wildlife management as a guiding principle.

Given that Idaho Sportsmen represents all outdoor sporting interests in the state under a unified banner and maintain a consistent presence through the year with state agencies and the Idaho Legislature, the ILSC has decided that Idaho Sportsmen is best suited to serve as the official Advisory Council to the ILSC.

“Idaho Sportsmen is honored to be named the official Advisory Council to the Idaho Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus. We look forward to fostering an even stronger connection between Idaho’s sportsmen and women and the legislators who represent them. As we face future challenges and seek opportunities to unite sportsmen and legislators by working together, we will advance our shared goals of access and opportunity for all of Idaho’s outdoor sporting community,” Benn Brocksome, Executive Director of Idaho Sportsmen.

Since its founding, Idaho Sportsmen has worked closely with the ILSC to protect and advance access and opportunity for sportsmen and women in Idaho. In its role, Idaho Sportsmen tracks and reports on every budget, rule, appointment, and policy pertaining to natural resources and sportsmen related activities throughout the year with close attention paid during the legislative session.

Working directly with the ILSC has also helped Idaho Sportsmen support and advance numerous pro-sportsmen policies including creating new seasons and tags for game species, enhancing hunters and trappers education, advancing protections for gun and ammo manufacturing and sales during the pandemic, protecting shooting ranges, updating and modifying property rights agreements to allow and promote sportsmen access, ensuring access and depredation funds are available for use by the Idaho Department of Game and Fish, advancing incentives for landowner access for hunting, trapping and fishing, and much more.

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?

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