On March 25, the Maryland Hunting Coalition, an organization dedicated to uniting all Maryland hunters to protect the heritage and privileges of hunting and trapping, hosted its Annual Dinner and Benefit. Over 300 members of the sportsmen’s community were in attendance to celebrate the many positive impacts that hunters provide for the Old Line State.
This year’s event highlighted the many years of dedication and leadership of Senator John Astle, Maryland Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chair and founding President of the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC). Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) President Jeff Crane, Maryland Division of Wildlife and Heritage Director Paul Peditto, Maryland Natural Resources Police Colonel Robert Ziegler and Maryland Hunting Coalition Advocate Bill Miles all presented Senator Astle with the first ever Sportsmen’s Emeritus Award.
Prior to his time in public office, Senator Astle served as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps in Vietnam earning 31 air medals and two Purple Hearts. Senator Astle later flew with Marine One under President Nixon and has served in the Maryland General Assembly for nearly 35 years. During that time, he has championed numerous pro-sportsmen bills and continues to promote and advance sportsmen’s interests in Maryland and across the country.
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?