On May 23, the Michigan Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus hosted their third annual Field Day and Wild Game Dinner at the Capitol Area Sportsmen’s League in Lansing.
The event brought together representatives from over a dozen hunting, angling, recreational shooting, and trapping organizations with Caucus members and staff from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Attendees participated in a number of activities, including trap and five stand shooting, lessons on patterning turkey guns, archery shooting, and fly fishing lessons. After the activities, attendees proceeded inside the clubhouse for a wild game dinner featuring bear, venison, and duck served by Gourmet Gone Wild.
During the dinner, Michigan Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chair Representative Triston Cole said, “A vision I have for the sportsmen’s caucus is to help legislators gain outdoor experiences across the state. There are so many different things in our great state that will help emphasize the importance of our natural resources to legislators. We have legislators who have never held a fishing rod before, and we have the opportunity to expose them to our wonderful heritage.”
Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation Upper Midwestern States Coordinator Zachary Sheldon discussed the preparations for the annual National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC) Sportsmen-Legislator Summit, being held later this year in Traverse City, Michigan. This annual gathering brings in NASC members from across the country to discuss issues important to hunters and anglers with experts from the conservation community, state fish and wildlife agency staff, and allied industry representatives.
Sportsmen and women in the Wolverine State contributed over $87 million through The American System of Conservation Funding in 2015. The 1,938,000 hunters and anglers in the state spend $4.8 billion annually, supporting over 72,000 jobs.
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?