By Joel Hodgdon, Central Midwestern States Coordinator
On April 16, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) Central Midwestern States Coordinator Joel Hodgdon joined the Iowa Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus and members of the state’s sportsmen’s community at the Butch Olofson Shooting Range.
Newly renovated by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Iowa DNR staff guided both new and veteran participants on the range as they shot trap, .22 rifles and handguns.
“We are extremely proud of this remodeled facility that brings a state-of-the-art, safe shooting facility to central Iowa,” said Iowa DNR Director Chuck Gipp. “We were thrilled to have several legislators in attendance, and hope as the shooting sports continue to gain great interest, Iowans, too, will share the same enthusiasm and passion for shooting and utilize this facility to learn and sharpen their skill set.”After the morning’s events, the crowd gathered together to discuss the many positive impacts that Iowa’s sportsmen and women have on the state.
“There are few things I enjoy more than introducing folks to the shooting sports,” said Caucus Co-Chair Representative Scott Ourth. “Iowa relies on sportsmen and women like all of us here this morning to fund conservation and support our local economy.”
Iowa’s hunters and anglers contributed close to $40 million towards the state’s conservation efforts in 2017 through the American System of Conservation Funding. Sportsmen and women in the state spend over $2.1 million per day on their outdoor pursuits, producing an economic ripple effect of over $1.16 billion.
Sponsors of the Caucus’s Day at the Range included: Ducks Unlimited, the Iowa DNR, and Pheasants Forever/Quail Forever.
NWTF’s Fred Long (right), Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Terry Baxter (middle), and DU’s Mike Shannon (third from right) on the trap range.
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?