Contact Nick Buggia, Upper Midwestern States Manager
On May 21, the Michigan Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus and the Michigan Advisory Council hosted its annual Legislative Outdoor Day event at the Capitol Area Sportsmen’s League in Lansing.
This event started out as an opportunity for legislators to learn more about the world of hunting, fishing and recreational shooting. It has grown into the largest event hosted by the Michigan Caucus, with attendees including legislators and staffers, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Director and staff, representatives from the Governor’s office, and conservation partners. All four Caucus Co-Chairs were in attendance: Representatives Triston Cole and Leslie Love, and Senators Jon Bumstead and Adam Hollier.
Activities included trap, five stand, archery, fly casting, and a turkey hunting tutorial. There were also booths on trapping, quality deer management, duck hunting and waterfowl habitat, dog training, and safaris.
After the outdoor activates concluded, a presentation was given by the Michigan Wildlife Council (MWC). The MWC runs a public education campaign with the purpose of increasing the general public’s knowledge of the important role sportsmen and women play in conservation. The MWC used the opportunity to update legislators on their mission and the results of the last few years of the campaign. They also gave a sneak peak of this year’s campaign with the tag line “Funded by Hunting and Fishing Licenses, Not Tax Dollars”
Rep. Cole and Sen. Bumstead discussed the importance of making hunting and fishing a family activity and exposing new people to the sport. Rep. Love, who is relatively new to hunting and angling, talked about her recent walleye fishing trip on the Detroit River and her plans to run bear this fall with the Michigan Hunting Dog Federation and the Michigan Bear Hunters Association.
This event was organized by The Michigan Advisory Council, whose members include: Ducks Unlimited, Michigan BASS Nation, Michigan Bear Hunters Association, Michigan Hunting Dog Federation, Michigan Steelhead and Salmon Fishers Association, Michigan Trappers and Predator Callers Association, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, National Rifle Association, Pheasants Forever, Quality Deer Management Association, Safari Club International, Trout Unlimited, U.P. Bear Houndsman Association, U.P. Sportsmen’s Alliance, and Zero Day. The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation and The Hal and Jean Glasson Memorial Foundation serve as ex-officio members.
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?