Contact: Nick Buggia, Upper Midwestern States Manager
On May 8, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) joined the Illinois Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus to host the annual Illinois Caucus Reception and Fundraiser.
This event brought together state legislators and members of the Illinois hunting and angling community to discuss policy priorities in the state and across the Midwestern region. The funds raised provide a resource for members of the Illinois Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus to sponsor local youth outdoor activities, such as high school bass fishing clubs and high school shooting teams.
Caucus Co-Chair Representative Larry Walsh assisted with organizing the event and provided the opening remarks to welcome attendees.
“Illinois is home to 1.3 million hunters and anglers who contributed more than $64 million to conservation in 2018,” said Rep. Walsh. “I’m proud to report that the Illinois Sportsmen’s Caucus remains strong and is committed to good policies that protect and enhance our outdoor traditions.”
One pro-sportsmen’s bill, HB 3623, sponsored by former Caucus Co-Chair Representative Jerry Costello, would expand apprentice hunting opportunities in the state. The bill unanimously passed the House and is currently being considered on the Illinois Senate floor.
The newly appointed director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Colleen Callahan also addressed attendees.
Title Sponsors included Ameren; Bass Pro Shops; and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund. Host Sponsors included: Hornady Manufacturing, Inc.; National Shooting Sports Foundation; Plano Synergy Holdings; Richard Childress Racing; Safari Club International; Shimano American Corporation; and Vista Outdoor Inc. Co-Host Sponsors included: Chicagoland Operators Joint Labor Management PAC; Comcast Corporation; ComEd; Exelon; Illinois Pipe Trades Association; and Peoples Gas & North Shore Gas. Supporting Sponsors included: AT&T; Foresight Energy; and Illinois State Council of Operating Engineers.
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?