April 29, 2024

South Carolina Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Hosts Successful Policy Forum and Reception

Article Contact: Conner Barker,

Why It Matters:  The South Carolina Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus (Caucus) is a bipartisan group of state legislators organized under the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC) umbrella that works to protect and advance hunting, angling, recreational shooting, and trapping and promote professional fish and wildlife management. To achieve these goals, the Caucus hosts sportsmen’s policy-centric events to engage and educate Caucus Members about issues impacting South Carolina’s hunting and fishing traditions. Last week’s strongly attended Caucus Policy Forum and Reception brought Caucus Members together to discuss challenges and opportunities to improve policies to protect the state’s sporting traditions for the next generation.


  • On April 23, the South Carolina Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus hosted a Policy Forum and Reception in Columbia to discuss issues impacting hunter and angler access and opportunity, fish and wildlife conservation, and recruitment of the next generation of South Carolina’s hunters and anglers.
  • The policy forum component of the evening consisted of a panel discussion led by Caucus Co-Chair and NASC Executive Council Member Representative Bobby Cox and Caucus Co-Chairs Representative Heather Bauer and Senator Stephen Goldfinch in addition to Gettys Brannon, CEO of the South Carolina Boating and Fishing Alliance, Dennetta Dawson with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR), and Senator Chip Campsen.
  • Moderated by former Caucus Co-Chair and NASC Executive Council President Representative Brian White and attended by 35 Caucus Members, several sporting-conservation partners, and SCDNR representatives, the policy forum facilitated important discussions about challenges facing the South Carolina sportsmen’s community and policy initiatives underway to protect sporting traditions in the Palmetto State.

The South Carolina Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus has a strong track record of annually hosting events, like sporting clays shoots, with the sportsmen’s community, and the recent Caucus Policy Forum and Reception was the first event that put sportsmen’s policy front and center. During the panel discussion, speakers highlighted recent policy wins by the Caucus including allowing public land Sunday hunting on 694,000 acres in 2023 for the first time in South Carolina’s history and expanding the apprentice hunting program in 2020. Understanding the economic impact and conservation funding provided by hunters, anglers, recreational shooters and trappers, and hunter and angler recruitment, retention, and reactivation initiatives were at the center of the panel discussion. Panelists also discussed trends occurring in other regions of the country regarding anti-hunters pushing for seats on game commissions or boards. Caucus leaders discussed the importance of game board requirements like requiring that board members possess a hunting or fishing license prior to being appointed or be knowledgeable about professional fish and wildlife management.

CEO of the South Carolina Boating and Fishing Alliance Gettys Brannon gave an update on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s proposed vessel speed limit rule and the negative impact that the fishing and boating community, along with South Carolina’s economy, would face if the rule is implemented. Caucus Co-Chair Senator Stephen Goldfinch discussed how federal fisheries data collection under the Marine Recreational Information Program has been ineffective at allowing recreational access to fisheries and argued that a switch to a state-based data collection program would benefit South Carolina’s anglers.

The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) appreciates the leadership and initiative of Caucus Leadership for organizing the successful Caucus Policy Forum and Reception and thanks other sporting-conservation partners for participating in the event.

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