By Nick Buggia, Upper Midwestern States Manager
On February 7, the North Dakota Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus hosted its Sportsmen’s Kickoff Lunch and Reception in Bismarck, which brought together a record attendance of nearly 90 legislators to support the state’s sportsmen and women.
Caucus Co-Chair Senators Eran Oban and Jessica Unruh and Representatives Todd Porter and Corey Mock welcomed legislators and representatives of the sportsmen’s community.
“This is our first year hosting this event, and I am encouraged by the strong legislative attendance. It speaks to the important role sportsmen and women play in North Dakota’s economy and is a testament to our strong outdoor heritage,” said Rep. Mock.
Later that evening, legislators and fellow sportsmen and women gathered for a reception and discussed legislative priorities for 2019. This provided an opportunity for representatives of the hunting and fishing conservation community to meet with their elected officials and build working relationships on behalf of North Dakota’s natural resources and outdoor heritage.
Last year, North Dakota sportsmen and women contributed more than $26 million to fish and wildlife conservation through the American System of Conservation Funding.
Sponsors of the event included Ducks Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation, North Dakota Bowhunters Association, North Dakota Wildlife Federation, North Dakota Chapter of the Wildlife Society, North Dakota Natural Recourses Trust, Pheasants Forever, and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
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?