On February 9, the Maryland Hunting Coalition hosted its annual “Blaze and Camo Day” rally at the Maryland State Capitol in Annapolis. The annual rally provided an opportunity to celebrate Maryland’s rich outdoor sporting heritage while discussing policies, with state lawmakers, on opportunities to advance hunting and fishing.
Several members of the bipartisan Maryland Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus were in attendance, including Caucus Co-Chairs Senator John Astle and Delegate Wendell Beitzel, and Caucus Vice-Chairs Senator Wayne Norman and Delegate Ned Carey. Also in attendance was Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, a member of the Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus, who spoke on the importance of the state’s hunting and fishing community.
Maryland is home to over 88,000 hunters who contribute more than $266 million to the state’s economy each year, supporting almost 4,500 jobs in the state. In addition to supporting the state’s economy, Maryland hunters provide nearly 14 million dollars in conservation funding annually through the American System of Conservation Funding, now celebrating its 80th Anniversary.
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?