On June 6, over a dozen national and in-state sportsmen’s groups gathered at the North Carolina General Assembly for the annual Legislative Sportsmen’s Day. The purpose of the day was to highlight the important economic, cultural and conservation benefits of North Carolina’s outdoor traditions.
The day started off with a breakfast in the Legislative Cafeteria hosted by Delta Waterfowl and Kilpatrick, Townsend, and Stockton, LLP. Dr. Frank Rohwer, Delta Waterfowl President and Chief Scientist, gave a presentation on changing hunter demographics and policy initiatives to support hunter recruitment, retention and reactivation.
Throughout the day representatives from various sportsmen’s groups interacted with legislators and hosted educational tables with information about their organizations, programs and policy priorities. Fly-fishing, archery shooting, falconry hunting and retriever demonstrations were held on the lawn, and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission staffed numerous tables with information about the various divisions and conservation programs of the agency.
The National Rifle Association; the National Shooting Sports Foundation; Safari Club International; and Kilpatrick, Townsend, and Stockton, LLP sponsored a Lexington-style barbecue lunch on Halifax Mall.
Groups represented included the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, American Kennel Club, Casting for Recovery, Coastal Conservation Association of North Carolina, Core Sound Decoy Carvers Guild, Delta Waterfowl, Ducks Unlimited, East Carolina Houndsmen Association, National Rifle Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation, North Carolina Bowhunters Association, North Carolina Falconers Guild, North Carolina Trappers Association, Ruffed Grouse Society, and Safari Club International.
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?