By Bee Frederick, Southeastern States Director
On February 20, the Mississippi Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus hosted their 11th Annual Sportsmen’s Caucus Fish Fry in Jackson.
The annual event, hosted in conjunction with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP), brings together sportsman-legislators, state agency staff, and conservation leaders to celebrate Mississippi’s sportsmen’s heritage and discuss current policies impacting hunting and angling in the Magnolia State.
Caucus Co-Chair and National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses Executive Council Member Representative Scott Bounds discussed how the Caucus is working to protect and advance sportsmen’s issues in Mississippi. Bounds noted, “Our Caucus is committed to protecting the resources and safeguarding the sporting traditions of Mississippi to ensure future generations will be able to continue to enjoy Mississippi’s great outdoors.”
With more than 100 members, the Mississippi Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus is the largest caucus in the Mississippi Legislature and is a strong voice for sportsmen and women. The Caucus continually works alongside the MDWFP to protect and advance hunting and angling.
Wildlife Mississippi’s James Cummins also addressed the crowd as a sponsor that has supported this event every year. Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) Southeastern States Director Bee Frederick addressed the crowd and explained the important work of the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC).
Attendees enjoyed an evening of comradery complete with local fried catfish prepared by the MWDFP cook team. MDWFP’s Wildlife Director Russ Walsh provided an update on Chronic Wasting Disease in Mississippi and the Department’s response since it was first detected in the state in early 2018. Lt. Governor Tate Reeves and Speaker Philip Gunn were among those in attendance.
A special thanks goes to MDWFP for preparing the food and the over 20 corporate and private sponsors who made the event possible.
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?