This past weekend, the bipartisan Maryland Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus hosted a sportsmen’s retreat at the historical Woodmont Natural Resources Management Area in Hancock, Maryland. Over 20 Caucus members attended the weekend retreat including the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC) Past President and Maryland Co-Chair Senator John Astle, NASC Executive Council Member and Maryland Co-Chair Delegate Wendell Beitzel, and Maryland Vice-Chairs Senator Wayne Norman and Delegate Ned Carey.
Caucus Members were joined by Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Mike Belton. Secretary Belton commented on the critical role that hunters and anglers play in conserving the state’s natural resources: “Maryland anglers and hunters provide the vast majority of critical conservation dollars we use to advance, enhance and protect our precious natural resources, for the enjoyment and use of our citizens and visitors. I am honored to have joined this bipartisan group of state legislators in recognition of our dedicated sportsmen and women – Maryland’s true conservationists – who play an integral role in promoting sound science-based natural resources management.””
“The sportsmen’s retreat was a unique opportunity to appreciate Maryland’s sporting heritage at the historic Woodmont Lodge – the Camp David before Camp David,” stated Sen. Norman. “Our bipartisan Caucus had the chance to celebrate Maryland’s rich outdoor sporting traditions while recognizing the policy accomplishments of our members and partners.”
Caucus members also participated in several outdoor activities including a suppressor demonstration and shoot hosted by the American Suppressor Association. The event followed with an awards ceremony at which Sen. Astle, Del. Beitzel, and Maryland Hunting Coalition’s advocate Bill Miles were recognized for their leadership and dedication to advancing pro-sportsmen policy throughout 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?